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How To Avoid Mistakes During The Sales Training Process


I recently came across the question “Sales Training “worst practices”: What are some of the biggest mistakes made in sales training?” on, and I thought the points made in each answer were excellent, and I couldn’t agree more with what was said about the mistakes made during the sales training process. What some of the comments didn’t address was how to avoid the mistakes from happening. I think it really comes down to putting the necessary processes in place to stop mistakes from happening from the get go of sales training.

The article talked a lot about having a sales process in place to begin with. Without this, your new reps will be lost and confused, especially if they haven’t had a lot of previous experience. The best way to explain this is to use a real life example – I worked at a company where the first week of training was listening in on cold calls all day long without any sales strategy training at all. This would be similar to a sales rep in the pharmaceutical industry who shadowed another rep in the field all day without talking about the best sales strategies to use when selling to doctors. Ways to avoid this mistake from happening is to put together an hour by hour training schedule that includes training on a variety of topics, and not just participating in ride-alongs, or listening to a rep make cold calls all day. That said, it’s important to make sure each call training session incorporates a topic that you have already trained them on. For instance, the hour by hour training schedule might look something like this:

      Day 1:

    9-10am: Training Session One – Workshop on Developing Voicemail Messaging

    10-11am: Listening in on calls with senior rep, focusing on Effective Voicemail Strategies

    11-12pm:  Training Session Two – Workshop on Developing Email Messaging

    12-1pm: Listening in on calls with senior rep, observing effective email techniques

    1-3pm: Intro to product and pain points product addresses

    3-4pm: Intro to CRM system

    4-5pm: Listening in on calls with senior rep on products covered above while they have the new rep drive the CRM system 

Another focus in the article addressed the idea of not fostering a culture of continual training. Once you have nailed down a successful first week of training with your new rep, your work is not done. It’s important to make sure you are reinforcing everything that was learned throughout the first week of training. Ways to reinforce this is to listen in on calls with your new rep once they get on the phone (or road) and audit emails they are sending  through your CRM. What has been most successful for the continual training of our reps has been the development of a brand new training position here at the company; We now have a training expert whose focus is to improve the performance of each inside rep weekly through call training sessions and other effective training workshops.

The last point I wanted to address was a quote that was made about “hiring new sales reps and calling the first two weeks of their employment "sales training" when all you really did was train them on the product.” This really sums up my thoughts about sales training and what I have talked about in this blog. If you are solely focusing on one area during your training, such as product training, you really aren’t helping your new rep at all. There are many components to a successful sales training process, and focusing on a product’s features and benefits alone is not going to get you there. Remember to incorporate not just product knowledge into your training, but also multiple sales strategy workshops and CRM training as well.

Sales Training “worst practices”: What are some of the biggest mistakes made in sales training?” shares great ways to avoid mistakes during the sales training process and I suggest that anyone in a sales management role should check it out!


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