Sales leaders! Can you believe summer is almost over? We hope you’re as excited as we are to begin another quarter.

It’s time to get your sales reps ready for Q4 because, let’s be honest, you don’t stop learning once you leave school — and sales training doesn’t stop at onboarding.

Companies in the US spend over $70 billion annually on training and an average of $1,459 per salesperson — that’s almost 20 percent more than they spend on workers in all other functions.

Unfortunately, the ROI of sales training is a C+ at best. Studies indicate that participants in traditional curriculum-based training forget more than 80 percent of the information taught within 90 days.

Here are five signs that your sales reps need to go back to sales school and get some additional training:

1. They’re asking the same questions over and over

When reps are asking the same questions day in and day out on similar subjects — you may have a knowledge gap problem that needs to be addressed.

Training on specific topics is helpful to combat any confusion surrounding tricky areas such as pricing, discounting, or new features.

With a product like Kiite, you can track and report on actual questions asked, meaning you have the data to back-up your decisions on allocating the scarce time of your enablement organization.

Another reason reps may be asking repetitive questions, in both chat and real life, is that your sales reps don’t want to spend time flipping between applications and windows. Searching for answers to their questions in Google Drive, Confluence, Bloomfire or any other knowledge bases your company may be using is a time killer.

Or even worse — Your documented knowledge is out of date, so your reps are doubting if the information is still accurate. If this is the case, it may be time for a content-audit and overhaul.

Some key things to consider are:

  • Is your internal content out-of-date?
  • Brainstorm with your team — What are they looking for? What’s missing?
  • Is content formatted in digestible bite-sized pieces, and accessible for the sales team to find and use on a call?

Reps can’t memorize the infinite product and industry details needed to close. A sales enablement AI tool such as Kiite learns this info and provides it to the rep within seconds.

2. You’ve had significant product updates

Product training shouldn’t just happen during onboarding. New integrations and features can address the buyers' pain points in new ways.

Don’t let your reps get too comfortable using the same spiel they developed when they first started. The product has changed and so should the way you sell it.

One of our favourite tips from The Sales Enablement Playbook is the “Whiteboard Demo” where have a sales rep stand at a whiteboard, draw each screen they would demo, and talk while they draw.

For each new product feature or integration added, your reps should be able to actively demonstrate how the feature solves each specific pain point for each unique persona.

3. The sales messaging has changed

As a sales organization, how you engage your customers is a critical component of generating interest and creating demand. Your messaging should be forward-thinking and reflect the problem you’re helping them solve.

Has your organization recently changed the messaging or approach behind marketing your product significantly?

A session on the new messaging and micro-content your sales team can leverage will ensure sales-marketing harmony and prevent your reps from just “winging it,” which can lead to embarrassing moments and deals lost.

Your sales reps should confidently be able to address concerns, pain points, solutions, advantages, and use social proof. They should be armed with the tools that help them to consistently uncover customer needs — get the right sales content, in the hands of the right sellers, at the right time.

4. You're implementing a new technology

Did you recently add a new sales tool to the stack?

Learning to use a new piece of software (i.e., a sales cadence tool, video platforms, etc.) can be a robust and undocumented process. No matter how impressive the tool is — poor onboarding can lead to low adoption and usage.

Asking your team what is and isn’t working for them, and what their day-to-day struggles are, will help you identify where you need to focus your support.

Some areas to consider when training on a new tool:

  • How to best use it for your organization
  • Best practices — which leads to consistency and clean data
  • How does it integrate with existing tools?

In the end, the ultimate goal should be that the tool removes obstacles and reduces complexity, so your sellers can spend more time selling!

5. You're losing to direct competitors

If you’re losing out to direct competitors, either your product is significantly worse than your competitors or your reps are struggling to demonstrate the value of your product.

Training reps on deals that favour your competition will help them disqualify deals quicker and focus on prospects that are more likely to close.

On the other hand, your reps should also know the types of deals that the sales team frequently win so they can invest more time and resources into areas where the outcome will work in their favour.

Resources such as competitor cards that highlight what makes your product different should be readily available for reps on the phone, to help them squash competitor comparison questions with ease.

 

What are you waiting for? Get your supplies, documents, and lessons ready, because it’s back-to-school season – sales school edition.

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