Implementing a robust, ongoing sales training program for your team is vital for cultivating a productive, profitable, and thriving work environment. However, time-crunched employees often perceive sales training as monotonous and unengaging.
The key is choosing truly dynamic training approaches that fully captivate and motivate your staff. Three primary methods for delivering high-impact sales training are on-demand e-learning, live online classes, and traditional in-person classroom instruction. Each methodology has unique advantages and drawbacks for trade companies to weigh carefully.
With the rapid acceleration of technology across all industries, online-based sales training has become more critical than ever for trade enterprises. On-demand e-learning allows staff to learn at their own pace on flexible schedules. Live virtual classes promote collaboration and peer learning opportunities.
At the same time, in-person training remains relevant for hands-on coaching and roleplaying essential sales tactics. A blended "bricks and clicks" approach can optimise sales training impact.
The most successful trade companies invest heavily in sales training while tying learning objectives directly to core business goals. They focus on equipping teams with real-world selling skills and product expertise that deliver tangible ROI.
A strategic sales training program demonstrates to employees that their professional growth and contributions are valued. This boosts job satisfaction, motivation and performance. Your trades enterprise can gain a formidable competitive edge with the right sales training approach.
What is Sales Training?
Sales training teaches customer-facing team members the critical skills needed to sell products or services and drive revenue effectively. It aims to impart sales knowledge and build confidence and competencies to apply that knowledge in client interactions.
Sales training typically covers both hard skills like sales processes, techniques, and metrics and soft skills like communication, listening, and emotional intelligence. Training can range from informal mentoring of new hires to formal multi-day workshops.
Some common sales training topics include:
- Consultative selling - Asking questions to understand customer needs
- Presentation and objection handling - Delivering compelling pitches and overcoming concerns
- Negotiation - Securing favourable terms and pricing
- Closing techniques - Moving prospects to become buyers
- Customer relationship building - Establishing trust and loyalty
- Sales technology - Leveraging CRM and sales tools
- Lead generation and qualification - Identifying serious prospects
- Account management - Building lasting client relationships
- Sales management - Leading, motivating, and coaching sales teams
Effective sales training empowers teams to not just survive but thrive amidst competition. A strategic focus on continual skills development is crucial for driving sustainable revenue and growth. Investing in sales enablement demonstrates the company’s commitment to success.
On-Demand E-learning: The Flexible and Cost-Effective Sales Training Option
On-demand e-learning gives your staff access to a full range of training materials, such as videos, quizzes, downloadable templates, and more, available anytime, anywhere. With self-paced online courses, employees can learn on their own schedule outside of work hours.
Notable Benefits of On-Demand Sales Training:
On-demand e-learning provides an extremely convenient way for time-constrained trades employees to fit training around their work and personal lives. By making courses accessible during evenings, weekends, or slower business periods, staff can learn at their own pace and schedule. This allows employees to immediately apply new sales knowledge and skills as soon as they are learned, greatly improving retention and competence.
Additionally, on-demand training is significantly more affordable than classroom-based options, eliminating venue rental and employee travel costs. The flexibility and cost-effectiveness of self-paced online training directly boost productivity and performance, as employees can rapidly build sales capabilities and master techniques on their own time. Employees can conveniently access the training portal to refresh their knowledge right before customer meetings when it’s freshest.
Other advantages of on-demand sales training include enabling managers to track course completion and easily identify knowledge gaps across teams. It allows new hires to get up to speed quickly by taking courses at their own pace.
Rural and regional employees face no geographical barriers to accessing training online. According to Forbes Magazine, every $1 invested in online sales training leads to a $30 boost in productivity. E-learning improves employee engagement by 18% on average.
Live Online Training: Interactive Virtual Classes for Trades Sales Teams
Live online training provides scheduled virtual classes led by an expert instructor or coach. Teams can attend interactive sessions from anywhere with a stable internet connection.
Notable Benefits of Live Online Sales Training:
Live online sales training removes geographical restrictions, allowing remote trade teams across all regions to participate in training. This facilitates valuable peer networking and collaboration opportunities between staff in different locations. Sessions can be recorded for future review or to accommodate absent employees.
Live virtual classes are more engaging for employees than pure self-study, as the interactive format keeps them attentive and focused. Expert instructors can provide real-time feedback coaching and modify delivery based on emerging needs.
Breakout rooms enable small group discussions and exercises centred around real-world sales scenarios. Overall, live online training mimics the valuable collaborative aspects of in-person sessions with added convenience and accessibility.
The main downside to live online training is less flexibility compared to entirely self-paced on-demand courses. However, the live interaction and accountability provide greater motivation for employees over pre-recorded material. Virtual instructor-led training bridges geographical divides for trade companies with remote staff while fostering teamwork and skill-building.
In-person classroom-based training allows for hands-on collaboration, roleplaying, and coaching. However, it requires pulling staff from revenue-generating tasks out in the field.
Combining Learning Methods
The most effective sales training approach combines online and in-person methods tailored to the company’s specific needs and constraints. For example, self-paced online courses can provide foundational sales knowledge and techniques to large teams in a scalable way. This asynchronous training establishes core competencies.
Next, intensive in-person workshops with hands-on roleplaying, demonstrations and coaching can reinforce skills. These high-touch sessions allow for valuable peer collaboration and feedback.
After initial training, live online refresher sessions can be held regularly to maintain and strengthen skills over time. Enabling ongoing peer coaching and digital sharing of best practices can further ingrain critical selling techniques.
The right blend of training delivery methods maximises the unique benefits of each approach. Thoughtfully integrating online accessibility and flexibility with targeted in-person interactions can elevate sales training impact across dispersed trade teams.
The most successful companies use an omnichannel training approach spanning virtual and in-person experiences. This strategic combination drives productivity while keeping employees engaged in their ongoing development.
Engaging Sales Training Topics for Trades Teams
The content of sales training is just as important as the delivery method. Courses should teach relevant skills and strategies tailored to your trade industry and target audience. Some impactful topics to cover include:
Consultative selling techniques
How to identify customer pain points and present your services as solutions. Teach how to listen, ask probing questions, and understand needs.
training on conveying the full value of your offerings to justify pricing and build client confidence.
Customer relationship building
Strategies for establishing trust and rapport with new and existing customers through effective communication and service.
How to negotiate win-win outcomes on quotes, contracts, and deals. Avoid leaving money on the table.
Techniques to determine which prospects are serious buyers worth spending time on vs. tire kickers.
Responses to common concerns like price or competitor comparisons to overcome barriers.
How to deliver compelling and customised sales presentations, either in-person or virtually.
Leveraging CRM, project management and communication tools to enhance sales efficiency.
Defining ideal customer profiles and targeted messaging to attract qualified leads.
Training for sales managers on recruiting, coaching, motivating and leading high-performance teams.
Onboarding and Continuous Learning for Trades Sales Staff
A one-time sales training course has limited impact. Trades companies should take a continuous learning approach to ingrain critical selling skills truly.
First, comprehensive onboarding training should be offered to get new hires productive faster. For existing employees, frequent refresher courses help reinforce developing skills. Short microlearning sessions like videos or podcasts can build knowledge over time through bite-sized lessons.
Enabling peer coaching and mentorship programs creates opportunities to learn from star performers. Offering incentives for completing extra training, such as bonuses or prizes, boosts participation.
Conducting annual refresher workshops helps realign teams with evolving company goals and values. Employees’ professional development, results, and capabilities will grow long-term by making sales training an integral, ongoing component of trades.
This investment in continuous education demonstrates a true commitment to employees’ career success. Equipping staff with the latest skills not only benefits individuals but also strengthens the company as a whole.
The Strategic Benefits of Sales Training Investment
Investing in ongoing sales training, whether online, in-person or blended, demonstrates to trade employees that they are truly valued. It equips them with the strategic skills to perform confidently, be more productive profitable, and deliver superior customer service.
According to ABS, 23% of Australian employees undertook training in 2020-21 and over half was conducted online. Leveraging on-demand and live online methods drives productivity while saving money compared to in-person training.
Contact our expert team to discuss the ideal blended training solutions for your unique trade business needs. Investing in strategic sales training pays invaluable dividends in the long run by empowering your team and giving your company a competitive edge.
With the right skills and knowledge, your staff can provide exemplary service that creates customer loyalty and sales growth. Make sales training a priority to future-proof your trade enterprise.