Traditionally, employee sales training is regarded as one of the harder things to train people for. This is largely due to the human elements involved in this sort of thing. People have to anticipate the emotions, opinions and interests of the customer, and they have to convey a very paradoxical image themselves. They have to seem super confident and competent, and maintain an air of decorum and professionalism, while also being friendly, humble and approachable. This is a really difficult combination to teach and to master, honestly.
So, how can we make employee sales training easier? Frankly, we can’t make this easier, because human nature is unpredictable, and society on the whole (the attitude of which is in constant flux) is even worse. So, while we can’t come up with a unanimously agreed solution which makes it easier, we can give you some advice for dealing with the unavoidable challenge of this training scenario.
#1 – Incorporate Sociology and Psychology
Now, hear me out before you groan. The biggest obstacle is that human element, and this is one of the ways I will suggest handling that a bit better. See, if you actually enter the training first by instilling a good grasp of the human animal (as best as we can have for now), then some other aspects that come up later will make more sense.
So, a basic course on sociology and psychology – nothing too complex – is a huge first step in mastering this bothersome human element.
#2 – Some Time Online
Some may argue this will burn some time, but it’s really important and worth it. Given the digital conversion of so many things, including sales, and given how open about what’s on their mind people are on the internet, this is another good step into mastering what makes people tick.
So, have your trainees spend some time on Twitter, maybe running simple blogs and going into forum discussions too, just getting used to the different personalities, philosophies and expectations that the big world we live on can throw at you.
#3 – Social Exercises
Finally, one last training tip for that human element. Some social games (we’ve covered these) can break the ice, and give people some real experience in a controlled environment when it comes to thinking on your feet and dealing with random, unpredictable people.
Gamification, by the way, brings about a lot of engagement and makes training more fun.
#4 – A Little Marketing Skill
While sales people aren’t the marketing department, they still work as the final front for marketing. So, a good understanding of marketing is kind of important. Trust me, this goes a long way.
#5 – A Little Customer Service Skill
Sales people will have to address questions and concerns that customer service often deals with after the fact as well. So, bringing in some understanding of good customer service philosophy goes a long way for solid sales skill.
So, while there’s no way to make employee sales training easier, maybe understanding that it needs to bring in a few other disciplines on a micro scale will help it be more effective if not easier.
Want to learn more? Join Carol Leaman from Axonify and Ari Tammam from WalkMe for a special webinar, “How to Really Nail Employee Training to Performance” along with Ari Tammam of WalkMe at 1 pm Eastern (10 am Pacific) on Thursday October 24. We’ll discuss the latest trends and tactics to improve long-term training, and make it something more engaging and memorable.