How to Boost Your Sales Using Workplace Training
Written by Professional Academy Guest Blogger Jim Stevenson
If your company has been posting less than stellar sales and you’re looking for a way to turn those numbers around, it could be that you need to look at internal measures rather than external ones. For businesses that are suffering from a slump in sales, the main contributing factor can often be sales staff who lack the proper tools and training to get the job done.
The following tips have been used with success by companies who are looking to implement training into the workplace, to provide the salesforce with better tools and information.
Walk Them Through the Sale
While you may assume your employees know what they are doing when it comes to making a sale, that is not necessarily the case. Conducting some general sales training could be extremely beneficial to the staff as well as yourself. It acts as a refresher for the more skilled sales force, and an introduction for those who are new to the department.
General sales training should cover typical selling techniques. This includes how to speak to customer and clients, how to listen to their needs, how to make the customer feel valued and appreciated, how to treat them with respect, and how to ensure that the customer walks away happy and satisfied with the transaction.
Sales staff should also be trained on how to answer questions in a clear and concise manner. The customer needs to trust that the salesperson is being truthful and giving helpful information. It needs to come across as informative rather than pushy.
When training your sales staff, there should be a large emphasis on confidence. A strong and confident salesperson will easily win customers over. Conversely, a salesperson who seems unsure about the product, and gives shaky answers is going to chase customers away.
A good idea is to hold mock sales encounters. Sales staff can be divided into groups and take turns presenting sales scenarios where one plays the sales member and the other plays the customer.
Encourage a Team Environment
It is true that some companies pit sales staff against each other but, in the end, this can end up hurting the bottom line. Sales staff can become quite competitive and ruthless with each other, which the customer will pick up on and be turned off from. The last thing a customer wants is to be the centre of a sales war between competing sales staff.
Instead, a team environment should be encouraged. This kind of environment breeds mutual respect, understanding, patience, and a willingness to help each other. This is the kind of environment that customers want to be a part of. Customers should not be subjected to any kind of workplace drama or disagreement.
Gain a Better Understanding of the Products
For sales staff to be truly effective, they need to believe in and understand what they are selling. This means sales staff should be educated on the product line, and given a chance to sample products, try them out, and look at them whenever possible.
A great example of this technique is to look at waiters and servers in restaurants. In many restaurants, they are required to try everything on the menu so that they can answer customer questions with confidence and provide personal advice and insight when asked. If a customer asks how the soup of the day tastes, the server should be able to answer from experience rather than reading keywords off the menu.
Keep Up with the Training, Motivation, and Coaching
Another tip for businesses looking to boost their sales is to keep up with their training, motivation, and coaching efforts. It is a topic that should be re-visited on a regular basis so that problems do not have a chance to grow.
It can also be helpful for companies who have an ever-changing inventory line-up. It is a wonderful way to stay on top of the latest offerings so they can answer customer questions with ease and quickly close the sale. Even if you schedule a training session a couple of times a year, it will have a huge impact on the effectiveness of the sales staff.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
Because training can be a major undertaking, there is no shame in asking for help from professionals. You may choose to bring in a professional trainer who can put together the appropriate training materials and present it in an engaging and effective manner.
Enjoy the Results
By taking the time to invest in your sales staff where training is concerned, your company’s sales numbers can be turned around in no time. Be sure to make it a regular habit and give your employees the open-door policy, so they can approach you whenever they feel they need a bit of help.