What are the different types of sales training?
Different types of sales training can be found everywhere. On the internet, everyone claims to be an internet. Sales training has changed over the years and will continue to change with the changes in our world. What are the different types of sales training? Today sales training is more about being a consultant, more of a Socratic method as opposed to years ago where there was more of a ‘features and benefits’ overview.
Let’s break down the most popular;
What is feature-benefit selling?
Feature-benefit selling is the process of helping prospective customers make connections between the features a product offers and the benefits they may enjoy from those features. Sounds simple enough. But, it isn’t. This method is used more often in selling a product as opposed to service but I have seen both attempt this process.
- Advantage – The ability to discuss what the actual product has (the components, speed, size, length of the guarantee, etc.) in comparison with what the advantage of those features is to the customer/client. It allows the salesperson to memorize or get very comfortable with these features and the benefits of using them so it is often simpler to train.
- Disadvantage – Because it is a bit cookie-cutter, it doesn’t open up the ability to ask many questions which helps the salesperson understand the issues of the client, and more importantly, the client often feels the “pitch” is very generic and not customized to them.
Does transactional selling work?
Transactional selling is typically done in a product-based selling environment. A physical product seems to be best sold by showing your product, feature/benefit selling.
Can you train sales in an orientation?
New employee orientation is often a popular way to train salespeople. The idea is when they are learning about the company, the products, etc. they learn about selling as well. This saves time. It allows to “kill two birds with one stone”. When orientation is completed, they will be trained on the products/services they will be selling as well as how.
- Advantage – It is efficient to train while they are already training in a New Employee Orientation. You have their undivided attention.
- Disadvantage – Since the training is often focused on the products or services and their features, the salespeople tend to “spew” that information without the proper needs analysis and questions that are important not only to truly find out the need and not assume it, it also gives the client that feeling of customization of why the product or service is right for them, not just anyone.
What makes a good sales training program?
Make sure everyone leaves training with a comprehensive understanding of your unique processes, including a preferred method of lead generation as well as up-selling and cross-selling and of course delivering a great customer experience once the deal is signed. Here are some things that are the most important parts of a successful sales training program;
- Researching and understanding the organization as best you can early on in the process is very important. Do your due diligence to understand the organization but most of all, to create great thought-provoking questions.
- Proper introduction whether they call you or you call them, it is important right upfront, not to create a feeling of pressure. Most people don’t truly know how to do that. It is that immediate impression that will keep them paying attention or not.
- Setting ground rules for the conversation is simple but powerful. This will differentiate you right away and help with credibility. Ground rules are what you want to say to let this prospect know why you are calling, how long you’ll take, that you’d like to ask a few questions and let them know the outcome could be a NO at the end.
- Based on what you’ve learned in your research, it is most important to create good, thought-provoking open-ended questions to engage dialog. Once you hear an answer that reveals some “pain”, do not sell, ask to talk more about that.
- Summarizing the conversation as you heard it is showing your prospect that you actually were listening to them! Make sure you have discussed a clear next step of the process if you can’t close here.
- Create and send a short recap email of what you have discovered and what was committed to by both of you (the time, agenda of the next meeting and goals for that conversation.
If you have these things, you will catapult your sales!