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3 Musts for Successful Sales Training Workshops

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Thu, Apr 28, 2022

Sales training workshops are often critical cultural touchpoints, allowing salespeople and sales leaders to come together.

 

Here are three musts to ensure that your next sales training workshop is as effective as it can be.

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How to Run an Effective Sales Workshop

 

Every year we deliver between 30-40 sales and sales management workshops, and we do everything we can to make sure that our delivery is top-notch and our audience is engaged. We work with clients, prospects, and associations on these workshops so they are all unique. Sometimes the audience is large and includes a mix of employees – both sales and support. Sometimes the participant groups are smaller, and we integrate our messaging with the leadership/CEO message. There is one shortcoming of all sales training workshops, and we will be upfront and transparent about that. By their nature, they are one-time events, and while they can be helpful to get folks focused and revved up, they usually do not make a long-term impact. But we will address that later.

 

Here are three musts to ensure that your next sales training workshop is as effective as it can be.

 

Must #1: Sales Training Workshops must be customized and interactive

We do not deliver many off-the-shelf workshops. It is always our goal to make sure that we understand and leverage the goals of the event, any theme, and of course, who is in the audience. We also speak the language to the best of our ability of those in attendance. It helps that we understand financial services and the nuances like the loan approval process and the impact of interest rate increases. This effort to customize our workshops to the company’s sales culture often helps us gain credibility and engagement with our audience, so we work hard to fully understand what our client wants to be the result at the end of the workshop. We always ask them, “What do you want the participants to think or feel when we are done with this workshop?” Then we make it happen.

 

We often start our workshops with music and music trivia or a Kahoot poll with something relevant and funny. Our workshop providers (Sales Development Experts) have an entertainment factor and build in humorous stories and examples. Yes, as they say, humor sells, and it especially does when you are trying to keep the attention of a group. We run surveys, show movies, and call on participants all the time, and since this is a common thread, everyone gets more comfortable and starts contributing. Learning is accelerated when people participate and engage so this is very mindful that we layer activities into our sales training workshops.

 

Must #2: Sales Training Workshops must provide quick and easy to use tools and strategies

We have all been to a workshop or two that was heavy on theory and concepts, and while you must touch on some of that, if we only have an hour or two, we try to get very quickly to application tools and strategies. Again, learning is accelerated when participants can apply the learning right then, right there, and so we will often do "drill for skill" where we ask participants to try out a sales technique. We often do a round-robin approach where a sales conversation starts with two and then goes around the room. People learn from each other, so this is a great way for top producers to share their approaches without being put on stage or doing the dreaded roleplay. Everyone participates in a non-threatening way. It is our experience that the best way to make an impact with a sales training workshop is to provide a tool like a Business & Personal Workplan or a Prospect Scorecard, or a Sales Action Plan. These are tools that participants can use right away when they leave the building.

 

Must #3: Sales Training Workshops should not be 1-time events

This might sound like I am selling, but I am not! As you evaluate a sales workshop provider, ask them what they can provide after the event to sustain the momentum. How can your company put a focus and even tracking to the activity that was covered in the workshop? For example, we do many Prospecting Sales Workshops, and one of our most popular is Getting Introductions. In follow-up, it is ideal for the company to track introductions and help coach their salespeople to make that activity continue. Do whatever you can to get your money’s worth! Sales skills are soft skills, and they take time and repetition to master, so see where you can build in practice and video and demonstration. 

 

Ask your sales workshop provider if they can give you videos on the topic, which will sustain the life and focus. In effect, work with your provider to make certain that your sales training workshop is NOT a one-time event.

 

Lastly, these events are often critical cultural touchpoints and offer the opportunity for Sales Leaders to lead, demonstrate and be part of the key focus. We always want to stand side by side with the leader to deliver and support the company or association's message. It’s a win-win for all!

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Topics: sales training workshops, sales action plan

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    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.

     

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