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What is Sales Management Training and How to Create a Program That Drives Results

Knowing how to sell is different than teaching others how to sell effectively. 

To succeed as sales managers, employees need training in leadership, managing tough conversations, sales coaching, and more. 

Not training sales managers sets them up for failure, which wastes resources and hurts their teams and your organization. 

If you want your sales team to thrive, training new managers is essential. Discover the keys to creating a successful sales management training program.

Why does the sales leadership training gap exist?

There are two primary problems with leadership training:

  1. Many organizations don’t budget for it
  2. When leadership training is available, it’s difficult to implement what you learn within the organization

Read more: Proven Strategies to Design Leadership Training That Works

No budget for sales training

Why do some companies ignore sales leadership training altogether? They assume that great salespeople will make great sales coaches. When executives see sales as a set of skills to be learned, they assume that top performers can teach and motivate others to perform.

Here’s what they overlook: leading is different than doing. 

There are many skills a new sales leader needs that weren’t part of their previous role, such as:

  • Resolving conflict and promoting teamwork
  • Delegation
  • Coaching and employee development
  • Motivating teams and employees
  • Managing corrective action
  • Having challenging conversations with employees

A 2021 study from Second Nature Sales Coaching found that 96 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that the right sales coaching can significantly affect performance. A highly engaged team will have higher win rates, better quota attainment, and lower turnover.

The rapport you develop with a lead differs from your relationships with team members. Creating motivation and engagement for a team is not the same as creating motivation to buy with a customer. That’s why sales managers need training.

It can be difficult to implement new training in the business environment

Harvard Business Review looked at an interesting training initiative at the micro-electronic products division (MEPD) in a company they called “SMA” to protect privacy. 

SMA sent their employees to a training program that the staff found powerful and transformative. But two years later, little had changed when they assessed program results.

Why? Because participants found that the new ideas and work modes weren’t welcome in the company’s existing environment. As a result, the expensive training program didn’t have the desired results.

When implementing a sales management training program, ensure the principles work with your company’s culture and environment. In addition, leaders should model and reinforce the approach taught in the program. 

If that’s not possible, the program should include best practices and workarounds that allow employees to excel despite certain obstacles.

What are the benefits of sales management training?

The most significant benefit of sales management training is that your sales teams will be far more likely to hit their goals. High-quality leaders are essential to drive revenue, boost close rates, improve employee engagement, and decrease turnover.

You need managers who can identify their employees’ strengths and weaknesses, get to the root of problems, and inspire employees to take action to improve. 

An individual can sell, but a manager must inspire others to sell. 

Trained managers will have:

  • Confidence to lead their teams
  • Coaching and leadership skills to foster a high-performance culture
  • The ability to hold their teams accountable to individual and group goals
  • A vision for what the business can accomplish and become
  • The ability to communicate goals and vision to their team
  • The ability to collaborate with others to achieve these goals

These managers can become the next generation of high-level leaders in your organization.

What should sales management training include?

Now that you understand the importance of having sales management training, what should it include? 

The idea of creating your own program may seem overwhelming. However, making a plan that fits your organization can be far more effective than sending your new leaders to someone else’s training program. 

Your sales management training program should focus on the best ways to inspire, engage, and lead within your organization. In addition, it can include ways to overcome specific obstacles and current cultural challenges. 

Here are some of the elements your sales management training process should include.

How to motivate a team

Keeping yourself motivated as a top sales rep is great, but a leader must understand various motivational triggers, not just their own. 

Learning how to listen and find out what makes people tick is key.

How to create engagement

A sales manager is the number one factor in determining their team’s level of engagement. Therefore, building strong relationships between team members and the manager is essential, as is promoting the benefits of the organization’s approach to sales.

A personalized approach to coaching

One of the challenges every new manager faces is that the approach and mindset that made them great at sales won’t work for everyone else. Each person has their own needs, strengths, and weaknesses, and a manager needs training to understand how to build an approach that meets each person’s needs.

How to communicate expectations and give constructive feedback

In sales, if someone isn’t going to buy from you, you can end the conversation and move on to another lead. In a leadership role, you must consistently engage and encourage your employees. 

Learning to communicate goals and expectations and give constructive feedback can be challenging. Make sure to incorporate training on how to approach tough conversations.

Understanding the purpose and implications of each sales goal

As a sales rep, you have goals, and you try to achieve them. However, you may not understand why they’re important. 

As a sales manager, you need to explain the purpose behind the goals to improve engagement and increase buy-in, which leads to better goal achievement and more sales.

Learn about the hiring and discipline process

As an individual sales rep, you only need to worry about your performance. However, as a manager, you must understand the hiring and discipline process. 

Identifying and hiring strong talent helps the company grow and avoid expensive turnover, while managing discipline helps the organization keep its best employees and helps underperforming employees improve. These are things that must be taught.

As you can see, there are a variety of skills that sales reps don’t encounter that are essential when they become managers. A robust sales management training program can set new managers up for success, which helps your sales teams excel.

How WorkRamp supports sales management training

You need the right platform to create an effective sales management training program. WorkRamp is an All-in-One Learning Platform to help you create easy-to-use, intuitive on-demand training.

Learn more about how WorkRamp can help you set your sales managers up for success. Contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo. 

 

Anna Spooner

Freelance Writer

Anna Spooner is a digital strategist and marketer with over 11 years of experience. She writes content for various industries, including SaaS, medical and personal insurance, healthcare, education, marketing, and business. She enjoys the process of putting words around a company’s vision and is an expert at making complex ideas approachable and encouraging an audience to take action. 

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