How to Improve the Effectiveness of Sales Training

Every year, businesses spend thousands of dollars on sales training programs. Whether these training sessions are taking place in-house, lead by your management team, or through outside seminars, it's important to prove they are leading to better sales. One mistake many companies make is assuming that a sales training will automatically improve sales. While the information might be valuable, many times sales training seminars are not designed to optimize learning or practice. Salespeople may only take away a small percentage of the information. In order for a training program to have any impact, it needs to be customized, exercised and revisited. This article will tell you how to improve the effectiveness of sales training.


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    Hire sales trainers that are willing to customize sales training programs to your business. Have your sales leadership team meet with trainers ahead of time so that they can understand your business and your strategic initiatives. Many industries must sell to niche markets where general sales tactics need to be adjusted, so that your sales team can use them immediately.
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    Apply time management techniques to the sales training. A successful salesperson excels at time management, so ask yourself if your sales trainer and sessions also apply these rules of time management. If the sales trainer cannot explain and distribute information quickly and effectively, your sales representatives will find it hard to do so as well.
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    Choose a few short training sessions over 1 long session. A 15 to 30 minute sales training session covering 1 topic, followed by practice, is often better than a 2 hour session followed by lunch. Plan the sessions so that they happen right before people have to get on the phones or meet with clients.
    • You may recommend that the salespeople practice new tactics on low-grade leads before employing them on their best leads. Have your sales trainer listen to your salespeople so that the next session can be adjusted to their strengths or weaknesses.
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    Split up your sales team, in order to maximize their strengths. New hires, people with a few years of experience and seasoned salespeople should not be lumped together in 1 training session, unless it is short and absolutely necessary. Trainers can give personal attention with smaller groups, and they can expect to train based on the level of experience, cutting out unnecessary information for some people and creating simpler steps for new trainees.
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    Make the information available to your salespeople after the training session. Do not hand out pieces of paper during the session. Get them actively involved and listening when they are training, and then email the notes or post a webinar that they can refer back to later.
    • If you are hiring a sales trainer from outside of the company, ask that they provide a webinar that can be used a month after the training. Ask that your salespeople revisit things that were unclear to them in 15 to 20 minute intervals. Repetition, 3 or more times, helps commit the training to memory.
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    Use advanced technology whenever possible. As well as webinars, make sure your sales trainers are using PowerPoint presentations, videos and engaging information whenever possible. Trainers should not stand in front of salespeople and speak at them, they should ask questions, entertain and show the procedure with examples.
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    Make sure your sales team recognizes what is expected of them. Establish sales goals based on the training, whether it is adopting a new technology in the sales process or closing more sales. Give sales incentives for adopting the new practices quickly and finding creative ways to adapt the procedures to their own style.
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    Follow up on the sales training. Ask your salespeople to give you feedback on what was and was not effective about each training session. This could be a survey or a quick email, but if you find you are getting the same negative or positive feedback, then adjust your later sessions to be more productive.

Things You'll Need

  • Sales trainers
  • Short training sessions
  • Webinars and/or handouts
  • Multi-media presentations
  • Time management skills
  • Customized training
  • Employee feedback
  • Goals or incentives
  • Small groups

Article Info

Categories: Sales Occupations