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How Small Businesses Can Effectively Train Their New Sales Reps

Small business owners cannot afford to believe in the corporate lore of hiring the perfect salesperson who will become a miracle worker and spell instant success for the company. This is something that major corporations may try when they steal key sales executives from each other, but those are large-scale enterprises that can take risks and manage significant turnover rates. Owners of smaller companies cannot take such risks and thus they should establish a training program that will allow their newly hired sales staff to quickly achieve success. Developing the right sales culture is even more crucial for startup businesses since this will set the course for their initial growth phase.

With all the above in mind, here are a few training techniques that small business owners and managers should apply in their companies when they hire new sales staff:

Keeping Training Sessions Relaxed

Scheduling Monday mornings as the first day of formal training is an antique practice that does not conform to the modern world of sales. The reaction of candidates when they learn that training starts on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. can let managers know a little about the potential dedication and loyalty that their new hires may exhibit in the future. Saturday training can be planned as a day to wear casual attire and enjoy an informal lunch; the idea is to make the new sales team members feel very comfortable.

Using E-Learning Courses

New hires who are members of the Millennial Generation may not appreciate the traditional training sessions delivered by a corporate trainer in a conference room. Younger salespeople are bound to be more receptive to e-learning, a method that they have likely used in high school and college. With the recent technological push, many training tools, including quite a few medical sales training courses, these days feature e-learning components as well as classroom sessions, and they tend to be very effective.

Setting Goals and Give Rewards

The “always be closing” sales mantra is a lot more effective if actual incentives are attached. In other words, sales trainees learn better when there is a carrot at the end of the stick. If the training session features mock sales situations, and it should, the pretend buyer should ideally be the owner of the company, and she should determine which of the trainees excelled in the simulation. The best pitch should get a reward such as lunch with the manager or a gift certificate that can be redeemed at a gourmet foods market.

Using Success Stories

Case studies never go out of style; to this effect, stories about incredibly successful sales should be presented during sales training sessions. The case studies do not necessarily have to be in the same industry that the trainees will be operating in; however, it is very important to make sure that the story is engaging and that is has human interest elements.

Using Big Data

Younger salespeople tend to be very data-driven. Owners of small companies that utilize large data sets and analytics as part of their operations should share them with their new sales staff as soon as they start their training session. If the marketing department is using Big Data for branding and promotion, a marketing rep should explain to the sales trainees how the data sets and analytics are being utilized. Whenever possible, sales and marketing teams should work together and share opinions about what they find within Big Data.

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