Sales Training Software: How to Pick The Right One
If you've ever worked in sales, you know it takes more than just charisma to close a deal. It takes strong skills to succeed in such a competitive market.
And if you don't train your sales reps to improve their performance, they will stand no chance against your competitors.
Many businesses are investing in good sales training software to:
- reduce new hire ramp time,
- enable their workforce by equipping them with the skills and tools they need to succeed, and
- increase the company's value through the resulting boost in performance.
Translation: a sales training software solution could give your sales team the competitive advantage you're currently craving.
But you might be reluctant to invest in yet another tool. So, we want to help you make up your mind.
This article will:
- define sales training software,
- its importance, and
- review some software features you should look out for.
We'll also go over the best practices and techniques for sales training.
💪 What is sales training?
Sales training is the process of improving the knowledge and skills of your sales force to drive higher sales performance. It equips your sales team members with the necessary skills for the job.
Training helps your sales reps improve their prospecting, messaging, and pitching—this results in increased sales and faster deal closing.
You can deliver sales training in various formats, such as:
- group training,
- self-paced learning.
Sales managers and employees collaborate to evaluate and practice various working strategies, correct employee deficiencies and boost their strengths through personal development.
❗️ Why is sales training important?
Sales training benefits not only the employees but also the company. It gives the former opportunities for growth while providing the latter with huge returns or closed deals.
The better trained your sales force is, the better the results for your entire company.
Arming your sales force with the right tools and skills can lead to:
- an increased win rate,
- better strategic accounts,
- increased average deal size, and
- improved sales cycle time.
"Sales training is important because it reduces ramp time, which is essentially how long it takes a sales rep to be a productive salesperson who is bringing in revenue." Alex Kracov, CEO and Co-Founder of Dock.
Sales training teaches salespeople how to understand their customers' needs and wants and effectively communicate the benefits of their products and services.
Effective communication is essential for building loyalty and improving relationships because people base their purchasing decisions on who they trust and believe.
📈 How does sales training software help?
Sales training can happen online, on-site, or in a multiformat or hybrid system.
However, online sales training software increases employee accessibility and productivity from anywhere while lowering costs associated with getting instructors and venues involved in traditional classroom training.
Plus, there is no expiry date for online sales training initiatives.
With a sales training software solution, your employees will reap the benefits from the moment they join the company until they have hands-on experience with customers.
Sales training provides customized content for specific needs
When it comes to training, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Every business has its goals and needs, and every employee learns at their own pace.
A sales training software solution makes it easier for leaders to make content tailored to each individual.
It can help them create a plan with many courses, allowing all employees to be on the same page.
Tip: While some software solutions allow you to create content, others provide pre-built courses. So make sure you find the suitable functionalities for your needs.
It enables sharing of best practices
Team members carry the work on the ground and are a great source of best practices.
Tip #1: Offer your team a space to discuss what works and what doesn't.
A sales training software promotes collaborative learning by enabling salespeople to share best practices and learn from each other.
Tip #2: Use your software to track the best sales methods for each individual and share this information with the entire team.
Tip #3: Consider functionalities like social media integrations, discussion forums, and a collaborative internal wiki editor.
It streamlines various tools, knowledge, and processes
You should select a sales training software based on its interface and functionality.
A user-friendly interface is essential for sales training software. This will ensure that the users can easily access all the tools, knowledge, and processes.
Why would your employees spend unnecessary time searching for the resources they need?
Better use of time will lead to increased productivity and customer service satisfaction.
It has measurable key metrics
If goals are unmeasurable, they may as well be empty plans.
The best sales training software allows you to measure specific vital metrics.
Tip #1: Ensure that administrators and managers can measure their employees' progress to see how their lessons are going.
For example, how long does it takes your team to complete specific learning modules?
How do your employees rate the training?
Tip #2: Focus on trainee satisfaction. Do your employees view the course/module relevant for performing better in their roles?
These key metrics will help sales managers evaluate the team's performance and use them to develop strategic plans.
Without these, a manager may struggle to learn about his team's strengths and weaknesses needed to identify tasks for improvement.
It enables a quick and efficient onboarding
A sales training software solution makes onboarding more efficient, effective, and less expensive.
Help new sales employees learn the ropes quickly and start selling soon after they join the company.
Tip: You can reduce the time to productivity by using features such as virtual role-play and simulated scenarios. These features offer a place to practice pitches, new product features, and demos so they can be more confident when meeting actual customers.
Some software solutions also provide assessments to help identify each employee's strengths and weaknesses.
"Utilising sales training software can speed up the onboarding of new sales professionals in the organization, ensuring all areas are covered. It also helps existing employees to learn new skills and strategies that will help them to be more effective." Gary Warner, Marketing Manager at Joloda Hydraroll.
It offers flexible training with regular assessments
Every sales employee can use the modules according to their phasing. Each of them differs in how much they can review and absorb. The flexibility gives them more room to learn about topics they struggle with.
A more flexible approach to training will help your sales teams learn in the flow of work.
Tip: Incorporate quizzes for each topic. It can help your employees determine whether they understood the concepts discussed. These regular assessments also provide the necessary reward and motivation.
Efficient knowledge management
With software solutions, your training content can use a variety of formats:
- PowerPoint presentations,
- audio files.
Using multiple formats helps cater to the various learning styles of sales representatives. Plus, it helps managers customize key information for a specific group and provide the most appropriate instruction, assistance, and information.
Tip: If you have multiple videos, publish the scrips for those employees that prefer written material.
It allows for an ongoing coaching and reinforcement program
The sales training software provides various analytics. Sales managers can use it to make better evaluations and data-backed decisions. For example, they can see who has access to which content, what employees do with it, and which content helps them win deals.
You want to know which type of material works best and use it fully.
Sales managers can also get an overview of who has been performing exceptionally well and who has fallen behind or requires additional assistance or attention.
With this, they can determine which areas need improvement or enhancement and offer reinforcement.
"It is important to provide ongoing support, and reinforcement to help keep the sales team motivated and on track. This means offering additional resources, such as books, articles, and webinars, as well as holding regular check-ins and coaching sessions." Omer Usanmaz, CEO & Co-Founder of Qooper.
💻 What kinds of sales training software solutions exist?
With all the benefits that sales training software provides, it's no wonder this industry is growing.
There are various types of sales training software, each with key features and benefits.
Sales coaching software
Sales coaching software aims to help sales coaches and managers train and motivate their teams.
Couching-focused software solutions allow salespeople to improve performance by providing personalized feedback and guidance.
Many software solutions allow managers to see a timeline of different programs and coaching activities for their team.
You can encourage your sales team to take coaching into their own hands by providing self-paced learning tools.
Another option would be to allow peer sales coaching so reps can exchange their best practices with their colleagues.
There is also software that includes external video-based content, such as courses from learning platforms like Udemy and Coursera.
Others go the extra mile by having VR or Virtual Reality Tools and video coaching, which help employees master and practice selling skills in a comfortable environment.
The sales training software can do a machine analysis afterward, analyzing the employee's answer for evaluation. It will help identify emotions, clarity of the message, words used, etc.
"The majority of sales training software provide a place to host training materials, whether that's a training video or slide deck. This becomes a great place for follow-up materials and a reference point for the sales team." Alex Kracov, CEO and Co-Founder of Dock.
An eLearning platform is a software solution that offers learners and trainers access to online courses and learning resources. These platforms have various features, such as the ability to create courses, track employee progress, schedule, project management, and more, to make developing effective training plans easier than ever before.
Zavvy, for example, is a powerful learning tool that helps businesses create customizable training plans. Zavvy can help you:
- 💡 Build learning courses
- 📈 Track employee progress
- ℹ️ See who's struggling and needs support.
It also includes features that explain things that matter in sales, such as business playbooks to create manuals for sales processes.
Many eLearning platforms come with many other features focused on sales training, including:
- A library of pre-made courses. These are a great way to get started with sales training. These courses can be customized to fit the needs of your organization. Other platforms also offer course completion certificates.
- Gamification elements, making sales training more fun and engaging.
- Mobile-friendly design, which lets learners access training content on the go.
- Varied learning models allow learners to consume information in the way that works best for them.
Sales training software helps in sales training because it allows you to track your progress. It gives you an overall picture of what your sales training is like and lets you see the impact of your efforts. Sales training software also lets you set goals and make adjustments as needed to continue improving. Will Yang, Head of Growth at Instrumentl.
Sales onboarding software
Sales onboarding software helps new sales reps hit the ground running by providing them with the resources and guidance they need to be successful.
Many sales onboarding software solutions can help you:
- Save time by providing a library of training materials that new sales reps can access at any time.
- Ensure new sales reps have the knowledge and competencies for their role.
- Providing a way to track new employee progress.
- Measure the results of your sales onboarding program so you can improve it over time.
Onboarding software solutions vary, but most include features like:
- Administrative tools to help managers and coaches understand sales reps' strengths and weaknesses.
- Authoring tools to develop custom training content.
- Video conferencing to provide live or recorded training sessions.
- Customer Relations Management (CRM) to facilitate customer-facing activities and help new reps easily track their interactions with customers.
- Reinforcement features offer bite-sized videos, quizzes, and other content to help new reps retain what they've learned.
➡️ In need of extra inspiration? Check out our ready-to-use Sales Onboarding journey template: a 90-day workflow to onboard your new sales managers.
💡 Best practices and techniques for sales training
Start the training during the onboarding process
The newly hired sales rep should start training as soon as they get on board. It will enable them to know their sales targets as quickly as possible. Even though they probably would not work on-site immediately, it can take time to prepare them for the actual work fully.
Some industries take up to six months before thoroughly preparing their new hires. Training them as soon as possible also helps set the right expectations beforehand.
The whole experience should be a form of spaced-out learning. The company could integrate it with the employee workflow rather than solely as part of the onboarding experience.
Have a tailored set of courses
Training shouldn't be a one-size-fits-all approach based on the company goals. Also, employees with varying skills wouldn't need the same level of training.
Top performers may work best with leadership training, while struggling employees may need basic refreshers. New hires need an understanding of all materials for the first months of their stay.
Every course could have an impact if the pathways for each employee are specified.
"High-performing sales representatives, for example, will learn nothing from training material intended for novice sales representatives. They would benefit more from leadership training to prepare them for a managerial role or training to help analyze emerging trends to stay competitive." David Wurst, Founder of WebCitz.
Top performing companies have sales managers that spend time coaching their employees.
There is a significant link between coaching and sales performance, according to CSO Insights Sales Enablement Optimization Report. Some could even improve up to 27% of the improvement in win rates.
The sales training software is a reliable online learning resource. But a coach can help an employee ask more specific questions that can help enhance his skillset. A person-to-person coaching session can also help increase accountability for each sales rep.
Improve employee soft skills
Sales representatives are on the front lines of customer service. The best salespeople are compassionate and genuinely want to help their customers. They listen well and are knowledgeable about the products or services that foster trust and good customer relationships.
Gamify the training
You can encourage healthy competition and keep people interested by making it a game, i.e., training gamification.
For example, sales reps can see who is performing well and where they need to improve by using a point system, badges, or a leaderboard.
The company may also award prizes to the most successful employee or team. Plus, employees can enjoy the habit of learning by instituting a reward system. It's a system of motivation that keeps everyone going.
Be open to continuous learning
If you only train employees once, they are unlikely to retain the needed information. According to Aberdeen Group, 34% more new sales hires achieve their quota after receiving post-training reinforcement.
Encourage information repetition, constant practice, and continuous skill improvement with post-training reinforcement. With this, sales team members will have the growth opportunities they need in their skills and careers. It will also give the company a competitive advantage in employee workforce and sales returns.
Prioritize sales enablement
Sales enablement provides sales reps with the information and tools they need to sell well. You can teach them more than just how to use the product or service. You can also teach them about the complete customer lifecycle and sales learning strategies that go beyond the basics of onboarding.
Tip: You can also provide courses that deeply discuss the product's or services' specific features. It can help them tackle different pain points and provide solutions.
Have role-playing activities
Scenario-based learning is a technique sales employees can practice.
A major advantage of this method is that it will help your employees put the theoretical skills they have previously learned into practice. This will also help their knowledge retention.
Plus, practicing scenarios they may face in real life can help them get comfortable and competent with the different challenges.
As managers or leaders, you can also pair employees within the team. You can ask them to work through assignments and practice the appropriate responses. They can do it through a video or text set up for online training.
"Include customer case studies and unique scenarios that your salespeople confront to guarantee that the training program remains relevant to the user and that they may successfully apply the insights obtained in real-life circumstances." David Wurst, Founder of WebCitz.
Understand the hands-on experience
Of course, nothing can replace an actual hands-on experience. It's why we'd recommend that the best salespeople share with the team their on-site learnings.
If a sales employee does not have this experience, interactive training can help.
Tip #1: Allow your employees to test or play around with the product or service. They have to know what they are selling.
Tip #2: Share best practices via a video demonstration of the dos and don'ts.
Tip #3: Record your most experienced staff as they deliver product demos and use the videos as learning materials for your newbies—follow up with a Q&A session.
➡️ Kick-start your sales training program today with Zavvy
Build a team of excellent sales reps and begin generating massive returns by implementing an excellent sales training program.
Sales training allows you to onboard new sales reps faster, increase sales success, retain sales employees, and meet revenue targets.
Customize your sales onboarding program by creating your own courses, tracking employees' progress, automating manual tasks, and gaining company-wide insights.
Zavvy assists you in smoothly transitioning your sales team into ongoing training and development after onboarding:
- Easy content builder and multiple templates that you can use right away.
- Microlearning: learning nudges in the flow of work to boost knowledge retention.
- Get rid of the excel spreadsheets and automatically pair up sales reps with mentors.
- Keep your staff on track with notifications. E-mail, Slack, MS Teams, the choice is yours.
- Track the progress of your team and find out who your A-players are.
- Identify who needs support - and where.
- Incorporate 360 degree feedback, so all actors can voice their opinions. Always follow up constructively.
Begin your sales training program with Zavvy today. Book a 30-minute free demo with one of our learning specialists.
❓ Frequently Asked Questions
What is sales training software?
A sales training software is online software that contains all content needed to train a sales employee. Various sales training software features allow you to curate information in multiple formats. All or specific employees can access such to improve their selling skills.
How do sales training software help?
A sales training software can help your sales staff get better at what they do. The all-in-one platform gives employees 24/7 access to the information they need to learn. As a result, it makes people more productive, efficient, and motivated. It also cuts down on the cost of training that comes from in-person consultations.
What are some good free sales training resources?
Companies like Zavvy can help you with organizing your sales training and onboarding.
Do I need a separate training software for sales?
Many learning management systems (LMS) offer sales training content and functionalities.
Yet, you may consider a separate sales training software if you have a large sales team or if sales training is a key focus for your organization.
Ultimately, the decision depends on the specific needs of your business and your sales team.
- the size of your sales team;
- the complexity of your sales process, and
- the level of customization and support you need in deciding whether a separate sales training software is right for you.