How to Train Your Sales Team on The 5 Most Essential Sales Skills:
Do you want to build a great sales team but don’t have any idea how? Read this👇🏽
There are two ways to build a great sales team
- Start working with people and take years to perfect a team combination that can achieve their targets month after month.
- If you don’t have the years then read this article to figure out what the three essentials needed to quickly build a rockstar sales team.
This means ignoring all the clutter and conventional wisdom and focusing only on the key elements that matter in quickly achieving this target.
How to train your sales team?
A great sales team is essentially two steps:
1. Hiring good salespeople
- You need to know what skills and qualities to look for in salespeople, and who to hire.
- With the right mindset, intent, tools, and execution you can hire the right salespeople really quickly and efficiently.
2. Training them
Essentially there are five key skills that every member of your team needs to master to quickly start presenting themselves as an expert.
This again can take years if you do it the conventional way but if you identify the essential elements of your sales process and train your team on that then you can quickly get them up to speed.
- How to open conversations.
- How to hold conversations.
- How to design follow-up templates that don’t suck.
- How to call with the right intent.
- How to listen and learn from samples of old successful calls.
Let’s look at each one in detail
Skill 1: How to open conversations:
If your sales team does not know this key skill this is what their everyday numbers look like
- Numbers dialed today: 200
- Connected: 130 calls
- Conversation > 60 Seconds: 15 calls.
That’s right! Out of 130 connected calls, only 15 people will talk for more than 1 minute
These numbers are so dismal that even computers calling your prospects can close more deals on IVR systems!
This is how most sales conversations go in India.
Salesman: Hello, am I speaking with Mr. Rahul?
Salesman: Hi sir, this is Varsha from Axis Bank! Do you want a credit card?
Varsha: OK sir when you need, you can save my number and give me a call!
Why on earth will I save the number of a completely random salesperson just because she said so?
Once your salespeople know how to effectively open conversations then this is how their daily numbers look like
- Numbers dialed today: 200
- Connected: 130 calls
- Conversation > 60 Seconds: 60 calls.
Actually opening conversations can be really easy with just a little bit of effort.
- Don’t start with the common template that people already hate.
- Don’t be confused.
- Spend a little bit of time researching the customer before the call.
- Instead of starting with an offer ask them if they have a problem: I see that you are an axis bank user, are you facing any issues right now?
Even if the user does not have a problem right on top of his head it will give you a soft start and you can actually hold the conversation after that!
- Respect their time and privacy and understand that some people will be pissed off no matter what.
Read the detailed article on this: 20 Killer Sales Call Opening Scripts for Every Industry to Ace Sales Calls
Skill 2: How to hold conversations
Once you have a decent opening that shows that you are calling to help and not just to sell, it’s easy to hold a conversation.
Here’s a simple three-step framework that any salesperson in your team can use to hold a conversation with prospects after a decent opening.
- Ask the right questions
Most salespeople make the mistake of trying to sell the moment the user confirms his name.
What’s the hurry?
Instead, ask the right questions to figure out if they have a problem that you can solve.
Example – Are you facing any problems with your card? instead of
We are offering you a new card!
This builds the initial rapport with the prospect and once he is comfortable talking to you then you can easily start pitching your offer.
- Listen actively and intently
This is the most difficult part because most salespeople have been taught to just talk talk talk.
Instead, actually, listen to what the prospect is saying. And don’t just listen as waiting for your opportunity to speak.
Actually, listen and understand what he is saying!
Because that will naturally give you opportunities and areas which you can use to sell him on things that are actually relevant to him.
- Try to genuinely help
This is what most salespeople lack.
They are so focused on trying to sell that they miss out on seeing the obvious opportunity to actually help the prospect and build a relationship with him.
They just keep bitching and nobody is interested in buying from them!
Instead, flip the tables!
Don’t try too hard to sell, just figure out ways in which you can help the prospect and understand that once you have a rapport with him the sale will naturally happen once he is ready!
Skill 3: How to design follow-up templates that don’t suck
This again is not very hard to crack only thing is people are so hell-bent on doing it the conventional way that they don’t realize that the conventional way is not effective anymore.
Nobody reads emails and SMS does not get past Truecaller’s spam filter.
Plus continuously nagging them to pick up your call is not selling! It’s spamming!
The solution is rather simple:
- Draft visual messages.
- Send follow-ups on WhatsApp immediately after the sales call.
It will get seen immediately, prospects will have a high recall, and if you drop your message correctly then you will definitely get a reply.
Here’s a sample follow-up WhatsApp template after the sales call:
Summary of discussion
This is one of the best follow-ups you can take because it happens immediately after the sales call and it summarizes whatever was discussed on the call.
_As discussed over the call_
✅ You primarily sell mental health products to women
✅ You have a 3-4 people
✅ Your primary use case is capturing Facebook leads, and sending them a welcome message on WhatsApp.
And the list of features needed are
1️⃣ Logging/record keeping of all interactions in Sales CRM.
2️⃣ Automatically distribution based on cities
3️⃣ 1-click SMS and WhatsApp to leads who don't receive the call
*Is there something I missed?*
If you don't want to receive info on WhatsApp reply with STOP
[No that's it] [Add more info] [check details]
Advantages of this template:
- Creates a revision effect!
- The prospect doesn’t have your number saved but this WhatsApp message is saved in his inbox, if you do it right he will remember the message and now he has a way to get back to you.
- You can send button messages and get replies from him, this reply is not just a normal reply it’s consent for you to send future messages and stay in touch with him on WhatsApp (as long as you don’t spam him or abuse that permission you have a way to get your messages in 100% of the time).
- With the new WhatsApp Cloud API, you can send messages with CTAs that give them a chance to call you or visit your website with just one click.
- They get a double confirmation that you heard and understood them.
Read the detailed article on this: 5 Killer WhatsApp follow-up messages After a sales call
Skill 4: How to call with the right intent
Most salespeople are selfish!
But the most successful salespeople look at it as a long-term game.
This means just calling every prospect with a genuine intent to help.
Looking for opportunities to help.
Here are three questions that every salesperson in your sales team needs to ask before every single call no matter what industry you are in and what product or service you are selling:
- Can I do a little bit of research before the call and figure out a way to help the prospect that I’m about to call?
- What question can I ask to figure out if he has a problem that I can help him solve?
- Did I genuinely try to help the prospect on the last call? What else could I have done better? What else can I do better to help the prospect on the next call?
Once your salespeople start to do this simple little exercise genuinely caring and trying to help prospects become a natural part of their selling strategy!
Once that starts to happen you can rest assured that yours will be the best salespeople in town.
Because all your prospects are sick and tired of people just blindly pitching them!
And they want to talk to people who will genuinely care about them!
Skill 5: How to listen and learn from samples of old successful calls
If you manually and physically train every single new sales hire, then you will have to work 18 hours per day and it will be months before you can see any major improvements in their working style and the results that they get.
There is a much simpler solution to the whole thing.
You don’t have to train them from scratch and you don’t have to train them yourself either!
You already have the best training material in your archive, you just have to use it wisely!
I’m talking about all the successful old phone calls from your existing sales team!
That’s the best material that a new hire can learn from!
Here’s a simple strategy to achieve this:
- Make sure every single call with every prospect is recorded. You can use call recording software like TeleCRM for this.
- Create a smart automatic filter to figure out all the successful calls.
Whenever you hire a new salesperson, after they go through their basic training have them learn from these recordings.
Three questions that the new hires can ask quickly and efficiently learn from the existing successful calls:
- What are two things that I understood from this call that I didn’t know before?
- What are two new approaches to sales calls that I learned from this call?
- What are two things that this call reveals about customer psychology?
Just analyzing successful sales calls with these three questions can enhance and expedite the learning curve for any new sales hire.
Also Read: Eight Must-Have Qualities Of A Sales Manager
Unlike conventional wisdom states training new salespeople isn’t really cumbersome or time taking you just have to identify the key areas where you need to train your salespeople and you have to have the right strategy.
You can use this article as a starting point and always come back to us with how things are going so that we can incorporate your feedback and improve this article to make it more useful for all the readers.