Inside Sales Training: Onboarding New Sales People and Couching Experienced Professionals

inside sales training

Inside sales training needs to be planned in a way that it would provide sales people with skills that they need to succeed. Good sales managers dedicate time to all of their people, not only to new comers or top and bottom performers. This article will provide you with insights and valuable tips about inside sales training: how to create an effective onboarding plan and use best inside sales training techniques.

How to Successfully Train a New Sales Person?

A sales plan is a good way to prioritize onboarding program and avoid wasting time on what your new sales representative do not need. Every sales representative is individual and they will have their own strengths and weaknesses. Shorty, there are two main types of sales training: training of general sales skills and training of company specifications about how to sell your product. The best idea is to make onboarding customized to every individual. Here is how to do that:

  • Concentrate on relevant information. When introducing a new member to your team, inside sales training should mostly be concentrated on your product: sales processes in your company, product knowledge, and prospect qualification. If sales person is not a beginner, he will already have a good grasp of general sales skills: persuasiveness, listening, effective presentation skills, etc.
  • Assign a mentor. A good performing salesperson of your company could be a good mentor for the new one. Your sales people know what existing customers like the most and what usually needs more explanation. Let the new person listen to experienced sales representative’s calls. Ideally, at least one sale should go through an entire process.
  • Start supervised calls. This will let you get the idea how well the new person understands the product and whether he has a good background of general soft skills: communication, politeness, patience, explains the product clearly. From this point, you will be able to identify what additional training your new sales person needs. Maybe your new sales rep is extremely good at getting appointments, but does not know how to close the deal. Or does not know how to write an effective sales follow-up . Additional training to tackle the weak points should be arranged inside or outside the company.
  • Also, keep in mind, that inside sales training may be cheaper, but it takes a lot of time. And if your best sales person spends hours training the new one comer instead of making new sales, in the end you may lose more than you earn.

Inside Sales Training for Experienced Professionals

Each member of the team has areas where they are strong and where they need improvement. No matter how experienced your sales representatives are, there is always something to learn: new sales techniques, software, industry specifics, or handling CRM programs.

  • Use micro-learning and e-learning. Recent studies found that micro-learning is more efficient than multi-day sales training. Sales representatives, like most people, cannot retain a lot of information at once. Multi-days sales training is a waste of money and time. The studies show that 50% of information is forgotten within 5 weeks. 84% of content is gone within 90 days. A good idea is to teach your personnel in small quantities of information, send reminders on e-mail or smartphone, make learning interactive. E-learning allows brushing up product knowledge on the go and it accessible at any time. Online videos and progress metrics allow checking how your team is doing and see their engagement level in training. You can also ensure that everyone has seen an important material. Delivering new information in small portions will help your sales representative to retain the information for a long time.
  • Use metrics. The best way to improve your sales staff is to identify weak points and provide additional training where and when it is needed. Metrics could help to efficiently identify the weak points of your sales representative. Hopefully, you already have some key sales metrics that let you get an insight into every sales persons’ performance. If not, you should introduce a tracking system immediately. Fileboard is one of the great tools out there (check out team activity overview report here). Metrics are measurable aspects of your sales process: number of calls made, appointments set, conversion rate. Tracking will let you see where exactly your sales person is struggling and thus you will know what skills should be improved. Even though, customizing an inside sales training program is the best, it can also be outside of the company’s budget. In such case, chose the skills that are the most important to your company or most people are struggling with.
  • Ask questions instead of stating facts. Coaching won’t be efficient if the salesperson does not realize he has a problem. Salesperson who blames his performance on outside factors won’t take couching seriously. Guide them into realizing it for themselves by asking questions: “What is your process?”, “Where are you usually stuck?”, “What exactly do you say?”. It is better than telling what your sales representatives are doing wrong and cramming it down their throats.

 

Interested to now more about effective inside sales training and inside sales skills? Read related Fileboard blogs:

Inside Sales and Digital Body Language
10 Sales Presentation Disasters to Avoid
Improve your Sales Performance using Lead Scoring

Hopefully Fileboard helped you to plan your inside sales training!

(Illustration source: www.salestrainingonline.com)