Marketing and sales training can deliver significant business benefits. Training your employees in better sales technique, customer service skills and marketing expertise helps boost sales and improve customer satisfaction
Marketing and sales training needs
Identifying your employees' sales and marketing training needs will help ensure that your training budget is spent effectively. As well as looking at each person's role, you will need to take into account your overall approach to marketing: for example, whether the business aims to maximise short-term sales and profits or to develop long-term customer relationships.
Your employees may need training to help with specific marketing activities: for example, developing copywriting skills to help with advertising and PR, or learning how to exploit opportunities such as internet and social media marketing. Training can also help develop broader skills such as using IT. You and your marketing managers may need to brush up on your management skills through sales management training.
Weaknesses in the performance of different team members, or the business overall, tend to highlight training needs. Poor sales performance might point to lack of selling technique while shrinking margins might indicate weak negotiation skills. Similarly, low levels of repeat business might suggest a need for customer service training. As well as helping develop new skills, training courses can help motivate and reinvigorate jaded employees.
Sales and marketing training options
Sales and marketing training and development should be part of the way you manage employees from the outset, starting with a well-planned induction programme for new employees.
Practical training can be an important part of building skills, particularly in areas such as sales. Options can include role play exercises, accompanying employees on sales calls and debriefing employees thoroughly after successful or unsuccessful activities. If you lack the skills or resources within your business, you might want to bring in a sales coach or marketing consultant to help develop marketing and sales skills.
Other marketing and sales training options include a wide range of training workshops, seminars and online training. Marketing specialists may need a planned training and development programme as part of the continuous professional development (CPD) requirements of a formal marketing qualification.
As with any form of training, you should look for reputable suppliers offering training courses with a record of delivering results. Look for recommendations from business contacts and trainers with appropriate marketing qualifications and accreditation.