Setting a high bar during sales training does not necessarily discourage new sales reps, as long as expectations are kept within a realistic range. On the contrary, it’s helpful to make your organization’s high standards clear to junior hires early on. Plus, it can be deeply encouraging for sales reps to know that each and every new hire can become a top performer if they put in the effort. Sales leaders, take a less cynical approach to sales training. Great sellers are not born, but made. With a strong sales training strategy and the best sales enablement tools by your side, you can elevate each sales rep’s performance and increase customer
Create an Ideal Sales Rep Profile
What does a successful sales rep look like? Just as sales teams create an ideal customer profile (ICP) to articulate the characteristics of the target buyer, it can be useful for teams to create an ideal rep profile (IRP) to help new reps better understand what they should be striving toward in order to regularly meet quota.
Defining an IRP for your team shouldn’t be an abstract exercise. Instead, sales leaders should look at the qualities shared by top performers. Ask yourself: what are the key traits shared by top performing sales reps, and how do these concrete characteristics help advance your team’s goals? Be sure that as a sales leader you understand this important link and are prepared to explain it to your team. If what your team should aim for is still unclear to you, then it will certainly be confusing for your new team members! An IRP will help the whole team stay on track and serve as a reminder of what attributes sales reps should grow to emulate, and which habits should be left at the door.
While the ideal rep profile will depend on your team’s particular sector and target buyer, an IRP should include a list of desirable attributes, personal development milestones, and performance goals. Here are some to keep in mind:
- Has a solid understanding of the organization’s sales enablement strategy
- Is an effortless and confident speaker, and does not rely on communication crutches
- Can communicate key information on the product with ease
- Has up-to-date market knowledge, understands the organization’s relative position
- Ready to address buyer objections, especially when it comes to competitors
Personal Development Milestones
- Efficient and timely completion of onboarding program
- Receives high marks on training evaluations
- Achieves required certificates and credentials
- Maximizes use of training resources
- Responsive to feedback, avoids repeating the same mistakes over and over again
- Becomes a team-player who actively participates in improving the training program
- Can consistently make sales quota
- Has above-average win rates
- Is more than comfortable closing sizeable deals
- Makes use of sales enablement content and contributes to its creation
Your IRP list should be reflective of your sales goals and incorporate metrics. So after you have successfully compiled an ideal sales rep profile, think about how your KPI’s will enter the equation to ensure you have a concrete way of measuring your sales reps’ progress and realizing your sales training goals.
Identify Gaps in Performance and Give Personalized Feedback
Communicating standards with your team is an important part of your sales training program. But that’s not to say that having a common ideal means taking the exact same training approach for all your sales reps. Learning is a very individual process, and different sales reps will have different needs and preferences. Harnessing the particular strengths and identifying the distinct weaknesses of your diverse team will require a tailored sales training program.
In today’s busy world, finding the right tools to assist you in scaling lessons quickly throughout a team will be key to running an efficient sales training program. Thanks to technological solutions like Attention, what used to take months of training to teach can now be achieved in only a few weeks. Attention uses Conversational Intelligence to measure individual sales reps’ performance over time, enabling sales leaders to methodically follow the progress of every member of the team. Thanks to Attention’s intelligent trackers like overall performance score, overall engagement, questions asked, and speak share, sales leaders and reps alike will have a better idea of where improvement is necessary. Attention goes even further by providing sales reps with live feedback, supplementing group lessons by giving them the personalized coaching needed to optimize their sales skills and become more confident sellers.
Provide sales reps with the resources they need to succeed post-training
Training is not a one-and-done situation, but rather should be understood as an ongoing process. As sales reps continue to gain experience, it’s important to equip them with the resources and mentorship they need to retain lessons from training and avoid slumping into old habits. One problem is that it can be overwhelming for new reps to remember all relevant market, product, and competitor information during calls with buyers. Sales battlecards are one useful way to condense relevant information into palatable pieces for quick-paced sales conversations. But how can you make sure sales reps are excited to use competitive battlecards, and know where to find them in the heat of the moment? Well, software like Attention uses voice-activated cues to pull up relevant sales battlecards on your reps’ screens to help them answer tricky questions on the spot. Using solutions like Attention helps alleviate the challenge of accessing difficult-to-find information during live sales exchanges, making it easier than ever for young sales reps to think on their feet and offer compelling, well-informed rebuttals.
Setting high and clear expectations from the start is beneficial to sales reps and sales leaders alike. Remember that creating a team of top performing sales reps begins with defining and communicating what it even means to be a top performer. Don’t forget to take a tailored approach to coaching with the help of technology, and be sure to provide sales reps with ample resources in the months that follow. Finally, ask for feedback from your team throughout the training program. Involving your sales reps will enrich your IRP criteria and help you adapt your training approach and toolkit as needed. Follow these key steps and you’ll be on track to produce a team of top-notch sellers in no time.