Sales Team Training: Are You Overlooking Valuable Resources?
Training is a hot topic, and it seems like everyone has a different opinion on what they think is best for their sales team. Fortunately, there are so many resources out there that it’s easy for just about every team to find what they need. As a leader, it is your job to find the best training tools, including those that are best-suited to your specific industry or type of business. Doing that requires you to explore the options and take the time to decide what is going to be most effective for your team.
When looking at available training for your sales team, you’re probably in search of something that is convenient and that doesn’t take a lot of time or effort. Convenience is great, and the Internet definitely offers plenty of quick solutions and self-paced training tools that can provide assistance. However, the ultimate convenience is giving your team a resource they can carry with them at all times. Give them something they can reference for the future and continue to benefit from for many years.
You’re probably thinking that this sounds pretty ideal, but you aren’t sure where to find it or how to offer it. The answer is a simple one, albeit often overlooked: sales books.
Sales books have been around as long as people have been selling things, and typically have two very different camps. Some business professionals and sales leaders love reading the latest sales books, memoirs from self-proclaimed “gurus”, and other books that are designed to help them improve themselves and/or their sales game. Others think that it’s all a giant waste of time and that there are far more valuable resources out there in other forms.
The reality is that there are a lot of valuable resources in the sales and professional development category of books, and all it takes is a little time for you to find the ones that are going to give your team the tools and knowledge that they need to succeed.
What Do Sales-Related Books Cover?
These books offer all kinds of information and insight on everything from basic selling techniques to leadership, professional development, and even people skills. After all, sales is a people business and the biggest key to success is knowing how to deal with them effectively. Depending on the types of goals you have in mind for your team, you can do some research and cultivate a great reading list to equip them with tools that they can use for long-term success.
The most common topics that are covered by sales books are a lot more in line with most sales teams’ goals and needs than you might realize. There is an entire selection of books and resources available even for the psychology of sales and how to utilize those practices to improve your own sales methods, for example. You can have your team read up on confidence-building sales guides and personal development memoirs that will boost their professional growth in more ways than one.
Training Beyond the Actual Sale
The biggest element that these resources have in common is that they are less focused on the sale itself. While different books are available that highlight or offer guides on various sales tactics and strategies, most of the market for sales-related books and team-building resources are focused more on cultivating the people, which will then allow the sales to come through on their own. As a sales leader or manager, that should always be your priority: creating great team members and professionals. Instill all the necessary character skills and interpersonal abilities, and focus on confidence. Then, the sales will come naturally.
Take a gander at the selection next time you’re browsing online or at your local bookstore and you’ll quickly notice the huge variance in the number of sales books that actually talk about sales themselves. Most companies have static training in place for things like sales process development, presentation training, lead generation, account management, and cross-selling or upselling products. These are all standard practices that anyone can learn.
What sales books offer is far more valuable: a long-term resource and development guide to help your sales team become better professionals, and better people in general. What business wouldn’t want that for their sales teams?
How to Choose the Best Resources
Sales team training is all about finding what works best for your team and their unique personalities or needs. It helps if you, as a leader, can get on board and read any books that you consider handing to your team. You might gain a thing or two, but also perhaps more importantly, you’ll be able to know what you are asking them to read and that it hits all the points that you want to cover. You might even have certain titles in mind for certain team members, based on their personalities or professional development needs.
As long as you’re being thoughtful in your choice of training resources, it should be simple for you to find what you need. Because there is such a diverse selection, it is ultimately going to be your decision to figure out what you need. Think about your sales team. What are your goals for them, beyond the obvious improvement in your bottom line? When you use that information to help you select from the bestselling sales books of all time, you can be sure that you’ll be setting your people up for all kinds of future success.
The Bottom Line
In most employee appreciation surveys and workplace satisfaction studies, it presents time and time again that people often feel under-trained and therefore underutilized and under-appreciated in their roles. If they aren’t feeling good about their role on your sales team, they’re not going to perform well. Sometimes, even just taking an active interest in the training and development of your team is enough. Capitalizing on resources like sales books that offer infinite and lifelong learning resources is going to set your team up for success in a number of different ways.