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5 Ways to Boost Inside Sales Training Reinforcement


With the release of AG Salesworks’ new guide The Inside Sales Manager’s Guide to Sales Team Training featuring Josiane Feigon of TeleSmart, AG has learned that training is not just about the event. It’s a process that has to be perfected during, before, and after that event. The following is a redactment from our new guide. For more advice, please download The Inside Sales Manager’s Guide to Sales Team Training.

Sales training never ends: the initial training week is just the beginning. The most effective B2B sales firms are 22% more likely (more than one in five) than all other sales firms to reinforce training at least once each quarter, according to Aberdeen Group. Companies that carry out post-training reinforcement see 20% more salespeople achieve sales quotas.

The best way to keep your training momentum going is to start reinforcing the training immediately. Inside sales reps should be able to demonstrate that they understand what they’ve been taught. They need to reassure you in some way that they are following up on your suggestions and are putting them into action.

Training has to be fluid. As their manager, you can oversee the entire process and adjust the training initiatives moving forward. As their coach, you can oversee each individual inside sales rep to assess which skills need to be developed over time.  

Here are a few ideas to help you measure their progress:

1. Call Shadowing Partnerships.

We don’t want cookie-cutter teleprospectors. Everyone’s got a personality, and we want that personality to show on the phone. With more comfort and confidence, new inside sales reps may be able to find that qualified opportunity. A popular peer-to-peer training practice is call shadowing, where new inside sales reps listen in on calls while seasoned inside sales reps exchange messaging tactics. Designate each new sales rep to partner up with a fellow sales rep and listen to an hour of each other's calls. Then, have them recap three "learning points" from their peer’s approach and messaging. Remember, though, that peer-to-peer training shouldn’t be limited to your top sales reps. Call shadowing should be done across the board so new inside sales reps can learn from everyone’s different style on the phone and then develop their own.

2. Role Playing.

The only way to really know that an inside sales rep will incorporate your suggestions is to test them on a fake sales call. Role plays are daunting for new inside sales reps, and it doesn’t help that some managers strive to make the role playing process as challenging as possible. To curb that dread, let your new rep prepare for the role play. Make sure that the more challenging role plays are conducted later in the training process. What should you look for in sales role plays? Look for confidence in the interaction. You can’t teach confidence, but you can coach your reps on everything else.

3. Mock Calling.

This training technique expands on the traditional role play and gives inside sales reps a much better sense of what a normal day of calling looks like. The mock calling scenario mirrors the process of navigating a company’s architecture and qualifying the correct prospect.  

Give new reps the contact information for five mock prospects from the same company (calling these people will lead them to different people throughout your own organization, playing different roles). Their goal is to navigate through the organization chart to find the “Contact Identified” or the decision-maker. Once they get the decision-maker live, have them give a high-level overview, handle basic objections, qualify the prospect, and set up a next-steps engagement.

4. Practice Call Recording.

If you are a manager who doesn’t have time to sit down with each inside sales rep on your team but still wants to monitor calls, consider implementing call recordings. After creating the necessary legal disclaimers, call recording can be immensely helpful for inside sales reps. They are in charge of choosing which calls to record, and that call can then be shared with the manager or with the entire team. Inside sales managers can ensure messaging is standardized and inside sales reps are handling objections well by listening to call recordings.

5. Build an Audio Library.

Organize these call recordings into an audio library of best practices for your inside sales team. Using audio reinforcement in your training can shorten your ramp-up time for new hires. While waiting to call shadow a fellow team member, inside sales reps can download sample pre-recorded calls and observe smart sales skills.

  The Inside Sales Manager's Guide to Sales Team Training

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About the Author   |   Allison Tetreault

Allison Tetreault is the Marketing Content Coordinator at AG Salesworks. She writes, designs and promotes new marketing content every month, monitors and produces updates for social media networks, gathers important data for marketing and sales efforts, and maximizes the potential of content marketing efforts.

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