Sales Training Programs
A 10 Point Checklist

Sales Training Programs - A 10 Point Checklist

An effective sales training program is possible when you do the
right things right and avoid making the ever so common mistakes.

Here's a 10 point checklist:

1. Establish clearly defined written objectives for your training
program. Always start with the end in mind. Here's what I mean.
At the end of the training program if you ask your salespeople
what they took away from your sales training what would you want
them to say? These are your objectives.

2. Identify the specific selling skills you want to sharpen. Remember -
less is more. You can't paint the Mona Lisa in one day and you can't
teach your salespeople all the selling skills in one day either.

Try to be realistic and start with the fundamentals. In fact it's always
a good idea to keep reinforcing the fundamental selling skills.

3. Select the right sales trainer. Don't do it yourself to save a few bucks.
The sales trainer is the centerpiece for all sales training programs. Be
selective and take your time.

Prepare a list of questions to ask potential sales trainers. And
remember you won't get the best sales trainer for the lowest price.
In fact, you should ask all potential sales trainers this question.
"How much better can you do on your training fee?"

If the sales trainer you're talking with lowers his price, you don't
want him teaching your salespeople how to get a better price for
your products and services. If he can't get his price - he can't
help your salespeople get your price.

4. Select a hotel for the sales training. You can save a
few bucks by doing the sales training in the office conference
room - but it will end up costing you more with all the distractions.

5. Don't end the sales training program without doing role-plays
to practice the newly acquired selling skills. The best role-play
scenarios are short and sweet. Each role-play should have three
participants - a buyer, a seller, and an observer.

Each role-play should last 10 minutes. Allow three minutes to
prepare, four minutes for the role-play, and three minutes for
a debriefing. In 30 minutes, using this formula, everyone gets to
be a buyer, a seller, and an observer.

6. Don't attempt to do too much in a short period of time - your
goal should be to make the sales training stick, not to make it

7. Make sure you personally check out the meeting room at
the hotel. Ask if there is any construction planned during your
sales training program.

Check out all doors to the meeting room. I once did a sales
training program and behind me was a door to the kitchen
where the staff had their noisy coffee breaks. Needless to say
it was extremely distracting for everybody.

You want lots of good lights, not ballroom lighting with dimmer
switches. Poor lighting is the quickest way to put your salespeople
to sleep. Use white background color on all sides with dark lettering.
It's easy to see and you won't have to darken the room.

8. You can add lots of continuity to your sales training initiative
if you assign your sales team pre/post - sales training program
assignments and exercises. It's a big mistake not to do this.

9. Watch your timing. I've found the best to be 8:30 AM to
4:30 PM with two 15 minute breaks at 10:15 AM and 2:45 PM.

Schedule lunch for one hour and avoid sit-down served meals
which just take too much time. You can't go wrong with a buffet
that includes a deli platter, salads, and soup. Go easy on the
desserts which can make some salespeople sleepy during the
afternoon session.

10. Always do a training program evaluation. Ask your
salespeople what they liked. Ask them what they would change
on the next sales training agenda and also ask them to prepare
a written list of their take away ideas. Then ask them to prioritize
this list for you.

The best sales training program outcomes happen when your
sales training objectives match your sales team's take aways.

If these are in alignment you can expect your sales team to start
selling more everyday.

Jim Meisenheimer

PS - this is my 20th anniversary doing corporate sales training
programs. These are challenging times and my training programs
includes new modules on how to differentiate yourself from the
competition and how to add value.

So please call 800-266-1268 if you want to discuss your sales training plans.

When the down economy gets your salespeople down, my
training programs are designed to educate, inspire, and
motivate your salespeople to achieve better selling results.

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