The Benefits of Sales Training
Published November 23, 2021
Last updated November 23, 2021
When you invest in sales training courses, you can expect to see a tangible benefit. From increased productivity in your sales professionals to attracting new prospective clients, there are myriad benefits of sales training. It can be a big investment, though, so if you (or your C-suite) need convincing, we’ve outlined the advantages for you right here.
What is a sales training program?
Training can take many different forms, from teaching selling skills to sales enablement where you equip your sales reps with all the resources they need to succeed. Has your sales team hit a plateau where they’re running out of leads and failing to close deals? Have you recently taken new staff on board, or you want to equip your team members with the best sales techniques? No matter your situation, every team can benefit from training.
Why is it important?
The Zendesk Sales Trends Report 2021 reviews the ever-shifting sales landscape and the impact of the events of 2020 on sales teams. It found that 40% of sales leaders feel they need to be more responsive to the changing needs of prospects and customers as a result of the pandemic - and one of the best ways to do that is by equipping their team with improved sales skills.
And investing in training pays off. The LinkedIn State of Sales 2020 Report found that top-performing salespeople are more likely to spend time with their managers in training, and are also more likely (46% compared to 38%) to receive outside training.
So, what are the benefits?
See an increase in productivity
A study by Pace Productivity found that sales managers expect their staff to spend at least 50% of their time selling - but in reality, they only spend 22% of their time actively selling. The rest of their time is spent on other parts of the sales process such as admin, manual data entry, or researching prospects. Sales training - particularly in conjunction with the use of a sales CRM - can help to streamline these parts of the job, freeing up more time for reps to chase sales and close deals.
Enjoy increased revenue
It stands to reason that if you invest in sales management training, improving the skills of your team, that you’ll increase revenue by closing more or bigger deals. Accenture found that for every dollar invested by a company in training, they earned $4.53 in return, which equates to a return on investment of 353%.
But that’s not the only way that training contributes to your bottom line. One 2020 study found that when looking at high-growth companies and negative-growth companies side by side, sales training contributes not only to sales results but also to employee satisfaction, employee motivation, employee retention, company culture and enterprise agility - all of which have a direct impact on the bottom line.
Attract new clients
Sometimes, all your sales reps need is a bit of confidence. With training behind them and a clear sales strategy in mind, it can give them the push they need to reach out to bigger and better clients.
Teach your sales reps new skills
Sales training is crucial for trainees and juniors to learn basic selling skills, such as overcoming objections and closing deals. This helps them to follow a set methodology for selling rather than taking a haphazard approach.
Training can also teach new skills, such as consultative selling and negotiation skills. If you’ve never tried these approaches before, you might find that they’re just what you needed to attract new clients. Even if you’re refining existing skills rather than developing new ones, your team will gain the confidence to hone their tactics, seeking out new leads and closing more deals.
Motivate your sales reps
Sales staff are motivated by many different incentives, from travel vouchers to more paid time off. But one thing that’s often underrated as a way to motivate staff is training. Investing time and money into training that’s tailored to the needs of your staff can improve their job satisfaction, by helping them to understand how they fit into the company’s overall structure, mission and goals.
What’s more, equipping them with new skills can reinvigorate your sales staff, getting them excited to try out new techniques and outdo their previous sales performance.
Improve employee communication skills
Selling skills are, at their core, all about great communication. By refining these skills in your sales team, you’re equipping them with the ability to communicate better not only with prospects and customers, but also with their sales manager, other members of the team, and other departments in the business. Communication training that helps sales reps to be more empathetic, active listeners who can read body language well is a great investment that will set them up well, particularly if they’re at the start of their career.
Help your company adapt to changing markets
Over the past year, we’ve all had to make changes to the way we work, not least the shift to home and online working, and companies recognise the need to support their employees with this. The Zendesk Sales Trends Report 2021 found that 30% of mid-sized sales leaders say that investing in technology for a distributed workforce is one of their top priorities for 2021.
This could be anything from a CRM to help reps keep on top of leads to remote training - and one of the positive things to come out of the pandemic is that you can now take advantage of online communications, including training with experts from all over the world. Even better, one of the key benefits of online sales training is that it’s usually more cost-effective than in-person sessions whilst still teaching all the same valuable skills.
Improve employee understanding of your product
You can’t expect reps to sell a product if they don’t fully understand it - so any good sales training will equip the team with all they need to know, including all the features and benefits, and how your company can resolve prospects’ pain points.