Three training tips to foster better sales reps

Numerous studies have shown that one of the best strategies businesses can use to get the most out of their sales reps is coaching and training. By providing agents with the insight and coaching they need, companies can see a significant return on their investments and close more deals.

That said, sales coaching isn't something that can simply be thrown together. If businesses aren't prepared to take the time to actually sit down to discuss what needs to be taught, and plan a course of action, they aren't going to see the same ROI. If organizations aren't seeing any ROI, then there is hardly any point in coaching in the first place. Here are some tips for maximizing the value of coaching initiatives.

1. Set clear, quantifiable goalsTraining needs to have an objective. Do you want reps to convert more sales? Sell more product per customer? Push products and services that are more valuable to the company's bottom line? These goals also need to be measurable to ensure coaching is having its intended effect. It's well and good to say you want your salespeople to close more leads, but if you can't figure out a way to actually ensure they are doing so, then you can't determine whether the program had any impact, Business 2 Community explains.

2. Make it relevant
Every business is unique. Even within a single business, there are multiple variables that could impact sales performances. For example, if a product was recently launched, a business might want to push it to customers. Sales agents need to be briefed on the product so they can sell it more efficiently.

For this reason, sales coaching always needs to be relevant. Play to the needs of the department and the company as a whole. If reps are showing weakness in one area, help them improve on those shortcomings. Coaching shouldn't be the same every time because business conditions and sales forces are always changing.

3. Bring in the experts
Sales managers are often effective leaders, but they may not be inherently good teachers or coaches – that's a completely different skill set. That doesn't make them lesser leaders – managers can run a tremendously successful sales department without having the ability to teach others.

Instead, businesses may want to consider bringing in third-party coaches. It's these experts' jobs to train other salespeople to be more productive and they have seen almost all the variables in teams. By bringing them in, you are relieving sales managers' burdens and entrusting specialists to do what they do best.