Sales Training: What Comes First?

February 02, 2015 | Wendy Goeckel
Sales Training: What Comes First?

I normally don’t participate in LinkedIn discussions, but I found a recent one very interesting. In the LinkedIn Group, Sales Training & Sales Enablement Pro’s, Pat Mustico, PhD posed the question: Which is it best to train first, sales methodology or your company’s products while onboarding? What a discussion!sales-training-what-comes-first

Lots of people weighed in that product training comes first.  Some of the reasons they gave were: reps must have confidence in what they’re selling, product knowledge needs to be integrated into sales methodology, and the best way to establish credibility is with product knowledge.

Others think that sales methodology should come first. A few arguments in that camp were that sales reps need to have the skillset to engage with clients before anything else. Reps need to understand how to position products and have conversations.

My point of view? The answer is neither. This is not a typical “chicken or egg” conversation. What should come first is training your target buyers. Who are you selling to and what do they care about? Start with your customers and their goals and challenges. Provide product training (we use on demand courses), then help sales connect your solution to solving those challenges using your sales process. Throughout the training program, save the live training for sales skills because this is where they will need the coaching and practice.

Have a different point of view? Check out the discussion and contribute your own thoughts and ideas or comment on this blog below.

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