No sales skills? Professional sales training to the rescue!
Build your skills before diving into a sales career.
Sales is one of those careers you can get into no matter what your background. You don’t need formal education or even specific sales experience. But you can’t jump in without any knowledge of the industry, either! According to HubSpot, 74% of sales reps don’t have a clue what they’re doing. Only 6% are “elite” -- in other words, amazing at what they do.
Want to be in that category? Start with a sales skills training program. Enrolling in training will put you miles ahead of that sales candidate who thinks he’s Mr. Businessman because he had a lemonade stand when he was a kid.
(Yeah, you know. That guy.)
To prepare you for success, sales training should coach you in these seven key areas. 1) Familiarity with the Daily Timeline
What is a typical “day in the life” of a salesperson? Will you even like the job once you get it?
Basic sales training walks you through a typical daily routine to answer those questions. By the time you’re done with the program, you’ll know:
What an employer expects in terms of metrics and deadlines
Who on the team you’ll meet with and how often
What the culture is like and how to adapt
How to conduct client meetings on the phone, through video chat and in person
How to set and stick to a daily work schedule
Novice salespeople tend to struggle with time and activity management in particular. You’ll be better prepared to settle into a routine if you can anticipate the structure of your days right from the start.
2) Mastering Basic Sales Processes
Since you’ll spend most of your time in a sales rep job moving prospects through the sales funnel, you need to know what that is and how companies typically track progression through it. Your sales training should teach you the stages of the sales funnel and how to understand the mindsets of customers at each stage.
Sales methodologies -- like SPIN, N.E.A.T. and the Challenger Sale -- are key in this process. Although methodologies differ in structure and execution, basic sales principles are at the core of them all. Successful sales reps know how to ask the right questions, provide solutions and build trust through relationships. Mastering the nuances of methodologies will help you choose the right frameworks for specific situations.
3) Applying Processes on the Job Once you learn, you need to apply your knowledge! You’ll be no good as a sales rep if you sit there with your head full of methodologies and don’t actually take action. Training in sales shows you how to:
Do effective cold outreach via phone and email
Communicate the value of a product or service
Give compelling demonstrations
Write captivating proposals
Follow up at the right time
Close deals (again and again!)
Onboard customers to ensure their success
Don’t worry if it seems overwhelming at first. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice during training and hone your skills with real prospects and clients on the job.
4) Making Friends with Sales Tools and Resources
Sales skills training helps you learn your way around tech tools.
Thanks to technology, sales is a much easier job than it used to be. (Seriously. Take a moment to say “THANK YOU” to tech!) A basic sales training course teaches the ins and outs of common CRM platforms and shows you how to use customer data to make sales conversations more effective. You’ll also get the hang of other sales platforms, integrations and automation options.
Learning to automate is life changing. If you go into a sales job with an understanding of how to set up workflows for prospecting, reaching out and following up, you’ll be rocking it with efficiency from day one.
Of course, automated workflows aren’t worth much without data. That’s where analytics tools come in--arguably the most important resource available to sales reps. Data informs the interactions you have with prospects and increases your chances of moving them through the funnel to become customers. And it keeps you from wasting time on tactics that aren’t working, making you even more efficient. Score!
5) Learning to Deal with People (Courteously)
PSA right here: If you don’t like people, don’t become a sales rep! Even the most fantastic sales training can’t magically transform you into a “people person.”
Listen to hear, understand and develop empathy with prospects
Understand and overcome prospects’ objections
Know when a customer is a “good fit” for a company
Get over the fear of quoting realistic prices
Recognize if and when negotiation is appropriate
Look for a sales course that offers opportunities to learn these skills in realistic scenarios. Challenges, hands-on activities and role playing will get you ready to ace calls on the job.
6) Adopting a Sales State of Mind
Mindset powers everything.
Think about it: Why do you want to work in sales? Your answer is going to be the backbone of everything you do as a sales rep.
When you have a real why that goes beyond getting a paycheck, you can approach your job with intention and confidence. Prospects -- and bosses -- can tell the difference between sales reps who love what they do and really make an effort to solve problems and those who watch the clock all day, counting the minutes until they can go home and veg out with a Hulu series.
Any good sales skills training course should show you how to overcome negative or limiting thought patterns, see the opportunities in every situation and start to have fun with sales.
...Wait a minute, fun? Sales can be fun??
You bet. Just take a look at this guy:
A sales skills training program should be fun!
He’s discovered one of the most important secrets to the sales mindset: You can, and should, enjoy your job. And speaking of fun, there’s one more essential element in sales training...
7) Embracing the Fun of a Sales Career
Basic sales training can be a little dry at times -- but the course you take doesn’t have to be. If you’re going to learn the right sales mindset and how to really love what you’re doing, you need to start out in an engaging, supportive environment.
How do you find a course like that? Do your research. Read reviews. See what alumni are saying on social media -- or even better, what the people who run the course are saying and doing. Are they engaged? Is there a supportive community you can take part in if you sign up? Make sure you’ll be able to get in touch with someone if you need help or have questions as you move through the curriculum.
Use this list as a guide in your search for sales skills training. A high-quality course will get you ready to enter a sales position with a well-rounded skill set so that you can ace your job from day one.