Salespeople know that what got them to wYet salespeople and their leaders struggle to determine what they should be training their people in when there are an unlimited amount of options available. Training has to be relevant and immediately applicable if we’re going to get salespeople engaged, and that’s a challenge in and of itself.
That’s why we sat down with George Hamilton, a salesman with Flexe. He leverages his experience as a former Army artillery officer to ensure the salespeople on his team receive training that helps them with what they need to succeed.
Since we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it, and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T – Trigger: George says the trigger for a training system needs to be executed “yesterday.” Because most sales teams wait too late for training, it’s critical for Bulletproof salespeople to asses their teams to discover they need training in one of two ways:
1. Where in your pipeline are you experiencing challenges? If you’re not meeting your numbers, find out where in your funnel you need to improve and that will tell you where training needs to occur.
2. If you are meeting your goals, examine where the weakest place in your pipeline is. Where are the small gaps you have now that could expand unexpectedly and cause problems later on?
Once you know what issues are occurring or might occur that will affect results, you’ll know what to train your people on. George recommends setting aside time each month for training even if the topic of the training changes month to month.
R – Repeatable: To ensure that you’re using a consistent process to regularly up-level your salespeople’s skillsets (or your own), George says to clarify and communicate the problem you’re trying to solve. Without that, your training won’t yield great results. Once it is defined, communicate it to your team along with why it’s important for their performance.
Next, walk through what the objective is, why it matters, how to apply it, and give your folks a cheat sheet that allows them to have a top-line on what you expect them to execute. At this point, dry-run each member of the team in a way that revenue won’t be on the line and ensure they can execute the new skill at a minimal level.
Whether you’re training folks on the use of a script to deploy on prospects or a behind-the-scenes process to help them be more consistent in how they sell, having a consistent process to train folks in will know what to expect at future training classes and let them know they will be assessed on how well the training works.
I – Improvable: Improving a training system comes in two ways, according to George. First, talk to team members in an informal way and ask them if the training was effective, making sure to capture what they liked and didn’t like about the training and its results. Second, George says to bring in team embers from other departments like marketing or customer support and get their feedback on the training to ensure you’re incorporating the latest changes from your prospects’ industries in your training.
M – Measurable: In addition to measuring whether the initial challenge or weak spot your built the training to address has improved, George says you can also measure whether the quality of the prospects in your territory is improving (an early leading indicator of future sales). Training should positively impact every area of your sales cycle from the point that training touches prospects to the point of sale and beyond).