Most business leaders know that an effective sales team can be one of the most important assets they have. After all, your sales team are the key people responsible for helping your company capture and convert leads, creating revenue and profit.
However, even if you hire the perfect experts for your company, already equipped with many of the skills they need, you’ll still need to invest in training and upskilling your staff over time. This is particularly true in the world of enterprise sales, where the sales cycle is often longer, more complicated, and packed with potential pitfalls.
Learning how to conduct sales training effectively for an enterprise sales team is crucial to increasing long-term growth. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Sales training comes in many forms, with different benefits, training materials, and learning styles to explore. Enterprise sales training is a specific type of educational initiative, designed to empower professionals committed to enterprise selling.
Enterprise sales are a little different to standard sales. They focus on the B2B market, where sales professionals need to know how to do a lot more than just pitch products or services. Because enterprise sales involve high-investment purchases, they typically have longer sales cycles, and require the sales team to interact with more stakeholders.
With an enterprise sales training process, business leaders can begin to hone the essential sales skills that matter most in the B2B landscape. Companies can teach employees about:
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to building a training program for enterprise sales. The strategy you use to educate your team will depend on a number of factors, including the specific salespeople you’re training (such as sales managers or account managers), and their learning styles.
Training sessions can cover everything from simulations of the sales process, to resource based training, where employees access and use documents and books to guide them.
Some of the most common types of enterprise sales training options include:
The best enterprise sales training program will empower teams to accomplish more in their roles. It should cover every core skill your employees need to develop, and ensure your team members can constantly evolve in terms of productivity and performance.
While the training experience can vary from one business to the next, there are steps companies can take to build a more effective program, such as:
The first step in building a training program for enterprise sales, is deciding what kind of skills your employees are going to need to thrive in their roles. Enterprise sales training can cover both soft and technical training. From a technical perspective, you may need to teach staff members how to use CRM tools, analytical systems, and sales management platforms.
From a soft skill perspective, you might need to invest in training related to leadership, communication, sales strategy, and active listening. Remember, different members of staff throughout your team might have different training requirements.
Sales training in all of its forms is often more effective when students are working towards clear, definable goals. With this in mind, it’s worth thinking about what you want each of your training sessions to accomplish. If you’re trying to improve the ability of your account executives to build rapport with customers, for instance, you might focus on soft skill training.
If you want employees to use new strategies in their approach to enterprise selling, you might focus on role playing and simulations. Make sure you have a way of monitoring the outcomes of your training initiatives, by identifying the KPIs and metrics you want to monitor in advance.
As mentioned above, different sales reps and professionals will learn in different ways. Some people perform best when they’re given access to training resources they can use in their own time, such as online videos and certification programs. Others thrive in a collaborative learning space.
Before you start building your employee training program, assess the learning styles of your employees, their backgrounds, and their specific needs. You can then plan your curriculum with a focus on engaging your staff, and making the most of their available time. Consider various training formats, from in-person education, to gamified training and online courses.
Based on your knowledge of your goals and your employees’ learning styles, you can begin to look into the materials and tools you can use to upskill and reskill agents. You might decide to purchase books and online modules for your employees, or you might create your own resources from scratch.
In many cases, delivering excellent enterprise sales training will require some collaboration, either with other educators or agencies. You might need to hire a professional to run a course, pay for your staff members to attend a training event, or access help with designing course materials.
The most important thing to remember with enterprise sales training, is the work isn’t over once you’ve delivered your training resources. The only way to know for certain if your training strategy is having a positive impact on your team, is to assess the data.
Don’t just look at whether your metrics for sales and customer retention have improved. Speak to your employees and ask for their insights on which training methods work best. Ask for their advice on how to improve training initiatives, and implement their suggestions when possible.
Enterprise sales is a slightly more complicated area of sales than most. If you want your employees to thrive in this high-octane and competitive landscape, then you need to empower them with the right training. This doesn’t just mean investing in educational resources once.
As sales processes and the business environment change, you’ll need to constantly find new ways to upskill, and reskill your teams.
The good news is the right enterprise sales training strategy can have a huge impact on your business results, increasing customer loyalty, revenue, and profitability.
Stay on the cutting edge of enterprise sales training with a community dedicated to empowering the next generation of sellers. Join the Hard Skill Exchange today!