How to Build a Bespoke Sales Training Course

5 Minutes

Discover the benefits of a tailored training course and learn how to build a bespoke sales training course to help realise the potential of your sales team.

A highly effective sales team needs the right blend of talent and people. One of the most influential ways to enhance your recruitment and retention strategy and ensure that your workforce is at the top of their game is to invest in training, which can be instrumental for continued career success. Whether you’re bringing recruits and recent graduates up to speed on processes or improving the skills of your seasoned sales talent, a bespoke sales training course facilitates strong professional progress.

Introducing an impactful sales training course goes much further than giving an immediate improvement in performance and financial ROI—it’s also great for employee morale, showing your workforce that you’re committed to investing in their development. So whilst your business is likely to grow in both size and revenue due to a bespoke sales training strategy, you’ll also see improvements to talent attraction and retention as your reputation for being a nurturing employer grows.

A quality sales training course goes beyond a few handouts or practice calls. To be as effective as possible, a professional development programme should be tailored to your specific business needs, whether urgent or anticipated—identifying gaps in your team’s skills and seeking to close them.

In this article, we’ll discuss some ways you can be certain that a consultative sales training course is right for your business, before exploring how bespoke offerings can help to improve employee efficiency and productivity.

How to Build a Bespoke Consultative Sales Training Course

As the LinkedIn 2023 Workplace Learning Report highlights, the required skills and competencies for jobs across all industries have changed by 25% since 2015. By 2027, experts anticipate this figure to double—meaning that many business leaders are raising concerns about their existing workforces' inability to compete, particularly regarding digital skills.

Indeed, research conducted by Gallup on behalf of Amazon Web Services found that 68% of organisations struggle to hire workers with the digital competencies they need to drive change and improve efficiency.

With the “long shadow” of the COVID-19 pandemic meaning that businesses are increasingly pivoting to hybrid and remote models of work—resulting in employees needing to familiarise themselves with the various technologies that have enabled this transition—this problem will only become more pronounced if employers are unwilling to upskill their salespeople.

When it comes to creating the best training scheme for the consultative sales approach, there are some steps you can take to make certain that your delivery is successful and employees are engaged:

1. Identify skills gaps. Whether you utilise surveys, testing, performance reviews, or regular 1-2-1s, understanding where your current sales team falls short in their competencies is the first step in building a bespoke sales training programme.

2. Audit your business. With the skills gaps identified in your sales team, it’s important to review and assess where extra support is most urgently required. This should be a transparent process, with the team offering feedback and recommendations to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding their learning and development requirements.

3. Set team objectives. You should aim to establish a theme for your training plan, focusing on what individual employees and the wider business will gain from a consultative sales training programme. Creating specific, measurable objectives—such as boosting morale, improving collaboration, or enhancing sales techniques such as negotiation and closing—can help ensure all employees are aligned on the development strategy.

4. Run the training course. Once all of this preparatory work is out of the way, you can focus on delivering the training that your sales team requires. Try to vary how course content is provided, which helps to improve engagement and knowledge retention. For instance, you could use a mixture of role-play activities, questionnaires, or presentations to ensure that people aren’t confined to a screen throughout the day.

5. Review its success. As with any training programme, it’s important to analyse the results of your efforts as you go, making sure you understand how effective your approach has been and adapting accordingly. Employees that have completed the sales training course should be encouraged to offer anonymous feedback, and line managers should be aware of the new skills that staff have gained so they can report on their use over a period of time.

Creating a bespoke training scheme for your sales team is an excellent way to address the specific problem areas that supervisors and team leaders have highlighted. Whilst this can be time-consuming, it's crucial to ensure that any training programmes are closely focused on the consultative sales approach.

Benefits of Bespoke Training for the Consultative Sales Approach

Whilst there may be several off-the-shelf training programmes readily available on the market, creating and tailoring a course of study and professional development which is specific to the needs of your business and your sales team will offer the most value, allowing you to focus on the weaknesses that your employees need to strengthen.

But what are the other benefits of a bespoke consultative sales training course?

Meet Your Employees’ Short and Long-term Needs

Every employee has a different skill set, strengths, and weaknesses. Therefore, a successful training scheme which is tailored to the consultative sales approach should consider each team member’s unique strengths and abilities.

This is why we stress beginning with an in-depth audit once you’ve ascertained your skills gaps—it’s vital that you’re able to see where you rank against industry standards of excellence, which will allow you to make data-driven recommendations on the most effective forms of sales training.

Rather than a generalised course of study that focuses on limited areas, a bespoke sales training scheme can help you prioritise the skills that align with your workforce's wider career ambitions and professional goals.

Ensure Your Sales Team Is on the Same Page

Changes to policy, client demands, or a disruptive advance in technology and computing can shake up a business and change how its sales team operates. When this happens, a tailored training scheme can be instrumental in addressing new developments, helping to ensure that all existing employees can collectively pull together to enact new processes.

As a fast-paced and dynamic industry, sales requires businesses to stay ahead of the game to ensure that they can remain competitive and continue offering clients the highest level of service.

Keeping your sales team up-to-speed with the latest developments through regular training sessions and refreshers can help to ensure their skillset stays strong and, more importantly, that they can take advantage of career progression opportunities through relevant and impactful ways of working.

Provide Flexibility for Your Employees

Some training courses are formulaic in their content and delivery. They might run for years utilising the same routine and materials, inevitably becoming less effective as new technologies and techniques are introduced to the consultative sales approach.

A huge benefit of implementing a bespoke sales training scheme is that you, or your provider, have the complete freedom to adapt your delivery method, timings, venue, and budget to your sales team and their needs.

A bespoke approach means that you can think creatively about how you implement your sales training course. You should always be guided by the understanding of how your employees get the most out of their training, whether they require a more hands-on, in-office strategy or they respond more effectively to a theoretical, study-based approach. By shaking up the “tried-and-tested” methods of delivering a sales training course, you can provide upskilling opportunities for every individual.

For instance, you could break a full day’s training into bite-sized courses—or provide short, ten to fifteen-minute videos—which employees can participate in during short periods of downtime. These forms of “microlearning” have been shown to improve the retention of new ideas and technical skills among students, and by blending learning and development with their day-to-day tasks, you can give your sales team the opportunity to begin immediately incorporating their new competencies into their work.

Create Future Mentors

By providing in-depth and up-to-date training on the latest techniques, employers can build a pipeline of internal talent to support future training needs. When salespeople have built up loyalty for their organisation by benefiting from the career mobility that training provides, they’ll often want to offer something back in the form of mentorship and guidance for new employees.

This can also be a powerful way to encourage candidates from different backgrounds to apply for vacancies with your organisation. Whilst learning and development initiatives aren’t necessarily a silver bullet for increasing diversity within your organisation, when you place candidates from all genders, ages, ethnicities, forms of physical ability, and neurodiversity within prominent mentorship roles, like-minded candidates will naturally see your business as a place they’re likely to feel welcomed and respected within.

This isn’t just a feel-good statistic, either—research shows that mentoring programmes dramatically reduce employee turnover for ethnic minorities and women, with employees 23% less likely to leave a business that encourages these mentorship relationships to form naturally.

Bespoke Training Helps to Ensure that All Employees Profit

A person-centred training process is crucial for organisations looking to improve their inclusivity, given that diversity of background will often entail a business or training provider to adapt to the changing needs of different learners.

As the researchers at Deloitte note in a recent study which encourages business leaders to rethink their learning approach:

“In the future the person acquiring new skills will be at the center of the learning process, with a focus on personalised, integrated, hybrid, and life-long learning.”

By ensuring that all employees can take advantage of opportunities for personal and professional development, business leaders can make certain that they remain competitive—and, moreover, that they’re helping to prepare their workers for that next role, whatever it may be. Indeed, whilst training isn’t the only thing that candidates are looking for from potential employers, almost a quarter of Gen Zs and Millennials rank opportunities to progress and grow as a deciding factor in whether they accept a job offer.

Building a bespoke sales training scheme tailored to the consultative sales approach can yield significant benefits for your business and clients. By identifying skills gaps, auditing your business, setting clear objectives, and running engaging and effective training courses, you can address specific problem areas and ensure continuous improvement.

A customised training programme not only enhances employee efficiency and productivity but also boosts morale and demonstrates your commitment to the professional development of your staff. Furthermore, a tailored approach allows you to meet individual employees’ short and long-term needs, keep your sales team up-to-date with industry trends and advancements, and create future mentors that can empower diversity within your organisation.

By investing in bespoke training, you’re enhancing your employees’ skills, fostering inclusivity, and positioning your business for success in an evolving marketplace.

Enhance Your Consultative Sales Approach with Pareto Training

At Pareto, we’ve been helping organisations realise their employees' potential for over 25 years. Our experts work closely with your sales team leaders to develop a tailored, relevant course of study, ensuring you can address your immediate or anticipated business requirements with industry-leading competencies and technical skills. To learn more, contact us to explore your consultative sales training needs.

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