How Often Should Businesses Be Providing Sales Training?

9 mins

Maximise your team's potential with strategic sales training. Learn how to align frequency with needs, budget, and industry demands for lasting success.

Training is important no matter what industry you work in, your role, your seniority level, or your experience. We all need refreshers and the chance to improve and develop skills that will help drive our performance and reach career goals. The question we often hear from business leaders in the sales space is - how often should I provide sales training to my team? 

Our insightful guide will explore the factors that influence the frequency of your sales training, from your offerings to industry trends to budget. We will also explore the common situations where providing sales training is essential. This guide will support you in creating a learning and development programme that meets the needs of your sales team and business. 

Factors that can Influence Sales Training Frequency 

No set rule exists on how much your business should provide sales training. Sales training should also always aim to maximise the performance of your sales team and help you stay competitive in your markets while meeting the company's needs and resources. When assessing and developing a sales training schedule for your business, consider these factors that can influence how much sales training you can provide. 

  • The Complexity of your Service or Product -  If your business has more complex offerings, this will require more in-depth and frequent training to ensure the sales team fully understands the benefits, features, and value proposition. On the other hand, the simpler the offering may mean you can be less frequent in your training. 

  • Seniority and Experience of your Sales Professionals - New or less experienced sales professionals will require more frequent training to build their foundational skills and knowledge. Experienced sales professionals and leaders may be more suitable for refresher courses or specialised training covering areas such as sales methodologies, leadership, or new products. 

  • Industry Trends and Market Changes - The fast-paced and ever-evolving sales environments means that sales professionals must be kept up-to-date on changes in the market, industry trends both now and in the future, evolving customer needs, and competitors' strategies. 

  • Length of the Sales Cycle - The longer the sales cycle, the more frequent training is necessary to maintain the sales team’s performance momentum and ensure sales professionals are equipped with the skills needed for the entire customer sales journey. 

  • Employee Feedback and Engagement - The feedback from the sales team can often influence sales training frequency. This feedback can provide valuable insights into how often the team want to be trained and what training methods are most effective. 

  • The Size of your Budget - Sales training, although invaluable, comes with associated costs such as trainer fees, course materials, software licenses, and travel expenses. Additionally, the less apparent costs, such as employee downtime during sessions, add to the overall investment. Striking a delicate balance between investing in future performance and sacrificing present but very short-term productivity requires a thoughtful approach. 

When deciding on how often you should provide sales training, you should closely assess these factors and create a training strategy that meets the needs of your sales team, your business, and your budget. 

If you would like more information about how to develop a sales training programme, discover our excellent guide - How to Develop a Training Programme for Employees in Sales.

Scenarios When Providing Sales Training is Vital 

As we have seen, the frequency of training depends on many factors. However, there are certain scenarios when providing sales training is imperative. The programme you implement needs to meet your needs and budget, but here are three key areas in which effective sales training can highly influence the future success of your business. 

Building Effective Leadership Teams 

Strong leaders drive businesses, and to ensure your leadership team remains effective, you need to provide leadership and management training to ensure they are equipped to motivate sales teams, lead by example, and steer the business towards unprecedented success. Here are key situations when to provide leadership and management training. 

  • Onboarding New Sales Managers - Ensuring new leaders have the vital skills to coach, motivate, and develop their sales teams sets them up for success (and that of their teams) from starting their career with your business. Training for new starters should cover crucial areas such as performance management, delegation, sales methodologies, conflict resolution, and communication. 

  • Preparing for business expansion or team growth - In situations where the business or team are getting bigger, you must ensure that leaders are prepared to handle larger teams and continue to drive their performance whilst maintaining a positive culture. This can be a difficult task for even the most experienced leaders, so providing leadership and management training can go a long way toward making an expansion successful. 

  • Implementing New Sales Strategies or Initiatives - When starting a new sales program or changing a strategy, sales training becomes vital to aligning your leadership team with any changes and ensuring they have the skills to effectively guide their teams through this transition. 

  • New Product or Service Launch - When a new product or service is announced, leaders have to be ready to train and coach their teams to ensure they are ready to sell and close deals with customers. Training could include presentation skills, negotiating, and closing the sale.

  • Identifies Leadership Skills Gaps - These skills gaps could have been identified by senior leaders or by gathering feedback from the sales team. Leadership and management training will help improve skills in key areas such as team building, coaching techniques, and dealing with conflict.  

Onboarding for New Starters and Apprentices 

An effective onboarding and sales training process is crucial for both new starters and apprentices. Those new to the business, industry, or sales need training and coaching to help them lay the foundations for a long and successful career. Here are the key reasons for providing frequent and in-depth training for their early days with your business. 

  • Quickly Boost their Productivity Levels - An effective onboarding program systematically provides new salespeople with the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to hit the ground running. This encompasses product knowledge, sales techniques, familiarity with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and understanding company policies. Accelerating their readiness enables a swift transition to closing deals and positively impacting the bottom line.

  • Improves Talent Retention - New employees and apprentices who feel a sense of welcome, support, and confidence in their capabilities are more likely to stay long-term. Onboarding demonstrates your commitment to their success and facilitates a seamless integration into the company's culture.

  • Improves your Brand - Implementing a well-structured onboarding and training program showcases your dedication to quality and professionalism, appealing to both new hires, apprentices, and customers. This approach has the potential to attract and retain top talent.

  • Elevated Customer Experience - Sales professionals with comprehensive training provide a consistently professional customer experience. Their in-depth understanding of your products and services enables them to adeptly address customer needs and concerns, fostering positive relationships that contribute to repeat business.

  • Lays the Foundation for Future Success - Apprenticeships often result in permanent roles within the company. A well-organised training program establishes the foundation for future career development, equipping individuals with the essential skills and knowledge required for sustained success in the sales field.

  • Real-world Experience - Apprenticeships extend beyond traditional classroom learning by providing hands-on experience under the mentorship of seasoned professionals. This practical training enables participants to cultivate tangible skills, learn from their errors, and gain confidence in their abilities.

Expansion into New Markets 

Venturing into new markets presents exciting opportunities for any business, but it also brings its own set of challenges. A crucial factor for success in a new market lies in having a well-prepared sales team. Here are some reasons why sales training is indispensable when expanding into new markets:

  • Understanding the new market - Each market possesses unique characteristics, encompassing customer preferences, buying behaviours, and cultural nuances. Sales training is instrumental in helping your team comprehend these distinctions and tailor their approach accordingly. For instance, when entering a market with a more collectivist culture, your salespeople may need to prioritise building relationships and trust over making a hard sell.

  • Competing effectively - The competition in a new market may differ from what your team is accustomed to. Sales training enables them to identify competitors' strengths and weaknesses, developing strategies to distinguish themselves.

  • Building relationships - Establishing a presence in a new market essentially means starting from scratch. Your sales team must forge relationships with potential customers, partners, and influencers. Sales training equips them with the communication and networking skills necessary to form these connections.

  • Selling new products or services - Expanding into a new market with novel products or services requires training your sales team on how to sell them effectively. This involves understanding the value proposition of the new offerings and mastering how to position them against the competition.

  • Complying with local regulations -  Each country or region has its own laws and regulations that businesses must adhere to. Sales training is crucial in ensuring your team operates legally and ethically in the new market.

These are a selection of areas where having an effective sales training programme is vital for your business. As mentioned earlier in our guide, you must ensure that when you develop your plans, they meet the needs of your sales team and business but stay within budget and you have the time and resources to carry out the sales training for maximum results. If you are struggling to provide the training yourself, you can speak to a third-party training provider who can create expert training courses that meet your business requirements and are tailored to your sales team’s needs. 

Final Word on How Often Should Sales Training be Provided? 

Determining the frequency of sales training for your business involves carefully considering various factors. There's no one-size-fits-all approach, and the aim should always be to enhance the performance of your sales team, stay competitive, and align with the company's resources and objectives.

The complexity of your product or service, the experience level of your sales professionals, industry trends, sales cycle length, employee feedback, and budget all play crucial roles in shaping the training schedule. Striking a balance between investing in future performance and respecting present budget constraints requires a thoughtful and strategic approach.

As we've explored, there are specific scenarios when providing sales training is imperative. Building effective leadership teams, onboarding new starters and apprentices, and expanding into new markets are key situations where training becomes vital. Whether it's preparing leaders for business expansion, ensuring new hires quickly adapt and contribute, or equipping the team for success in new markets, tailored and frequent training is essential.

Ultimately, when developing a sales training strategy, it's important to closely assess these factors, align the plan with the needs of your sales team and business objectives, and ensure it remains within budget. If internal resources are limited, collaborating with a third-party training provider can offer expert courses tailored to your business requirements. This thoughtful approach ensures that your sales team receives the training they need for maximum effectiveness, contributing to the long-term success of your business.

A Global Market-leading Sales Training Provider

For the last 25 years, we have been dedicated to ensuring that sales professionals and businesses reach their true potential. We are passionate about providing tailored sales training and leadership and management courses that meet the needs of our clients so they can achieve unprecedented success. 

Contact us today if you would like more information about how we can support your business. It’s time to realise your potential. 

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