High-performing salespeople are crucial for successful businesses. One of the best ways to keep salespeople sharp is rigorous sales training programs. In fact, according to Task Drive, the ROI for sales training is almost 400%.
This article looks at six of the best sales skills to incorporate into your training programs that can help sharpen your team’s abilities.
Customer data analysis
In today’s uber-competitive business environment, understanding customers is key to profitability. Collecting and analyzing consumer behavior allows salespeople to understand their customers much better. One McKinsey study found that customer analytics can help rake in 115% higher ROI. The same study found that improving customer knowledge can also result in 93% higher profits.
Customer data analysis is a powerful sales skill as it allows salespeople to:
- find their most profitable customers
- make the sales funnel more effective and efficient
- optimize capacity and human capital
- personalize the customer experience
- identify high-value new market opportunities
- mitigate risk and handle setbacks effectively
A business can have the best products or services. Yet, if the salespeople do not understand why their customers are buying, or know how to explain the benefits then sales are likely to be sluggish.
An ExpertCity study found that sales associates who completed even one short product training program sold 69% more than those who did not. Product knowledge ensures that sales professionals can:
- pitch with confidence and enthusiasm
- present the products or services benefit accurately and persuasively
- understand your product’s or services’ unique selling points
- personalize pitches to the prospect’s specific needs
- respond to any objections convincingly
- create attractive value for the product or service they are selling
Studies show that customers want expert guidance on a product or service that solves their issue. Strong communication skills allow salespeople to be problem-solvers versus product-pushers. As a result, they’ll be able to reach more prospects and engage in more productive discussions.
Salespeople who are effective communicators can:
- clearly show how a product or feature will help the buyer
- listen attentively to customers
- focus discussions on smart solutions
- write timely, engaging, and persuasive messages
- manage their time well
- match communication styles to create rapport with customers
When trying to close a sale, it would be ideal if customers agree with all your terms. However, the reality is that you will need to negotiate at some point. Negotiating skills are the difference between walking away with a deal or a loss.
Sales negotiation training programs can equip you with the following skills:
- best ways to prepare to maximize deal values
- how to resolve conflicts effectively
- most productive persuasion tactics in different scenarios
- determine what type of concessions to offer and when
- when to walk away from the negotiating table
Sometimes, it takes prospects a while to respond to your efforts. In fact, according to Invesp, 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes. It’s all but impossible for any business to become successful if they let prospects slip through their fingers. Hence why mastering the art of sales follow-up is a critical skill for salespeople.
Some effective follow-up techniques that you can solidify with practice include:
- what channel to use to follow up with prospects and when to use them
- how often to try and reach prospects
- what to say to maximize the value of each follow-up
- when to collaborate with others in sales to increase the chance of getting a deal
- when to back off when your prospect is unresponsive
Emotional intelligence allows salespeople to understand how customers feel. When customers feel heard, they are more likely to remain loyal. Customer loyalty is vital for long-term business profitability.
According to a Business 2 Community statistic, 65% of your sales will come from loyal existing customers. Furthermore, almost 60% of customers stay loyal to brands that “get them,” says The Wise Marketer.
Some emotional intelligence skills that you can learn through training programs include:
- being able to understand your emotions and how they impact others
- assessing situations with accuracy to enable effective decision-making
- people skills to build rapport and maintain meaningful relationships with customers
- resilience to stick through the highs and lows that come with selling