Let’s face it, training salespeople can be downright difficult sometimes. A first step to make this area less difficult can be to look at some of the contributing factors. Having this knowledge will help you to take the right steps to improve your training processes.
1. There is so much information you need to share with them.
The first thing that makes it difficult is that there is usually a ton of information and knowledge that you need to get transferred over to them.
There is product information, company information, industry information, internal processes, and more. There may also be some sales training techniques or methodologies that you might want to get them using.
Regardless of your business or industry, this is a lot of information. This is where the metaphor of spraying new hires with a firehose of information usually fits well.
Advice: One thing to keep in mind when training salespeople is that the human brain is like a sponge. It can only absorb so much new info. Try to break down all this knowledge that you need to transfer and try to share it in smaller chunks over a longer period of time.
2. There are so many different situations.
Another thing that makes training salespeople difficult is that there are so many different situations that a new salesperson may go through. For example, think about all of the different ways a prospect may react during conversations in terms of responses, questions, or objections.
It is fairly difficult to train someone what to do in all of the different situations that they may encounter. And while no one would expect you to do this, having a new sales hire that is unprepared when interacting with a prospect will directly impact their effectiveness.
Advice: You can provide your salespeople with some very simple tools that will help them to be much more prepared. If you simply give them some playbook tools like call scripts, a list of key questions to ask, and objection responses, you will greatly shorten the amount of time that it takes the salesperson to get ramped up.
3. Time is limited.
One of the biggest factors that makes training salespeople difficult is that time is limited. Not only is the amount of time limited for the person providing training to new sales hires, but you also need to get the salesperson either on the phone or out in the field producing.
Advice #1: To help to minimize the time investment for the trainer, try to automate as much of your new hire sales training process as much as you can. Do this by using recorded training models and elearning tools that the new hire can go through on their own without requiring a time investment from a trainer.
Advice #2: To deal with the time urgency to get the salesperson producing, spread out the training so that you have them go through a core training program that provides the bare minimum amount of information that they need before getting to work.
Then sprinkle in all of the additional training along the way as they are working in their role. This is also a good way of training salespeople because they will be able to connect all of the concepts in the training materials to real experiences that they are gaining on the job.