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Tips to Create (and Improve) Sales Training Resources

Tips to Create (and Improve) Sales Training Resources

To those on the outside looking in, making a sale can look deceptively simple. But anyone who's experienced the struggle of trying to guide a prospect through the buyer's journey is all too familiar with how complex closing deals actually is. There are many moving parts, and it can feel like a never-ending dance involving a host of skills you never knew you needed.

There's a real art to sales, and seeing a successful salesperson is nothing short of impressive. But here's the thing: Good sales representatives usually don't flourish right out the gate. While some people come into a sales role with relevant skills that certainly help, developing everything it takes to be a superstar seller takes time.

That's where your sales training materials come in. Sales training can bridge skill gaps and empower your team to reach their full selling potential! Whether you're building a program from the ground up or using existing resources to make improvements, developing effective sales training material can make a world of difference. It's the best way your organization can support the front-line profit-makers and boost revenue across the board.

What Are the Most Important Sales Training Materials?

Organizations like yours can use many different types of training materials to prepare sales reps. Some of the "must-haves" include lessons about essential sales skills, product breakdowns, market demographics, and sales processes. Those are the bare essentials every rep needs to know to get started.

But your training should go much deeper if you want your team to reach the upper echelons of sales success. Ultimately, training is about providing support and giving your salespeople the tools they need to tackle every sales situation.

More complex materials might cover communication, emotional intelligence, competitive enablement, and other skills your team needs to close deals. Training is just as complicated as sales itself, and your program should cover every facet of the sales experience while providing as much support as possible. From sales scripts to competitive battle cards salespeople can use at the moment, those extra materials go a long way.

How to Create Training Resources for Your Sales Team

Developing an effective sales training program with impactful resources isn't easy. It's an ongoing process that requires continual upkeep and evolution. The market is ever-changing, and the only way to succeed is to keep your team one step ahead of the curve.

If you're looking to learn how to create top-notch training materials for your team, we have you covered. Here are a few tips to get started.

Assess the Current State of Training Materials

The first thing you should do is take a look at existing material. Hopefully, your organization has something in place to guide representatives in the right direction. It could be an old-school manual or a traditional video-style training course. Whatever the case might be, study it!

The best way to improve an existing system or build a new one from scratch is to have a frame of reference for where your company is now regarding employee training. See what's available and examine it closely to understand the information your team is learning. If the content is super old, there's a good chance many of the techniques and sales strategies are outdated.

Take note of those issues to ensure that you provide the correct information in your new materials.

It's also a good idea to do a bit of benchmarking. Use the materials to assess team knowledge, establish a few key performance indicators (KPIs), and see how your team currently interacts with the materials available to them. From there, you can create objectives for your new resources and set goals that guide you moving forward.

Leverage Existing Sales Team Communication Channels

Your existing resources can help you see where your training materials need improvement. But it's not the only place to pull information and inspiration. Your existing communication channels are an excellent source of valuable training resources.

Turn to your most-used channels like Slack, Notion, and Drive. You can see what your team struggles with and surface relevant resources to help you develop the most impactful training materials possible. It's also an excellent way to gauge how your team communicates, what information they share, and how well they work together to enable one another's successes.

In addition to communication channels, look into your existing documentation. Your company likely has a treasure trove of valuable documents to help you create training resources. The most useful materials include win/loss analysis statements, generic sales reports, and other data-driven documents. Email templates and sales scripts can come in handy, too.

Provide a Complete Suite of Sales Templates for New Reps

Did you know that the average ramp-up time for a new sales rep is six to nine months? That's a long time for new hires to get caught up with others and start contributing to the organization's bottom line. During that time, your new reps are a significant expense that costs the company rather than boosts revenue.

The best thing you can do to minimize that ramp-up period is to provide a suite of sales templates your reps can use straight out the gate. It'll still take time for your new hires to learn the ropes and obtain the skills they need to excel. But real-world sales experience is a big part of that learning process.

Effective sales templates are among the most valuable training materials new salespeople can have. They serve as guides that your reps can use to develop pitches and proposals. Templates often outline relevant information and sales techniques they need. You can have many templates ready for your new agents on day one, allowing them to hit the ground running and learn as quickly as possible.

Use an Integrated LMS and Enablement Platform

The days of old-school manuals and boring class-based programs are long gone. These days, organizations need feature-rich software to help facilitate learning. A learning management system (LMS) facilitates sales training, making every resource you create readily available for your entire team to use.

A good LMS platform like Flockjay can onboard new reps, make your sales tools easy to access, and provide interactive lessons everyone can use to further their skills. Best of all, the software doubles as an enablement platform!

In addition to sales training, your reps need on-the-spot support they can count on. Whether they need a sales script, unique content for a challenging prospect, or tips for objection handling, a sales enablement platform is there to support your reps every step of the way.

A sales enablement and LMS platform can be a game-changer for your organization. It's one of the smartest investments you can make, pushing your training methods to the next level.

Prepare Dedicated Resources for Remote Sales Reps

It's not always easy engaging remote teams. Your reps who aren't in the office don't have the means to listen to peers in action as they work. They don't have the luxury of proximity or shared-office camaraderie. But that doesn't mean you can't support them or provide impactful training materials.

Here's where having a robust LMS and sales enablement platform makes a difference. The right software lets you bridge the gap between remote and in-office workers. Provide dedicated resources to address your remote teams' unique needs. Then, offer continual support and enablement through technology.

You can even use platforms like Flockjay to create virtual classrooms and make every representative part of your training program, no matter where they are.

Cultivate Peer-to-Peer Knowledge Sharing

Earlier, we mentioned that sales are ever-evolving. As a leader, it's your job to continually update training materials and ensure that you're providing accurate and relevant information. But let's face it: You're not always in the know.

Representatives often obtain new information that can benefit the entire team. Some may even develop new sales strategies or find a new market segment your organization hasn't tapped into just yet. Whatever the case, it pays to foster an environment of peer-to-peer sharing.

Encourage your salespeople to work together and share new information as it comes up. Develop a culture of collaborative sales strategies. Sales are competitive enough, but your team is all working towards one goal. Remind them of that and provide the means to make sharing information and successful sales strategies a breeze. 

Write (or Rewrite) Your Sales Training Manual

As you develop new training materials, use them to write a sales manual your team can realistically use. If your organization already has one, use your new resources to rewrite it and make improvements where needed.

Your sales manual should be a compendium of knowledge that your reps can refer to whenever they need assistance. It's another piece of support that complements your sales content and enablement platform. Think of it as a how-to guide that new and existing salespeople can utilize to close deals and move prospects through the buyer's journey.

Writing a manual isn't easy, but your materials should help you fill it with helpful content that matters.

Build an Optimal Sales Training Program with Flockjay

When you want to build a robust sales training program to turn your reps into selling superstars, turn to Flockjay. Flockjay is a multifaceted platform that enables and empowers your team to smash every sales goal. It acts as an LMS platform to centralize your training materials. However, it also improves the accessibility of sales content, analytics, and more. It'll keep everyone connected to strengthen your team's habits of peer-to-peer coaching. It's a must-have platform that can help your entire sales department become winners.

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