This Hubspot article, Why Inside Sales Has A Training Problem, was published 3 years ago…and still holds true. Why?
Reps Need Inside Sales Training, Not Field Sales Training
Inside Sales reps need training that’s focused on the job you’ve hired them to do (i.e. sell over the phone). Too many companies try to force their field sales training material into the Inside Selling world, or go out and buy generic training on “sales skills.” All this does is make the rep’s job twice as difficult. Now they need to not only learn the new skill, but they also need to figure out how (or if) it translates into selling over the phone.
After training reps around the world over the course of the last 15+ years, I can assure you that the first time they start to think “that doesn’t work here” or “that won’t work with my customers” you’ve lost them. It is the responsibility of the trainer to make the training as close to the real world as possible to minimize the gap between learning and application. Most people will agree with the logic of doing this, but so few companies do it.
Get On The Phones
Reps need training that simulates real world experience. Get them on the phones! There’s no better way to get past the “that won’t work here” argument than to get reps using the skills before the training is even over. Start with some practice in the classroom to let them work the kinks out and make revisions with their peers, but then go out and do it with your customers and get some feedback.
We have a huge advantage in Inside Sales when it comes to speed and ability to execute…why don’t we use it more often? Everyone is in the office together, their customers are right on the other side of the phone, make the dials! If you were doing this in the field it would be impossible to get this kind of customer feedback during training, but not for Inside Sales. We also have the luxury of adjusting on the fly. You can make 15-20 calls in an hour, learn from those calls, make revisions, and make another 20 calls after lunch. Trying moving that fast in the field!
So, let’s get our reps on the phones practicing the skills they need to be successful at their job.