Sales training: 7 important reasons to consider investing in your employees
Sales training is an essential strategy for any company wishing to obtain a competitive advantage. This is even more so important in times of economic crisis.
The ability to sell is fundamental to success in business and the work of the sales team is essential. The sales team brings in the money that pays the wages of everybody in the company from the back office staff to the cleaners. Unless a company can generate sales there is no revenue and there is no business.
One effect of the belt tightening caused by the economic crisis has been the removal of regular sales training from annual budgets. In the short term companies may make some savings, however this decision may also reduce sales and productivity over the longer term. For this reason it is a good idea to analyze the opportunity costs of making this move before reducing the sales training budget.
Below are 7 important reasons why companies should consider investing in sales training:
1. Improve sales and productivity: Sales training maximizes the potential and productivity of sales assistants. A 10% increase in the sales of an employee who averages $10,000 in sales each month would offer a very quick return on investment.
2. Gain a competitive advantage: Companies that invest in their employees are also strengthening their own competitive position. A competitive advantage in times of economic crisis may mean the difference between prosperity, survival or disappearance. New ideas, concepts and strategies learned from sales training give your company a strong advantage against competitors. Even a small advantage can mean the difference between making or not making a sale.
3. Increase employee satisfaction: Everybody wants to feel good in their jobs. Sales training develops the abilities of sales personnel and encourages them to adapt their unique personalities, social abilities and charm to the sales process. This in turn creates relationships with customers and provides memorable experiences. When sales staff can be themselves in their work, they stop seeing it as a job and enjoy their work more.
4. Confident sales staff: Confidence is a fundamental element in sales, and confidence is simply the result of having the required abilities to be able to take control of our tasks. A confident sales clerk feels good about what he or she can do, speaks with authority about the company’s products and generates the same confidence in customers. A confident person transmits confidence to all those surrounding them. This confidence is crucial in making sales and in getting customers to return to your business.
5. Ideas and inspiration: Implementing the ideas and strategies learned in sales training makes selling more exciting. Working in sales is fun as well as providing an enjoyable daily challenge. Sales staff have the opportunity of meeting many different and interesting people on a daily basis and learn from each of them.
6. Motivated sales team: We are always more motivated when we can see a positive outcome as a result of our actions. This combination of confidence and motivation is a very powerful mixture in any business situation.
7. Delighted customers: Sam Walton said: “We only have one boss, and that is the customer who can fire everybody starting with the managing director by simply buying from the competition.” Through a good sales training program your sales staff will learn the best behavior and actions necessary for sales success and will know how to apply their skills in situations with customers every day.
Employees who have the required abilities, motivation and confidence in themselves create customers who are not only satisfied customers but delighted customers. These are customers who often come back and who will recommend your business to friends and family. We all know that there is no better way of marketing than word of mouth publicity. We instinctively have more confidence in a product or service when it has been recommended by somebody we know. This is particularly the case where the item we are selling is a more expensive one.
As a sales training consultant, logically I promote the benefits of sales training. However the most important element of any business is its customer base and the ability to offer products and services which improve their lives. Sales training is an essential ingredient in the process of providing customers with an improved standard of service and added value. Having a trained and knowledgeable team of sales professionals is an investment in the future of every business.
Stephen Bell is a retail sales consultant for Selling Soluciones. Selling Soluciones offers high quality sales and customer service training (formación comercial) to retail establishments both in Spain and internationally.