Sales training has the potential to elevate an organization’s overall performance and give a sales force an edge over the competition. But with the long list of training methodologies and solution providers available, just beginning your search can feel like a daunting task.

As a sales or training leader, it’s up to you to make a decision that will benefit your organization for years to come. Ensure that you’re picking the right sales training provider for your organization by asking the following five questions:

1. Can My Team Observe the Training Methodology Before We Commit?

A sales training initiative typically requires a substantial investment of resources, including time, energy and budget. Before committing to a training methodology, it’s important to make sure it’s a good fit for your team. Ask solution providers if you can observe their training before you make a decision. Whether in person or virtually, you should see a system in action to gauge whether it’s a match for your team and organizational goals.

2. How Will You Customize the Training to My Business?

One size does not fit all when it comes to sales training — or any training, for that matter. The most effective training programs are customized to include the specific challenges, selling scenarios and industry language that participants are familiar with. Customized training increases engagement and retention, maximizing return on investment (ROI). Employees are more likely to understand, buy in to and then apply training when it includes examples that are relevant to their work.

3. What Sets You Apart From the Competition?

You likely have a list of training providers you’re considering. Ask each one what sets it apart from the others. You may discover that one provider specializes in your industry or the challenges currently facing your organization. Some of the differentiators may not have been on your radar, but that could enhance your sales strategy beyond what you’d envisioned.

4. What Other Clients Have You Successfully Helped, and What Did Success Look Like for Them?

How often do you visit a new restaurant without checking the online reviews first? It makes sense to research the experience your peers have had, especially with a decision as important as selecting a training provider. Ask about notable clients and whether the provider has testimonials available to share with you. It can also be helpful to speak directly to the client, if possible.

5. What Reinforcement Will Follow Training?

Sales training can be one of the most impactful ways you can contribute to your organization’s success – but only if it results in lasting behavior change and sales performance improvement. The difference between success and failure can often be the quality of the reinforcement program. Be sure that the training provider you choose has a robust reinforcement program to build on the momentum of the training and solidify new behaviors. Reinforcement should be engaging, interactive and easily integrated into your sales team’s daily routine.

When investing resources in a sales training initiative, give the project the best chance for success by selecting a provider that meets the needs of your organization. Research top sales training companies, and then narrow down your list by asking each of the contenders these five important questions. In addition to gathering information, if the sales representative you’re speaking with has been trained in the provider’s methodology, asking these question is a good opportunity to see that methodology in action.

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