December 6, 2016

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Having a well-trained sales team is integral to the success of your company, and thus should be a major focus of your work.

Unfortunately, sometimes your efforts are not fruitful and you find your sales team not reaching their full potential.

If you have noticed a dip in your team’s performance lately, it could be because your sales training is ineffective or even…downright boring.

And there is nothing worse than trying to train a group of individuals who do not connect with your training strategies.

 

How You May Be Leading Your Sales Team to Count Sheep Instead of Sales

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In a moment, we will discuss what you can do to wake your team up, keep them engaged and on the path to success (and more sales).

But first, we will go over some reasons why your sales training techniques may be putting your salespeople to sleep.

 

1. Your training content is boring

At one point, you have probably been through a training session that was so dull that you would have found watching paint dry to be more entertaining.

Well, hopefully you are not inflicting that kind of suffering on your own sales team, because even great intentions (such as improving your sales team’s performance) can result in something that is dull or uninspired.

How can you make your training more engaging?

Well there are a few things you can do such as:

Over-preparing for the training. It would be nice if you could just wake up, step into the meeting room, say a few motivational words and then have your team achieve all of their sales goals.
Although that may work in the movies, unfortunately, it does not work like that in real life.

In order to avoid turning your meeting room into a snooze fest, you will need to come prepared with:

  • Genuine interest (if not excitement) about your training
  • A few key points that you want to get across
  • A sense of timing (as in, keep things as brief as possible)

 

Creating customized content. Your sales team is likely diverse, meaning they learn through different methods and encounter varying sales scenarios every day.

With that said, try coming up with a few different examples of sales situations, or ask your team for suggestions if you want to make the examples more relevant to them.

From there you can go through each scenario step by step, and show your reps how they can improve and close sales more effectively.

 

Using a personal story. When you tie your training to personal events that have happened in your life (or someone else’s), your sales team may become more engaged with what you are saying.

Why is that?

It turns out that when you tell a story, you are able to plant ideas, thoughts and emotions into the minds of your listeners.

Now that does not mean you always have to make everything into a long-winded story about your life.

However, it does show you the power of making training material more relatable to your sales team.

If you have interesting content, but you are still not keeping your team’s attention, another problem could be…

 

2. You are not that enthusiastic

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A lack of enthusiasm can seriously hamper your training because your audience will usually respond to your mood and behavior while you speak to them.

You do not have to have a cheerleader-like level of enthusiasm by any means, but you do need to show more spirit than Ben Stein in a Clear Eyes commercial in order to draw and retain the attention of your sales reps.

How can you accomplish this?

First, focus on today. Your mind may be ready for the weekend or that upcoming vacation in the Bahamas, but staying in the present will give you the focus to put more spirit into the training.

Second, try to smile or look happy. You do not need to paste a disingenuous or uncomfortable smile on your face, but a pleasant disposition can go a long way with keeping your team engaged.

Why is that?

Because according to psychology, people tend to respond to those who smile more positively than those who do not.

In addition, smiling increases trust and can even help your team bond together.

Last, try to genuinely get excited about your training session. It may seem like another day in the office, but keep in mind that:

  • You have (hopefully) put a great deal of time and effort into your training
  • You are leading and training a group of individuals who want to learn from you
  • You all have a shared goal of making more sales, more money and growing your business together

If you are not excited about all of this, then your team will notice and respond accordingly.

But even if you are excited about taking your team to a whole new level, your training may still falter if…

 

3. Your team does not feel involved

Ben Franklin said it best, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

This is especially important if you want to keep your sales team engaged during training.

In order to allow your team to feel involved, you will want to try out several ideas and activities they can participate in, including:

  • Listening to live or recorded sales calls as a group
  • Basic Q&A sessions
  • Roleplaying as a salesperson and as a customer
  • Collaborative brainstorming on how to handle sales scenarios
  • Training games and exercises

Whichever activities you include in your training sessions, make sure to keep in mind that the activities are just a means to an end, and they should not overshadow the lessons you are trying to teach.

Another effective way to keep your sales reps engaged is by having them write down their daily goals at the end of the meeting. That way, when they return to work, they will feel more committed to accomplishing those goals before the end of the day.

If you have followed the steps above and you are still not getting positive results, then it is possible that…

 

4. You do not encourage your team enough

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For many sales reps, speaking up during training meetings and appearing foolish can be a concern.

Thus, it is very important that you encourage your team to speak to you about anything and everything they want to know regarding sales.

That way you can explain how you would handle certain situations and how you can help them improve for future sales calls.

Instead of simply talking for an extended period of time and then calling someone out to answer, encourage your team to ask questions and initiate group discussions.

In addition, show your genuine approval and congratulate those who do have the courage and curiosity to ask questions and continue learning.

Why is acknowledging their curiosity beneficial?

Praising your team members for asking questions is valuable to you because actions that are rewarded are more likely to be repeated by the other members of your sales team.

 

Final thoughts

Overall, you need more than just great sales training tips to keep your team engaged.

You need to be able to stay enthusiastic and get your sales reps involved in order to keep their interest.

Fortunately, if you avoid some common training mistakes and follow the steps above, you can keep your team engaged and excited for your next training session.