Sales and Sales Management Tips

Identifying Sales Training Needs

by robertr

January 4th, 2010

There recently has been dissent in management about how sales training does not work, and if it does work, the return on it often does not justify continuing it, the expenditure outweighing the benefits. However, a sales training program can be effective.  Minimizing sales training would be a foolish decision.  For those entering a new position, it is critical, and for those with years of experience, it is also critical.  It can help those perhaps bored with their jobs to be invigorated, offering them innovating ways of reaching out to customers and procuring new customers—both of which translate into further profits and expansion for a corporation.

Yet this notion of constant training does not necessarily denote anything drastic.  It should always be an available option, but figuring out when employees need training can be difficult to discern.

Some managers claim to want training only to help make their salespeople more proficient–among other adjectives of which those same managers cannot provide an adequate definition.  Though managers might want a certain quality to be imbued in employee work, not knowing how to define their needs is part of the problem.

What things do you look for when identifying if there is a need for sales training?  Starting with the customers is an excellent point with which to begin: criticism from customers, especially the negative demonstrates the areas for which there could be improvement.  Customers can offer top feedback in regard to the proficiencies salespeople maintain.  Part of that includes problem solving.  Though a minor example , a salesperson at Old Navy must help a person search out the kind of jeans a customer wants.  That could include a lot of different pairs of jeans and a lot of minutes spent in the dressing room.  It can start to frustrate a client and thusly cause a problem that the salesperson needs to possess the proper communication skills to diffuse.  A really good salesperson would plan ahead for that type of problem, creating ways with which to deal with those kinds of situations.  If  employees do not possess some of these simple attributes, it would probably be worth the expenditure, the effort, and the time to provide them with an effective sales training program.

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