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At some point, almost every sales enablement team or sales leader is likely to have to make a pitch to your own company’s executive suite about investment in sales training. It might be obvious to you that you need new sales training software, but it isn’t always so obvious to executives trying to balance a budget across the competing demands of all the departments in the organization.
So you’ll need to make your case in a compelling way, emphasizing the many reasons why your company should invest in sales training, and particularly in advanced sales training software. Here are some of the top reasons why continued investment in sales training is always money well spent, and why new sales training software is a worthwhile expense.
Sales training is essential for companies looking to increase revenue and achieve business goals. Here are five benefits that sales training coaching can bring for sales-oriented organizations, and that your executives need to know about.
Closing deals, and ultimately the business’ bottom line, is the constant goal of every organization and the key reason for investing in sales training. Sales training helps sales reps develop skills and knowledge to improve their sales performance.
With more training, sales reps learn how to identify and qualify leads, build rapport with prospects, address objections, close deals, and manage accounts effectively. Armed with better sales skills, reps can close more deals, resulting in increased revenue.
There’s no substitute for sales agents who thoroughly understand the products they’re selling and are fully aware of the benefits that the entire solution can bring. Sales training ensures that all your sellers acquire deep knowledge of the services and products they sell, making them more knowledgeable representatives for your company.
When sales reps have greater knowledge of their organization’s products, services, and values, they feel more confident, which translates into more effective sales conversations and greater customer trust. Knowledgeable sales agents can pick the most relevant features to highlight for each prospect, enabling them to customize their pitch to their audience’s needs.
Sales reps with strong skills can shorten the sales cycle by identifying prospects’ needs and matching their solutions to these needs. With the right sales training, reps can build trust with prospects and close deals more quickly.
Increased sales training also gives sales teams more confidence to initiate conversations with higher-ranking prospects. Calls with more senior people in the organization are more likely to result in higher-value deals, but sales reps often find them intimidating – unless they feel fully trained and ready to handle any conversation.
Sales training can help organizations stay competitive in a crowded market. A team with strong sales skills and knowledge can outperform competitors, win new business, and increase revenue.
Training on a standardized sales process helps ensure that reps communicate the same core messaging in their sales conversations. This can help maintain quality across the sales process and convey a consistent brand image to prospects which builds trust and credibility, leading to better business outcomes.
Sales training programs can help sales reps learn how to effectively communicate and build relationships with prospects and customers. Sellers who’ve received effective training are more likely to be able to personalize their sales pitch in ways that create a stronger bond with the customer.
Sales training programs can help reps learn how to build and maintain long-term relationships with customers. By prioritizing customer needs and providing ongoing support, sales reps can foster customer loyalty and increase customer lifetime value. A positive customer experience can lead to repeat business and referrals, ultimately contributing to revenue growth.
It’s highly likely that your company leadership will agree with all the reasons we just mentioned above (after all, who can argue against increasing revenue?!) but that doesn’t mean that they’ll endorse your plan to invest in new sales training software.
But modern sales training software has a number of advantages over “old-school” traditional sales training methods, which make it well worth it to implement. Here are some points to highlight.
Traditional sales training relies on classroom-style lectures, which by definition can’t be adjusted for each person in the room. But today’s sales training software, especially solutions that use artificial intelligence (AI) like Second Nature, can deliver sales training that’s tailored for each seller’s specific strengths and weaknesses.
The software can analyze the salesperson’s performance, identify areas for improvement, and provide customized feedback and personalized training content. For example, if a seller is having trouble overcoming objections, the software could suggest responses. This level of personalization can help salespeople improve faster and more efficiently than traditional training methods.
When your company has a small sales team, it’s possible for sales managers to dedicate time to one-on-one sales training role plays and individual feedback. But as your organization grows, this is no longer practical. Even in smaller companies, sales managers have a lot of responsibilities and don’t always have the time for sales training best practices like one-on-one role playing and detailed, timely feedback.
Sales training software cuts the burden on sales managers and makes it possible to scale personalized sales training role plays and coaching to teams of hundreds, thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of sales reps. AI-powered training can be delivered to masses of salespeople simultaneously, making it highly scalable and cost-effective, as our client SAP discovered.
Traditional sales training methods often require managers or coaches to review recordings of sales calls. But this means feedback can arrive many days, and sometimes many weeks, after the conversation took place. By that point, the behavior could have already become ingrained in the sales rep’s conversations, making it much harder for them to correct it.
With AI-powered sales training, salespeople receive immediate feedback. The software can analyze the salesperson’s interactions with prospects and customers in real-time and provide suggestions for improvement. Instant feedback helps sellers to fix mistakes or weaknesses more effectively and encourages them to hold another sales conversation role play to try out the advice. They see the results of their adjustments immediately, which helps build confidence and boost motivation to continue practicing.
Sales training software can deliver reliable data analytics that help sales enablement personnel and sales managers to improve sales training even more. AI sales training platforms can identify knowledge gaps within the organization and draw attention to specific skills or topics that need strengthening. For example, if many salespeople are struggling to answer certain questions from prospects, this may indicate a need for additional training on that particular topic.
With the help of data insights from sales training software, sales managers can spot those salespeople whose performance is improving more slowly. They can then reach out to offer more coaching or tailored advice that can help these sellers reach the same level as the rest of the team.
It can be challenging to deliver consistent sales training using traditional methods, particularly for organizations with large sales teams spread across multiple locations. But AI-powered software can ensure that all salespeople receive the same level of training, regardless of their location or experience level.
It’s very difficult for any human being to be completely objective and consistent in their sales training assessments and the support they offer. But AI software doesn’t have that problem. AI sales training can deliver objective, unbiased feedback and scoring that increases trust among sales reps and makes them more inclined to accept suggestions for improving their sales conversations.
Consistent training is also the foundation of consistent messaging in all your sales calls. Every sales department wants to know that their sellers are sticking to their corporate messaging and conveying the right information about their solution and company values. That’s only possible if your sales training is also consistent.
AI sales training software is already proving itself to be highly effective. AI-powered sales training software utilizes machine learning algorithms and natural language processing, an approach that is highly scalable, cost-effective, and can be delivered on-demand and in real-time, making it a powerful tool for sales organizations.
Not surprisingly, AI sales training is increasingly popular among sales-focused organizations.
More and more organizations are adopting AI sales training. For example:
Check Point, a leading cybersecurity software firm, used AI sales training to quickly bring thousands of sales representatives up to speed with new company messaging and product features. With AI, they were able to achieve a 3x increase in engagement, measurable improvement in sales productivity and visibility into sales employee progress.
Zoom, a leading video and communications platform company, uses AI sales training to get consistent results from a widely scattered sales team that have wildly differing levels of experience. With AI sales training, Zoom experienced 100% sales employee participation and a noticeable improvement in each rep’s mastery of sales messaging.
SAP, a global ERP software company, scaled up its sales coaching, as well as sales conversations, using AI to meet the company’s growing needs. Previously they had tried pitch practice using videotaped interviews with industry experts, followed by in-person practice pitches to sales and pre-sales managers, but they found that this did not scale well enough. But using AI, SAP was able to increase effectiveness scores by 20% from the first session to the last.
It’s not surprising that salespeople who’ve used AI sales training software are seeing higher success rates than those who are still receiving sales coaching through traditional methods. AI sales coaching provides feedback that is more personal, timely, and consistent than human-led sales coaching.
In addition, sales training software is available on demand, 24/7. Salespeople can practice their cold calling pitch or work on their objection handling whenever they have some free time, without having to find a suitable role play partner.
Finally, but very importantly, sellers prefer AI sales training tools. A sales training platform offers a private, safe space for them to make mistakes without worrying about being judged. AI sales training can be fun, with gamification and leaderboards that motivate sales agents to complete more training sessions. The more they practice, the stronger their sales skills will become.
While you might have to convince your business leadership to invest money and time in implementing a sales training solution, the overall importance of sales training is clear. Sales training best practices and the right sales training software work together to forge an effective salesforce that has the confidence, knowledge, and sales skills to conduct successful sales conversations, close deals, and boost sales revenue.
How does artificial intelligence help sales?
Artificial intelligence can help sales in several ways, like identifying potential leads, analyzing customer behavior, and optimizing sales strategies. AI can automate repetitive sales tasks like lead nurturing and data entry, freeing up salespeople’s time to focus on building relationships with potential customers. But AI is also valuable for sales training, sales coaching, and sales training role plays, helping sellers improve their selling skills.
Why is artificial intelligence sales training important?
There are many reasons why AI sales training is important. AI sales training software makes it possible to offer sales training role plays with realistic role play partners on demand and round the clock, while freeing sales managers for other tasks. AI gamifies sales training, motivating sellers to practice more often, and provides a “safe space” where sellers can feel comfortable rehearsing sales conversations. With AI, sales training software can deliver consistent and objective feedback instantly, which helps sales reps to correct their mistakes and strengthen their weak spots, thereby boosting their confidence and raising their performance levels.
What can AI and machine learning help us achieve in sales?
AI and machine learning can help us achieve various sales goals. AI tools assist sales teams to improve sales forecasting, fine-tune personalized marketing, apply better customer segmentation, refine lead scoring, and enhance customer experience through chatbots and virtual assistants. Additionally, AI can help with optimizing pricing, recommending upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and automating sales processes to increase efficiency and productivity.
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