Your phone sales are lacking. Here is the path to creating the best phone sales training possible.
Going out on a limb here, but what if there is no “best” phone sales training program? Indeed, no one in the marketing department at any sales training company would approve that kind of talk. And if there is no “best,” how can you hope to create the best one?
Let’s break down what the word “best” means. Michael Jordan is without question one of the best basketball players of all time. He was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1985. He was a six-time NBA champion, a 14-time NBA All-Star, a nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team, and he averaged 30.1 points per game. That’s just the beginning of his lengthy list of accomplishments. Then, in 1993, Jordan retired from the NBA. In 1994, he put on a baseball uniform.
At the time, no one knew what to expect. Here was the world’s greatest basketball player, picking up a bat. To make a long story short, Jordan was not a good baseball player. He wasn’t terrible, but his prowess in basketball did not translate to the ball field.
The “best,” whether it’s the best athlete or the best phone sales training program, is all about context. That’s precisely why creating your own is the only way to achieve greatness in your training.
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The 10 steps to designing the best phone sales training for your new employees
Since the best phone sales training program depends on the needs and strategy of your business, the ideal approach is to look at what makes any sales training program successful. Once you have the concepts in place, it’s just a matter of working out the details.
For example, you would use a different approach for outbound phone sales than you would for an inbound call center. But in both cases, excellent customer service is paramount. And that’s actually the first principle in designing your version of the best phone sales training program.
1. Focus on customer service.
Customer service is everything in business. Contrary to the old adage, that doesn’t mean the customer is always right. However, the customer is always the customer. Your team needs to ensure your customers feel like a part of the conversation.
2. Create a script.
There are plenty of business reasons for this, such as standardizing a sales pitch and tracking ROI, but from a training standpoint, a script helps your salesperson focus more on the customer and less on what they need to say. When you create the sales script, expect to go through several iterations as you gather more data and learn what does and does not work. Then keep your team up to date on the changes.
3. Know the product or service inside out.
To be successful, your salespeople need to go beyond the basics of the sales script. There’s no way to anticipate what kind of questions or concerns people will bring up, and the only way to address them confidently is for your team to know as much as possible about what it is they’re selling.
4. Pay attention to posture.
Yes, it’s phone sales. No, they can’t see you. But yes, posture does make a difference. Remind your team to stand or sit up straight, and be energetic and excited about the call.
5. Pay attention to delivery.
It is far from ideal if people can’t understand what your salespeople are saying. Have them speak slowly and clearly. Practice the sales script. And smile; it really does change the way your salespeople sound on the other end of the call.
6. Pay even more attention to delivery.
Don’t set your salespeople up to sound sales-y. Practicing the script will help your team avoid the “sales” voice and sound more natural, which means more approachable.
7. Prepare them for objections.
Even the best phone sales training programs in the world won’t give you a 100% success rate. And whether or not we want to admit it, objections can be disheartening. Like any disappointment in life, however, there are productive ways to work through it.
8. Detail the next step.
The keyword here is “detail.” Regardless of what type of sales call your team is making, they need to be specific about what comes next. If they’ve just closed a deal, that might be scheduling an onboarding session with your client. If it’s a prospecting call, ensure they schedule the in-person meeting. Don’t leave the details up to chance. Don’t plan a call for “sometime next week.” Set a date. Set a time.
The best musicians in the world don’t just show up and expect a flawless performance. They practice – a lot. The great cellist Yo-Yo Ma still practices for hours at a time. And that’s after recording more than 75 albums, winning 18 Grammy Awards, and receiving both the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Set your new hires up with an experienced salesperson to practice.
Whether it’s inbound, outbound, cold calling, selling timeshares, selling insurance, or any other type of sales, the best phone sales training programs always give new hires a chance to shadow more experienced, successful salespeople. It’s an excellent way to see all this training in action and get a feel for what a real sales call is like. If your call software offers a whisper coaching feature, you can use this to let them listen in to calls.
Bringing it all together
Once you have your phone sales training program up and running, don’t drop the ball. The practice isn’t just for new hires. Revisit these concepts in your team meetings. Offer additional training and reviews to your entire sales team.
The concepts of successful outbound phone sales are living and breathing. Be flexible in making them work for you and your team, and incorporate new information and data into your training as a regular feature. Remember, if you want to stay ahead in anything, whether it’s basketball, baseball, music, or sales, you and your team need to continually evolve and learn.
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