A successful sales enablement training program can take a business from zero to hero. With 42% of sales reps claiming that establishing urgency is one of the biggest challenges that they face, they are feeling the heat and are being expected to close more deals even quicker than before. Empowering sales reps with knowledge and skills is not only beneficial, but it is a requirement to ensure the growth and success of a business.
Sales professionals who have 3 to 4 years of industry experience spend 50% more time on training than their sales rep counterparts who have less than 2 years in the industry. Basically, inexperienced sales reps are not investing in training because they are unsure of their future careers and don’t want to make that form of investment.
Training and knowledge delivery no longer need to feel like a major burden on a company. Training methods including microlearning are making sales enablement training much faster, easier and better. New knowledge delivery methods allow managers to focus on the training that truly matters, making knowledge gaps a thing of the past.
Here are 5 sales enablement approaches to boost knowledge levels and get sales reps to close more deals.
1) Balance Communication Within Your Organization
The ability to find the communication sweet spot is necessary for every business and it is relevant across the entire company. Many employees emphasize the importance and value of open communication channels that ensure the flow of business knowledge across the organization. However, communication can also become a burden when overused.
Sales reps need to be aligned with the most up to date company knowledge so they can sell their company’s product in the right way. With communication channels that are abused, overused and not focused, the overburdening of information can cause sales reps to ignore updates and not pay attention – negatively impacting the business.
The solution is understanding the knowledge needs of teams and making sure the appropriate knowledge is available to them. In this case, it’s not about knowing everything, it’s about knowing what is relevant and beneficial.
2) Make Metrics Matter
It is believed that high performing sales organizations are twice as likely to provide ongoing training in contrast to low performing organizations. Having full visibility on business knowledge levels gives any manager and trainer an advantage when it comes to proving the value of training to top-level management.
Sales reps who want to ensure they benefit from the continuation of their training programs must prove the worth of the training investment that they had received. By measuring the number of sales closed in comparison to the investment spent on training, a better and bigger picture of sales success can be built.
Not only is the advantage in the hands of management and trainers, but also amongst employees themselves. Through measurable metrics, results and KPI’s, sales reps can prove that they benefit from extra knowledge and development, encouraging further investment in training programs that essentially help them to drive better business results.
Establishing the correlation between skills and knowledge development/training and business results is an important pitch that trainers and L&D specialists have to propose to upper management. Without tangible results and evidence, training programs will have no backing and fall through the gaps.
3) Ensure Accessibility and Agility
Sales reps need to always be ready and have access to both vital business knowledge and customer information – from wherever they are, whenever they need it.
Being caught off-guard can cause major consequences for sales reps who are not properly prepared to deal with a potential customer. By having the ability to constantly access knowledge across different devices, sales reps can ensure that they are fully up to date with customer pain points and company offerings.
4) Embrace Just in Time Training
Forgetting a key feature of your product during a demo can be a make or break factor in taking the deal to the next stage. ‘On-demand training’ or ‘just in time training’ ensures that information is made available at the very moment that it is required.
Trainers need to provide real-time business knowledge and deliver it quickly, easily and effectively. Microlearning methods of knowledge delivery can benefit sales reps as they receive bite-sized chunks of relevant business knowledge, making what they need to know available, when they need to know it.
Convincing sales reps to complete a lengthy sales enablement training course is the last thing they want to do. Not only don’t they have the time, but they are also not in the right headspace to endure a tedious training program. When delivering knowledge to sales reps, it is essential to make training available to them as part of their daily routine.
TIME To KNOW’s Google Chrome extension provides alerts of suggested relevant information to employees before they know that they even need it, based on a scan of the real-time webpage that is open in front of them. In conjunction with TIME To KNOW’s ‘Stream’ capability that allows short bursts of knowledge to be quickly created and distributed by any subject matter expert in the company, there is no way that ‘just in time training’ would not drive success!
5) Convert Soft Skills to Solid Results
No matter how advanced the product is or how successful it can be, what matters most at the end of the day is how it is sold. A fantastic product that offers true value has no chance of converting to a successful sale if the pitch is off and the sales rep doesn’t connect with the potential customer.
By ensuring that sales reps are equipped with the appropriate soft skills such as emotional intelligence, negotiation skills and relevant sales etiquette, just to name a few, a better combination can be built that will increase the likelihood of the sales rep closing the deal. Ultimately, knowing how to sell makes the difference.
There is no one single solution for sales reps to ensure success. There are common traits across the industry as mentioned above, but different contexts can lead to different expectations and outcomes. To get the most out of sales reps, aligning knowledge across all teams and closing knowledge gaps through effective sales enablement training is fundamental.
Want to know how TIME To KNOW can help you align critical business knowledge across your organization? Request a demo