52 Ideas for Sales Team Training Sessions Lead by Sales Reps

By September 21, 2016Sales
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This post is directed towards sales managers who want to run sales training session and struggle to find enough ideas to run sales training sessions. If you’re a sales manager who’s ‘top of the mind challenge’ is how to make your C-class players perform and execute deals like top A-class performers, then read on.

(in fact bookmark it to keep this post handy for next 52 weeks. You’re gonna need it again)

The idea of this post was inspired by Thao Nguyen, whom I met at Applause. He had started conducting weekly team learning sessions, to enable reps from his fast-growing sales team. But, after an initial buzz, these sessions fizzled out because he ran out of fresh ideas for these sessions.

Argh! And we’ve all seen how this train of sales enablement de-rails without a follow-through plan. And that plan sometimes is difficult to create.

This is where this post comes in!

52 ideas for sales team training sessions.

If you run weekly meetings this should cover a whole year! We got a ground to cover, so let’s get cracking!

Before we begin, I recommend pick & choose training tracks based on what is practical, immediately relevant and actionable. So make your trainings more sales rep’s experience-driven rather than theoretical.

How?

Initiate weekly learning and sharing session- led only by a sales rep, for sales reps. So you, as a sales manager, gets to take a back seat. If getting your C-category players to perform like A-class one is on top of your mind, this is the single most effective way to run sales trainings.

Instructions for running Team Learning & Sharing Sessions.

A well thought out sales training session should be no longer than 60 minutes. Attention span decreases if it the meeting takes longer than 58 minutes. But to have a proper team learning and sharing session, you have to select a topic and a sales rep responsible for that topic at least 1 week before the meeting.

Another factor to bear in mind is to allow some wiggle room if needed, but this practice should be taken seriously as it overall improves their competencies in the long run. A good practice is to gIve a leading rep 1 to 2 hours to prepare.

Now prior the meeting starts and you give a stage to the rep, you should share an agenda and format of the learning session. Later, when sales reps get used to these meetings only an agenda is needed.

The meeting should consist of open dialogue parts where discussion emerges from sales reps. It could be that they share their own experiences on the given topic, best practices or ask questions. However, it is important to let sales reps run the session. Don’t force the “question time”, but if you have a question – ask the presenter. This could be a so needed spark to create a discussion.

Also, if you see the need to extend the topic for more than 1 session, do that! As a sales (enablement) manager, your job is to make your reps job more interesting too. So, adapt to the situation and select topics that are relevant to them at the same time.

Topic Ideas

Prospecting

  1. Building rapport during a first call
  2. Time allocation for cold calls, emails & social prospecting
  3. Prospecting email: things you must not forget to mention
  4. Questions to disqualify non-buyers early
  5. Tools to make prospective more effective
  6. Walk-through of big opportunity from multi-touch contact
  7. Call shadowing: The call that worked & the call that did not
  8. Marketing content to spark curiosity. What works and what doesn’t.

Sales Discovery

  1. Trigger events for most qualified opportunities.
  2. Most effective sales questions. What was the outcome?
  3. Last 3 deals. How did you identify & connect with them
  4. Roleplay. 3 things to get past gatekeepers
  5. Opening up the prospect to discuss more
  6. Difficult questions that you must ask your prospect
  7. Discovery call prep: how to structure for maximum results
  8. The power of “Why?” How to leverage answers to find a pain point.

the ultimate sales playbook 2017

Objections Handling

  1. 3 Objections you faced in the last 3 deals
  2. Competition review: what have you learned about competition from prospects last month?
  3. Role-play: Common objections & how to handle them
  4. How to show value to battle objections

Presentations

  1. Tricks & tactics to build rapport with CXOs in first 5 minutes.
  2. My presentation disasters and how to avoid them
  3. How do you make sure your demos don’t delay your sales cycle?
  4. Practice makes perfect: Pitch for the demo/corporate presentation
  5. Non-verbal communications to assess prospects’ alignment
  6. Customer storytelling: How to draw relevance & spark curiosity
  7. Custom presentations: How I make a standard presentation more relevant to my prospects

Relationship Building

  1. Do’s and don’ts during a first meeting
  2. Build key contacts, leverage multiple contacts and move the deal.
  3. Complex decision-making process at the last big win
  4. What works during a company networking or a tradeshow event?

Need help in structuring your sales training session for reps?

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Closing the Deal

  1. Identifying a real competitor & competition-specific training
  2. 2 things to do for the highest impact on high close rates
  3. Handling unexpected last minute requests for discounts
  4. Power play in an account to win the deal
  5. Last 3 deals that got pushed and how it could’ve been avoided?
  6. Building a closing plan with a customer

Referrals

  1. A straightforward way to improve the LinkedIn profile and build social media presence.
  2. Give & Get Tactic to build referrals
  3. Perfect referral templates that worked for you

Customer Connectedness & Account Management

  1. Focusing on customers more than yourself – Tell us your examples
  2. Planning and dealing with strategic accounts
  3. Plan for success: Acquiring top 10 accounts this year
  4. How to stay in touch with active accounts & cross / up-sell
  5. Time efficient tips to drive customer engagement

Productivity & Self-learning

  1. Staying on top of emails & follow ups
  2. How to structure your day/week/month for max productivity
  3. Best practices of Salesforce Usage to increase productivity
  4. Productivity hacks to save X hours/week
  5. Structuring day outside work to stay healthy and positive
  6. Emotional intelligence: how to be on top of sales game with EQ?
  7. Big idea from sales book you’ve read recently

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by Deepanker Dua

Deep is the chief sales scientist at SalesChakra. As he experiments with sales acceleration at tech startups, he documents his learnings through this blog. An avid traveller, he has lived selling disruptive technologies in 4 continents, and speaks 5 international languages. Connect with him on Twitter @askdeepr and LinkedIn.