Sales training


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Sales training

  1. 1. Sales Training: Objectives,Techniques, and Evaluation Management of the Modern Sales Force Marketing 6228
  2. 2. Training InvestmentMark W. Johnston and Gary W. Marshall, Sales Force Management,McGraw Hill, 2006
  3. 3. Sales Training Issues Who should be trained? What should be the primary emphasis in the training program? How should the training process be structured? – on-the-job training and experience? – formal and more consistent centralized program? – web-based? – instructor-based?
  4. 4. Sales Training Objectives Increase productivity Improve morale Lower turnover Improve customer relations Improve selling skills
  5. 5. Obstacles to Introducing Training Top management not dedicated to sales training Lack of buy-in from frontline sales managers and salespeople Salespeople’s lack of understanding of what training is supposed to accomplish Salespeople’s lack of understanding regarding application of training to everyday tasks
  6. 6. Well-Designed Training Program Analyzes sales force needs Sets specific, realistic, and measurable training objectives Allows for adequate development and timely, effective implementation Subjects itself to evaluation and review – What do we want to measure? – When do we want to measure? – How do we do it? What measuring tools are available? Modifies to achieve greater effectiveness
  7. 7. Well-DesignedTrainingProgramMark W. Johnston and Gary W.Marshall, Sales Force Management,McGraw Hill, 2006
  8. 8. Recent Shifts in Training New Sales Recruits  Companies with less than $5 million in annual sales are spending more on sales training per new hire - $5,500 worth of training per salesperson.  Training in smaller companies has increased from 3.3 months to 4.4 months.  Smaller companies are placing more emphasis on training than several years ago.  Companies are spending time and money on training experienced salespeople  Companies with more than $5 million in annual sales, are spending less money on trainingSource: Christen P. Heide, Dartnell’s 30th Sales ForceCompensation Survey: (Chicago: Dartnell Corp., 1999)
  9. 9. Training Costs and DurationMark W. Johnston and Gary W. Marshall, Sales Force Management,McGraw Hill, 2006
  10. 10. Recent Shifts in Training Experienced Sales Personnel  Experienced sales reps are given, on average, 32.5 hours of ongoing training per year at a cost of $4,032 per rep  Continuing increasing amounts of training reflects a commitment to provide ongoing learning opportunities for senior salespeople  Companies are spending an increasing amount of time on product training and less on training in selling skillsSource: Christen P. Heide, Dartnell’s 30th Sales ForceCompensation Survey: (Chicago: Dartnell Corp., 1999)
  11. 11. Training Costs and Duration
  12. 12. Sales Training Topics Product or service knowledge Market/Industry orientation Company orientation Selling skills Time and territory management Legal and ethical issues Technology Specialized topics
  13. 13. Product Knowledge Enables a salesperson to provide prospects and customers with the critical information for rational decision-making Involves – Knowing how the product is made – How the product is commonly used, and – How it should not be used. Customers often want to know how competitive products compare on – price – construction – performance – compatibility with each other Companies that produce technical products spend a greater amount of time on product knowledge
  14. 14. Market/Industry Orientation Topics How a particular industry fits into the overall economy Knowledge of the industry and the economy Economic fluctuations that affect buying behavior and require adaptive selling techniques Customers buying policies, patterns and preferences in light of competition Customers customers and what satisfies them Needs of both wholesalers and retailers
  15. 15. Company Orientation Topics Company polices that affect their selling activities How to handle customer requests for price adjustments, product modifications, faster delivery and different credit terms Sales manuals that cover product line information and company polices A well-prepared sales manual gives a sales representative quick answers to a customers questions
  16. 16. Time and Territory Management Salestrainees need to learn to manage time and territories 80/20 rule applies: – 20% of the customers account for – 80% of the business and – Require a direct proportion of time and attention
  17. 17. Legal/Ethical Issues Federal law dictates corporate action or avoidance of action in areas of marketing, sales and pricing Sales personnel need to understand the federal, state and local laws that constrain their selling activities Statements made by salespeople carry both legal and ethical implications Lapses in ethical conduct often lead to legal problems
  18. 18. Technology Notebook computers – Presentations – connecting to company intranet or extranet – delivering documentation quickly and accurately Home offices eliminate the need to go to another office Salesperson can be almost totally self-sufficient with – high-speed network connection – computer – printer – cell phone Effective computer use affords sales personnel more face-to-face customer contact time
  19. 19. Specialized Training Topics Overcoming price objections Holdingthe line on price Working the trade show Problem solving
  20. 20. Training Methods - HowMark W. Johnston and Gary W. Marshall, Sales Force Management,McGraw Hill, 2006
  21. 21. Training Methods - WhereMark W. Johnston and Gary W. Marshall, Sales Force Management,McGraw Hill, 2006
  22. 22. Keys for Effective OJT Teaming - Bringing together people with different skills to address issues. Meetings - Setting aside times when employees at different levels and positions can get together and share thoughts on various topics. Customer interaction - Including customer feedback as part of the learning process. Mentoring - Providing an informal mechanism for new salespeople to interact and learn from more experienced ones. Peer-to-peer communication - Creating opportunities for salespeople to interact together for mutual learning.Source: The Education Development Center (
  23. 23. Classroom Training Trainee receives standard briefings in – product knowledge – company polices – customer and market characteristics – selling skills Formal training sessions avoid wasting executive time Classroom sessions permit use of audiovisual materials and technical resources Interaction between sales trainees builds camaraderie
  24. 24. Measuring the Costs and Benefits Salestraining consumes substantial time, budget and support resources Relationship between sales training and revenue is difficult to measure
  25. 25. Broad Benefits Improved morale Lower turnover Higher customer satisfaction Management’s commitment to quality and continuous improvement Measuring changes in skills, reactions and learning assists both new and experienced sales personnel
  26. 26. Training EvaluationMark W. Johnston and Gary W. Marshall, Sales Force Management,McGraw Hill, 2006
  27. 27. Training EvaluationMark W. Johnston and Gary W. Marshall, Sales Force Management,McGraw Hill, 2006
  28. 28. Key Terms sales training analysis on-the-job training (OJT) role-playing electronic training methods sales training costs