Not all sales training is the same. Especially when you are expected to create, as well as teach it to your own sales team.
The first time I had to create sales training content and teach it to our sales team, I was terrified. To begin, I had never done anything like it before. I had no clue where to start!
Learning From The Ground Up
My first few months of sales training weren’t complete disasters, there was a lot that I learned during that time. But I’m also very fortunate to have had countless hours of conversations about sales training from one of the best in the industry, Sean Ream.
During those talks, he taught me two questions to ask myself before and after every lesson:
- What is the goal of the lesson?
- What did the sales team actually learn?
At the beginning of my time as a sales trainer for our club, I’d be aimlessly wandering in my training pieces because I thought the more content I had, the more credible I’d present myself. When I started to heed Sean’s advice I got more focused in my approach to training.
Develop Goals Before Creating Content
Before I set out to generate new sales training content, I wrote out the goal that I wanted to accomplish with the lesson. From there, anything and everything that goes into the content should be centered on accomplishing that goal. If the information doesn’t pertain to the goal that I wrote out for myself, I cut it out. By focusing in on a specific goal I was able to be more effective with my time, more impactful in my training, and rid the training of useless jargon that could potentially confuse sales reps.
Training The Trainer Works
When I’m done with a sales training session I like to go around the room and ask what each person’s key takeaway from the lesson was. This step is important to me because it provides me with direct feedback on how effective I am at communicating with the group. As an example, my lesson notes look something similar to this:
Goal of lesson: Show importance of open-ended questions vs. closed-ended questions.
Get Key Takeaways From Each Trainee
Rep #1: Closed-ended questions start with did, do, are.
Rep #2: Taking notes on the call is important
Rep #3: Listening is vital to the sales conversation
Rep #4: Gain more information with open-ended questions
While these takeaways are all vital to learning sales, the goal of the lesson was accomplished for only half of the reps mentioned above. If the majority of your group’s key takeaways aren’t in line with the goal you had wanted to accomplish, it is vital to tweak the lesson for the next time around. Changing the delivery, editing, deleting, or adding more to the session is all a part of the tweaks that can be made to help the sales trainer be more impactful the next time around.
Creating a goal followed up by asking for key takeaways is important for a sales trainer’s development. As soon as I started to do these activities before and after every session I found myself improving much quicker than I expected. If you’re not already doing something similar to this, I highly recommend giving it a try. It worked for me and I’m confident it will work for you too!