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The Learner’s Journey: Making of a Sales Expert

6 minutes read

Rome wasn’t built in one day and the same applies to your sales reps. You cannot create sales experts out of them in a day or a week or a month.

It takes time, a proper process, patience, hard work, and most importantly a clear roadmap to turn your sales reps into professional sales experts.

You need to craft a learner’s journey for them and define in it,

To help you with this, we have crafted a 3 stage learners’ journey. This will help you take your sales reps through a pre-defined learning route that would eventually lead them to sales expertise.

Stage 1: The Beginners stage

This is the stage when a sales rep has newly joined your organization and is undergoing onboarding training. This stage generally lasts between 3-6 months. Here is what you need to train your sales reps on at this stage.

Foundational training

The first step is to provide the foundational training and equip your new hire sales reps with the knowledge of,

  • Your company’s mission, vision, and strategy

  • The products and solutions that you offer

  • Key features of the products and USPs

  • Competitor’s landscape

  • Market trends and needs

It’s crucial for your reps to have a strong foundational knowledge as this lays the foundation for their further development

Company’s compliances and policies training

Next up, train them on all the compliances, policies, and rules that they need to follow like,

  • Policies of your company

  • Compliances and policies of your industry

  • Compliances and policies that apply in your customers’ industries

  • Employment rules

  • Sales rules

  • Customer interaction rules

This knowledge helps the sales reps to abide by rules while selling

Processes and systems training

Equip your new hires with the knowledge of the sales processes and the sales technologies that they need to use like,

  • The CRM

  • The lead generation tool

  • The sales enablement tool

  • Team or cross-functional collaboration tool

  • Forecasting system

  • Customer dashboard

  • Proposal management system etc

Having a proficient knowledge of sales processes and sales technology helps them to efficiently,

  • Manage customer accounts, sales cycles, and deals

  • Plan sales strategies for their territory

  • Identify growth drivers

  • Establish inter-team and inter-department coordination

  • Deliver timely and quality responses to customers requests

Pro-tip: Make sure that you regularly reinforce the knowledge that they gain in order to ensure that they do not forget what they have learned

Stage 2: The productive employee stage

Once your sales reps qualify from the initial onboarding program and hit the sales floor, they reach the second stage where they have attained full productivity. At this stage, train them to sharpen their sales knowledge, sales approach, techniques, and skills.

Note: The time span of this phase differs from employee to employee. This phase lasts until an employee gain enough experience and expertise to go to the next phase where he/she can start leading/ managing a team

Below are various aspects to focus your training on at this stage

  • Train the sales reps on the best sales methodologies and sales approaches that work for various territories, industries, markets, and products they deal with. This training involves teaching them:

    • How to acquire new accounts in various territories

    • How to create real go-to-market plans

    • How to identify potential new opportunities

    • How to develop insights into the customers’ needs, motivators, and drivers

    • How to engage with the right person, at the right time

    • How to link the sales process with the customers’ buying process

    • How to improve forecast accuracy

    • How to verify customers behavior and outcome at each stage of the sales cycle

  • Teach them,

    • The art of discovery

    • The power of prospecting

    • Best practices to create a strong pipeline

    • And cold calling skills

  • Teach them how to identify opportunities to upsell or cross-sell

  • Conduct regular sales coaching sessions and hone your sales reps selling skills like,

    • Product pitching/ product demo skills

    • Questioning techniques that they must adopt to uncover customers’ need

    • Strategies and techniques to overcome objections

    • Strategies to stand out from the crowd by making their value message much more memorable by showing success stories of how customers’ challenges were solved with your solution

  • Processing deals

  • Effective closing skills etc

Stage 3: The Expertise stage

This is the stage where the sales reps have gained enough knowledge and experience and are ready to take their skills to a next level. At this stage, the sales reps should have attained expertise in their role and they are capable of taking on the role of a team lead/ manager/ coach/ trainer.

Here is how to develop your sales reps at this stage:

  • Encourage the sales reps to specialize in a particular customer demographic, market, or business domain

  • Prepare them to be consultants to their customers rather than being mere sales reps. Encourage them to,

    • Connect with their customers and build a good rapport with them

    • Go into the depth of the customers’ problems and understand them clearly

    • Provide solutions that create value for the customers’ business and investment

  • Select a few high-performing sales reps. Train and equip them with the knowledge and skills of leading/ training/ coaching a team. Assign a small group of new hires to each of these reps and ask them to coach these new hires and assist them with their sales activities and try to get them to productivity quickly.

This helps in honing the leadership skills amongst your sales reps and makes it easy for them to transform into leadership roles.

Use SmartWinnr’s Gamified Sales Training Software to run your Sales Training

SmartWinnr’s AI-powered gamification platform allows you to run fun and exciting sales training programs for your remote sales employees. Some of the world’s most popular brands like SKF, Boston Scientific, and Poly use SmartWinnr to successfully run their sales training programs.

Curious to learn more about SmartWinnr? Book a demo with us today!

Looking for an exciting sales training game?

Check out: ‘Work from Home Warriors’: Sales Training Game for Remote Sales Teams

Check out these resources on remote sales training:

How to Deliver Training to your Remote Sales Staff?

How to Transform your 2-day Face-to-face Training into a Microsoft Teams Virtual Training?

How to Run the New Hire Onboarding Process Remotely?

Learning Disrupted Part-1 - How to upskill your Global Sales Team in this Post Pandemic Virtual Environment

Learning Disrupted Part 2 Best Practices to Train your Sales Team in this Post-pandemic Virtual World

Regular reinforcements help to improve knowledge proficiency by 21%. Want to know how?

Read: Improve Knowledge Proficiency by 21% through Knowledge Reinforcement

Published on Wed Mar 31 2021

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