If you are considering a sales training program for your team, you most likely feel that there is either money being left on the table or lots of room for improvement. Maybe you have some high performers and rep ramp procedures in place but as a whole, the team consistently misses quotas and revenue goals.
News flash — even if your company is growing exponentially, there are opportunities being left on the table, that’s the paradox of opportunity cost. It’s vital your team knows which opportunities and efforts will lead to the highest leverage opportunities. Not leverage in deals, but leverage from deals; Revops efficiency.
In this article, we cover ten of the most effective sales training programs and the methods they use to give sales leaders, managers, and reps the leverage they need to exceed revenue goals.
Before deciding on a sales training program, it’s important to first identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses, you can almost think of it as a SWOT analysis for your sales organization.
Once you’ve identified where you need the most help, you can choose a program that is tailored to your company’s unique situation. As an example, here at People.ai, we wanted our entire organization to be aligned on revops and sales strategies, so we participated in Force Management’s Command of the Sale program, which we will feature first:
Force Management has a number of sales training programs that guide you through every step of the sales process including their Command of the Plan, Command of the Sale, Command of the Message, and more. This is why Force Management also begins every consultation with a discovery phase, to understand the unique situation of the company and customize the solution.
They also boast the ability to fit the size and scale of your business, whether you are a startup, selling mid-market, or enterprise-level, Force Management applies the methodologies most relevant to your business.
The sales training programs from Force Management, while customized, do follow a similar sequence of events including discovery, training workshops, integration assistance, delivery, and ongoing sustainability support.
Customer Centric Selling, or CCS, is laser-focused on improving the sales process for driving more predictable revenue, something we are very much in support of. While they do offer onsite workshops, CCS has increasingly become more virtual and currently has two options:
This really opens the door for anyone to learn from this program, whether you are a solopreneur looking to level up your sales game or a fortune 500 company that needs a tailored training program scaled across your sales organization.
The SOAR Performance Group leverages their client’s existing knowledge base combined with their expertise to solve problems and generate new go-to-market strategies. SOAR has delivered on its value proposition with success stories in leadership development, revenue growth in the hundreds of millions, and forecast accuracy up by 140%.
There are three high-level segments of the sales training program available from SOAR, with a number of areas to focus on:
SOAR has also built leadership communities in Atlanta, Chicago, and Houston where university partners host live (and virtual) events for thought leaders in sales to share best practices and network.
The Sales MEDDIC Group (SMG) has built its training program on the now-famous MEDDIC sales methodology created by Jon McMahon. They have a few programs on offer, from the foundations of MEDDIC to the sales process training, SMG offers virtual and onsite training options.
Possibly one of the most intriguing components of SMG is its ongoing support and training — with the option to license materials to include in your sales onboarding and rep ramp processes.
Another sales training program with the MEDDIC method in mind, the MEDDIC Academy has options for individual sales trainees, small sales teams of 10 reps or less, and enterprise licenses for teams numbering in the thousands.
MEDDIC Academy has courses available online ranging from an introduction to MEDDPIC up to MEDDPIC for trainers, with prices spanning $297 to $1497. For group training programs, onsite training and virtual instructor-led training are also options.
Brian Tracy’s 21st Century Training Program for Elite Performance features 24 virtual training modules to be completed over 12 weeks. This program is good for those who want the flexibility of an online course coupled with incremental, easy-to-digest lessons.
A differentiating feature of this course is the 24 workbooks that come with each module. These function as a source of reference and a way for teams to reaffirm the lessons learned that week.
Richardson offers a variety of training programs such as their Sprint Selling Training Program, Consultative Selling Training Program, Channel Partner Management Training Program, and more. Depending on which program you choose, you could develop your team’s sales speed, their ability to build rapport with the customer, or your sales manager’s ability to coordinate their team.
Richardson is a good choice for those looking for a methodical sales approach. Its Sprint Selling Training Program uses formulas, models, and templates that result in a systematic procedure for hastening your team’s sales process.
Aspireship’s team training program provides unlimited access to its video library and training resources. This program places an equal emphasis on hard skills and soft skills in sales. It teaches learners about consultative selling, qualifying leads, and multi-channel prospecting.
This program is particularly useful for training your team on SaaS sales through a brief, online course that can be completed in under a month. Additionally, the program can be accessed at a flat rate of $299-$499 for your entire team, making it a budget-friendly option for larger organizations.
New Velocity focuses on creating a training program that captures the attention of your team. To achieve this, they create customized programs for your company that include online and onsite learning with ongoing reinforcement.
This course can be especially useful if you want your team to train whilst juggling a busy schedule. The Virtual Velocity training platform gives your team 24/7 access to bite-sized lessons. The optional, in-person sessions engage your team with fun activities and games that solidify the program’s curriculum.
DoubleDigit Sales uses a customized learning experience to drive selling power. This program features both in-person and online training, depending on the preference of your company. DoubleDigit Sales features programs to specifically grow salespeople, sales managers, and sales executives.
This program has the advantage of featuring interactive online workshops on a variety of subjects. DoubleDigit Sales features experiential learning, group work, and facilitator-led discussions to ensure your team is digesting the information for long-term use.
A popular tenet of adult learning theory is that active participation in the learning process produces better results than lecture-only formats. The best sales training programs and methodologies utilize the 80/20 principle, also known as the Pareto principle, of 80% immersive application and 20% lecture.
The lion’s share of this Pareto’s Principle pie chart comes in the form of real-world application. Whether it be through sales simulation or on-the-job training, the bulk of one’s learning comes from first-hand experience and implementation.
Training can be applied by sales trainees in a number of ways, including:
The lecture component to learning (and training) is no less important, as long as efforts are made to keep the audience engaged. Guided note-taking, for example, is a great way to distill the pertinent information into a more memorable and referenceable documentation process. Other ways to make the lecture more engaging include:
One thing most people can agree on is how limited our attention span is in the lecture environment, but one thing that might be less understood is how limited our retention span is.
According to the 19th-century German psychologist, Hermann Ebbinghaus, we forget more than 85% of learned material in just seven days of a learning event. While Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve is a popular representation of diminishing retention over time, Ebbinghaus also discussed the importance of repeated learning or reinforcement’s impact on learning.
In Telling Training’s Story, R.O. Brinkerhoff discovered organizations that reinforce the knowledge and skills learned during training with accountability and support systems can expect as much as 85% application on the job. Conversely, companies that rely primarily on training events alone to create good job performance achieve around a 15% success rate.
Unfortunately, most sales training programs are judged by a survey asking subjective questions about the perceived impact on performance, which is not enough to measure effectiveness. In order to truly understand the benefits of a training program, you must analyze the behavior modification and result reinforcement.
Ultimately, there are three phases of sales training:
Sales training programs are not over once you’ve left the venue or the last video tutorial ends, in fact, you could say that’s just the beginning. The hardest part of training sales teams is to inculcate the lessons into the everyday lives of reps and managers.
Where People.ai really shines is in these latter two phases of the sales training program — reinforcement and accountability. Leveraging machine learning automation, you can quickly identify whether the strategies and playbooks arrived at in the training program are being implemented and coach teams towards full adoption.
With People.ai tracking activity metrics and outcomes, it's much easier to show how your sales training programs have impacted your business.