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The art of sales isn’t stagnant: An ever-changing industry, evolving techniques, emerging technologies, and increasing customer demands require adaptability for success. To ensure their reps are well prepared, sales managers must provide consistent, ongoing training.
The 2020 LinkedIn State of Sales Report shows that top-performing sellers are more likely to spend a significant amount of time training with their managers. And since organizations that invest in training receive about $453 for every dollar invested (a 353% ROI), implementing an effective sales training program is the competitive advantage most companies likely can’t afford to ignore.
But finding the right sales training program for your team can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. There are myriad training programs that promise unmatched advantages — each offering a different methodology or format for support. And the challenges don’t stop there: Once you find the right program for your reps, many managers struggle to get executive buy-in, measure progress, and truly transform their team’s culture for successful adoption.
Here, we’ll take a close look at different types of sales training programs, how to choose the right one for your team, and 11 of the most popular sales training programs available today.
Sales training is the practice of empowering reps through development — by honing their sales skills, fine-tuning their process and methodologies, refining their product expertise, and enhancing their use of sales technology. The overarching goal of sales training is to thoroughly prepare salespeople to perform at their best.
It’s no wonder 89% of sales leaders have invested (or plan to invest) in internal sales training for their reps. Setting reps up for success during every part of the sales process is crucial for winning more deals and delivering a consistently exceptional customer experience.
With the right sales training program, leaders and managers can upskill their talent at-scale for a more competitive, effective team. This is particularly vital in today’s complex sociopolitical sales environment; where reps must be data and technology fluent, engage customers with empathy and accountability, and be capable of driving insights-backed conversations.
Understanding the different types of sales training programs is often confusing for leaders and managers. There are countless training providers — each with a different name, methodology, and price. But, at their core, practically every sales training program falls into one of four major categories:
Though the two are sometimes conflated, it’s important to note that sales training programs are vastly different from sales coaching software. Sales training programs are intended to be educational practices that help reps implement the essential techniques for success. Some programs do use sales technology for support (or even train reps to properly use technology for better outcomes), but they themselves are not considered technology.
Sales coaching software, on the other hand, is a robust tool that’s leveraged as part of a team’s SalesTech stack. It helps sales teams streamline their workflows, automate administrative tasks, identify areas for improvement, and provide real-time coaching (even during sales calls). These technologies are highly focused on helping sales teams turn their data into more deals. When paired with the right sales training program, an intelligent sales coaching solution can help reps enhance the customer experience and improve win rates.
U.S. companies spend more than $70 billion a year on sales training. It’s an investment that makes sense, given the various benefits of implementing an effective sales training program. Some key advantages include:
As with any process, tool, practice, or technique, not all sales training programs are created equal. Choosing the right one should be highly dependent on your organization's unique goals, team members, budget, and culture. As you evaluate your options, be sure to follow some key best practices for success:
Modern sales training programs can help your reps enhance their skills and grow your business. To help you get started in evaluating your options, we’ve compiled a list of today's most popular programs and what they each offer.
Winning by Design helps sales organizations create an effective go-to-market sales strategy and train your teams to drive growth. They’re specifically focused on remote sales teams, with foundational frameworks and processes that help boost collaboration and scalability.
Using interactive training courses, Winning by Design helps reps develop core skills for running demos, enhancing customer interactions, and more. They offer curriculum in a variety of formats for reps in every role; including field sales, SDRs, account executives, and account managers.
With individual and group programs (offered both in-person and remote), JBarrows Sales Training helps reps fine-tune their processes for consistent, high-quality execution. They engage the sales team and boost their skills through live, interactive training and application, which ensures adoption and results.
Because JBarrows Sales Training can be completed from anywhere, teams who implement the program can receive consistent, structured sales education that improves their performance. They focus on outbound prospecting into new accounts to help sales teams fill their pipeline.
Victory Lap can help sales organizations both recruit new reps and upskill their current salespeople. They offer methods to increase conversation rates and boost the ROI of sales teams. With a variety of resources (e.g. live training calls, bootcamps, videos, etc.), organizations can use their program to help reps excel in the sales career path.
By providing an end-to-end sales training program — from recruitment, to onboarding, to development — Victory Lap helps sellers build confidence, ramp faster, and perform at their best.
SalesWorks marries performance objectives with a user-driven experience to boost rep efficiency and productivity. They tailor their training to every level (from SDRs to VPs of sales) with highly-immersive development programs.
The SalesWorks team offers open workshops as well as customized, ongoing training and development across the entire revenue team. They enhance onboarding, leadership, and customer success initiatives with a unique approach that drives sustainable growth.
ClozeLoop helps B2B sales organizations improve predictability, close more deals, and optimize their talent with training programs that promise ongoing success. Regardless of your company’s size, their agile approach to training can help your sales team quickly achieve its revenue goals.
With a three-pillar framework for success, ClozeLoop helps sellers build upon their foundational skills for improved sales execution. They offer courses, videos, and other resources for results-driven sales training.
Force Management’s training program focuses on turning your sales team into a well-oiled machine. They provide proven methodologies, sales enablement resources, and consistent execution processes for measurable results.
Because they frame their approach as ‘sales transformation’ instead of sales training, they customize the process and ensure high levels of adoption. Force Management can deliver an ongoing training program in a format that works best for your team, whether remote or in-person.
The Harris Consulting Group understands the importance of active listening and asking the right questions. They focus on training reps to speak at the right time for better execution and a deeper understanding of customer needs.
Via live courses, videos, or an online training portal, The Harris Consulting Group uses the N.E.A.T (Need, Economic Impact, Access to Authority, and Timeline) method to guide reps to succeed within their individual roles. Plus, they customize training around your business goals and broader initiatives.
Modern Sales Training offers actionable and results-driven programs that help reps create their own learning paths. Through a variety of courses and workshops, they help sellers level up their skills and improve their overall performance.
The company provides both on-demand lessons and lifetime access for subscribers, so salespeople can develop skills that ensure long-term success. Modern Sales Training is strategy-focused and helps even the greenest of reps become expert sellers.
Factor 8 is completely focused on helping reps sell in a remote environment. Their team consists of expert sales leaders who left their previous roles to spend time developing other reps’ skills.
With an online, fully customized curriculum, Factor 8 teaches salespeople while they’re on the job. They take a hands-on approach to increasing pipeline, shortening the sales cycle, and closing more deals.
SALESDOCk is best known for helping sales teams get the most out of their processes and technologies. They deliver complex education to help reps identify and target the right prospects, increase conversions, and teach teams to use their tools to automate, measure, and predict the sales process.
By helping managers to determine which sales processes don’t work (and implement ones that do) SALESDOCk boosts rep efficiency and effectiveness. They first consult with your sales team to build a better department, then offer continuous online training for further development and support.
A Sales Growth Company's approach to accelerating growth is centered around problem-centric selling: the sales methodology that teaches salespeople how to sell the way your buyers like to buy. Their structured gap selling roadmap focuses on how to improve your average sale price, lead generation process, sales quota, and close rates.
ASG offers both virtual and in-person training. Before training starts, ASG diagnoses your team’s challenges across strategy, structure, people, and process. From there, they develop a comprehensive training that meets the specific needs of your organization.
Finding and implementing an effective sales training program can seem like a daunting task, but it’s well worth it for teams that want to remain competitive, improve rep performance, and increase their revenue. After all, proper continuous training ensures rep preparedness and efficiency at every stage of the sales process.
In addition to a modern sales training program, sales teams need powerful tools that offer real-time enablement and coaching. That why Outreach built Kaia, a conversation intelligence solution that takes your sales training initiatives to the next level. With tools for faster rep onboarding, live transcription, automated task tracking, real-time talk visibility, and more, Kaia can help your sales team turn its data into deals.