The next time that you are recruiting sales staff to fill an important sales job, just spare a few moments to look at your proposition through the eyes of a candidate.
Increasingly, these days, one of the main subjects of interest is the way in which you develop your sales staff over time. Are the good prospects for advancement if performance is good?, is the salary/commission package fair and inspiring, and, more and more, is there regular product and sales training?
Product knowledge and sales training are often confused. Almost everyone in the organisation, to some extent, needs some product knowledge and some of course need in-depth knowledge of the products you sell. Salespeople need to be able to answer customer’s questions up to a point and to have a support structure in place if they are asked very technical or complex questions.
That is product knowledge and most salespeople will acquire a good deal of it as they go on.
Sales training, however, is something quite different. Yes, of course your sales force need to know the product but they do not necessarily need to be experts if you have a good sales support team in place who can provide answers to those slightly stickier questions.
What the salesperson does need is how to position your products when approaching a prospect, where you stand in relation to your competitors and their products, unique selling points, (USPs) and so on.
Then there are the sales skills themselves which are also the focus of a lot of sales training, for example:
• How much discount can they give or need to give in order to compete with main competitors?
• Upselling and cross selling – what are the available options?
• Selling add-on and incremental products & services, e.g. maintenance contracts, warranties, etc.
• What are the benefits to the customer of buying your new product, what problems is it going to solve for them?
These are typical elements of a sales training program for any organisation with a dynamic product range and should be made available to all sales people on a regular basis, either as part of an induction for a new employee or as a top-up course for existing salespeople.
Sales is a profession just like any other and those who work within it, on the whole, take their level of professionalism very seriously. Those organisations that provide ongoing training for all of their staff, not just sales staff, will find that attrition rates are lower and performance is higher.
As the UK’s leading specialist sales recruitment agency, Aaron Wallis provides an impressive array of sales training material on our website so if you are looking for a sales job, or an employer seeking to find someone to fill a sales job – take a look at what Aaron Wallis has to offer when it comes to sales training.