There’s a common quote that says, “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does”. Wise words that apply just the same to sales.
Because the better an organization’s sales team performs, the more people will know what the organization does. This awareness means more business, more growth, and lasting customer relationships. Yet, 80% of all sales lie with just 8% of sales representatives.
Well, maybe they’re the gifted few. Or perhaps they have the ‘right personality’ for sales. The most likely reason, though, is that this 8% is skilled and knowledgeable about the products and services that they sell, and the customers that they must appeal to.
Enter, sales enablement.
What is Sales Enablement
Sales enablement is about providing sales staff with the content, tools, knowledge, and skills that they need to be effective in their roles. This includes up-to-date product information, best practices in selling, tools for building loyal customer relationships, and skills like communication, time management, and persuasion.
But these tools and skills change frequently.
New products and services, new customer demands, and even new sales representatives mean that there are always more learning gaps to fill, and more ways to enable your sales team.
Of course, the obvious solution presents itself as sales team training. But this too has its challenges.
Training often requires a day (or sometimes days) away from the job to attend workshops and conferences. Every time a product changes, or a new sales representative arrive, this must happen again, and again and again. And time away from selling results in, well, fewer sales.
Fortunately, though, we live in the Technology Age, surrounded by a world rich with technologies that make business and learning more convenient. And the LMS is the king of the sales enablement tools.
Here’s how you can use an LMS (and its features) to train your sales team so that they all perform like the top 8% of the team:
Leverage Technology for Learning On-the-go
Today, everyone is busy. The hours in a day seem ever constricting, as the list of tasks to perform grows longer. This is especially true when applied to the typical day of a sales representative.
Limited time is split between multiple priorities like cold calling, client meetings, customer research, relationship care, and of course, training. So, for training to become an enabling tool, rather than a disruption to productivity, it must be convenient.
Using an LMS with mobile compatibility — or even better, native mobile clients for iOS and Android, means that sales staff can learn on the go. Learners can access a library of content, best practices and examples via mobile and web, making learning possible at any time, from anywhere. This could be while waiting for a client to arrive at a meeting or during a train ride to work in the mornings.
And with TalentLMS, accessing training content is even easier for learners, by signing in directly through Salesforce, the widely-used customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
Make Sales Team Training Competitive
It’s no secret that sales are a competitive game. In fact, a competitive drive is what draws many sales staff to the job. So, one of the best ways to get learners engaged in sales skills training is through gamification.
From leaderboards, points, and badges, to levels and rewards, eLearning can be competitive and fun for the whole sales team. This motivates staff to learn more and to learn faster so that they can perform better in assessments and complete courses quickly. Every achievement opens up a new challenge, with a new incentive.
And when eLearning courses are relevant and well-designed, this performance translates into a more skilled and knowledgeable sales team, and more sales for the organization.
Create a Consistent Brand Message
Many times, the sales team is the face of the organization. They represent the personality and purpose of the brand, and how customers perceive the business. This makes it critical for every sales representative to have a consistent understanding of the business, the products and services it sells, and how they should interact with customers on its behalf.
The trouble is that sales staff are often spread across different divisions, branches, and sometimes even cities and countries. So it becomes difficult to deliver consistent training. This is just another reason why an LMS is such an effective sales enablement tool. With eLearning, learners are able to access the same up-to-date content from anywhere in the world.
But, content isn’t always enough. Sometimes, live interaction is important.
That’s why learners are also able to access the same instructor in a virtual classroom. Web-based instructor-led training (ILT) sessions allow learners to access live demonstrations and directed discussions with instructors, and sales team members from other locations, from their very own desk, couch, or car.
Provide Ongoing Product Knowledge Training
For any business to remain relevant, its products must evolve and sometimes even be replaced so that they continue to meet customer demands. This means new features, benefits, and applications that customers must be made aware of.
For this reason, ongoing product knowledge training is an integral part of any sales role. Sales staff must be consistently up-to-date about the products they are selling, even when it comes to a minor update. But sifting through 20-page product manuals and catalogs can be time-consuming and wasteful.
Leveraging the capabilities of an LMS, though, can help you train your salespeople effectively, easily and on the spot. This way, you will be able to save precious time and also improve your team’s product knowledge. Score!
Improve Sales Skills Training
What’s the best way to sell?
This is an impossible question to answer, right? Because it depends on the type of customer, the type of product being sold, and the most recently popularized sales skills. For example, today many believe that cold calling is a thing of the past and that social selling is the way of the future.
So, how do you ensure that your sales team is always skilled in the most current selling tools and practices? After all, many think that sales skills training requires practical learning not easily achieved online. But this isn’t always true.
Some LMSs allow learners to import and review live customer calls and demos so that they can learn by example.
Then, learners get to practice their new skills themselves, and get feedback on their sales performance, through tests and recorded videos. That’s right. Learners can even record a sales pitch in video or audio format, and then upload it for assessment by an instructor.
But it gets better.
By using qualitative and quantitative assessments, and detailed learner reports, skills gaps can be easily identified. Then, courses can be assigned based on knowledge and performance gaps, meaning that learners get the tailored feedback, coaching, and skills development they need to become more effective.
Using an LMS for Sales Enablement
Sure, sales team training has its challenges. But a reliable LMS, armed with the features discussed above, can prove to be an invaluable tool for ongoing sales enablement.
From product training for sales to sales skills training, an LMS that provides accessibility, convenience, and engaging learning will assist in training your sales team toward success.