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Planning Your Sales Training

In my soon to be published book on Sales Management, one topic I discuss in great detail is salesperson development and training. Besides recruiting effectively, training and development are the next most important aspects of the sales leader's job. While Acumen Management is not a sales training firm, we do focus on the facts that sales management MUST focus on sales training within their own firms.

With our consulting clients we recommend that sales managers must plan their sales training meetings 90 day in advance. I am suggesting that sales meetings are not the same as sales training meetings. Prior to each quarter we suggest spending two hours to carefully review the needs of your team and develop a program to address each issue. During the planning meeting the strategic sales manager will define each date, time, assigned trainer and subject matter well in advance. This ensures that sales skills, product knowledge, company operations and industry information are thought through during each quarter. The expertise of your team is moved forward on each topic.

I like to recommend that members of your sales team become the sales trainers. What I mean is the sales manager should not be the only sales trainer; assign specific people to train on the various topics that need training such as CRM applications, sales skills training (i.e. negotiations) and product/services information. The important aspect to remember is for the sales managers to "Inspect what you expect..." meaning prior to your salesperson's training event you must review their content and knowledge. With sales training plans built out 90 days in advance, (normally the same sales days/times each month) everyone knows well ahead of time the scheduled events and can block out those dates/times in their calendars.

By planning your sales training in advance the strategic sales leader will be better organized in the developmental aspects of the salesperson's training and by assigning portions of the training to salespeople the sales manager can also gain insights as to who could be a future sales manager.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on October 06, 2010 at 11:59 AM