10 qualities of effective sales trainers and why they matter
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 25 April 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Sales training is essential to the success of organisations that rely on product or service sales to make profits. Sales training is one of the most efficient and effective ways to develop existing sales staff into experienced and skilful sales professionals. The effectiveness of a sales training programme depends upon the skills and qualities of the sales trainer delivering it. In this article, we explore the role of a sales trainer, define what a sales trainer is, why sales trainers are important and what qualities sales training professionals can develop to increase their effectiveness in their role.
What are sales trainers?
Sales trainers are professionals who work with sales representatives and executives to improve their skills in sales, negotiation and persuasion. Sales training improves the productivity and effectiveness of a sales team by enhancing their skills in essential areas such as prospecting, qualifying leads, closing sales and developing customer relationships. Sales training professionals are important because they play a critical role in the success of an organisation's sales efforts. Sales training experts help to develop skilled and experienced sales reps who can then go on to break sales records for their company and contribute to increasing sales and profits.
10 qualities of effective sales trainers
To be an effective sales trainer, it's important to develop a range of soft and hard skills that help you to identify skill gaps in the professionals you're working with, prepare lessons for classes in a timely way, analyse sales figures to measure success and delivering effective sales training to sales professionals with a wide range of experience. This requires a range of characteristics and qualities, many of which you can develop during your career. Below is a list of 10 qualities that effective trainers for sales have and why they're important in a career in sales training.
1. Experience in sales
It's important that sales training professionals have their own real-world experience in sales. This allows them to share their personal experiences with trainees, provide relevant examples and offer first-hand advice on how to be successful in sales. Sales experience gives trainers the ability to empathise with trainees, understand their challenges and offer useful solutions. It also lends credibility to the sales trainer and creates a bond of mutual respect between trainer and student. More experienced sales professionals can quickly identify and dismiss trainers with no experience in sales.
2. Leadership experience
Gaining leadership experience before, or while, working as a sales trainer can boost your confidence and leadership abilities that help you to lead a sales team towards success. Sales training professionals with a background in leadership roles are better able to manage and motivate sales teams, set goals and objectives and provide the necessary support and guidance to help their team achieve success. Leaders in sales training are also better equipped to deal with difficult situations that may arise during a training programme, such as disputes, disagreements and conflicts.
3. Excellent communication skills
Trainers are ideally able to communicate effectively with their students, superiors and other professionals. Trainers work with sales professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, including some complete beginners and other more experienced sales reps. It's important that trainers can communicate effectively and clearly with sales professionals no matter how experienced they are, and this requires the ability to adapt your communication style accordingly. Excellent communication skills help to keep classes on track, maintain discipline among students and provide clear instructions when necessary.
4. An engaging personality
Effective trainers for sales have an engaging personality and an ability to facilitate discussion even amongst quiet or guarded groups. They can get their students interested in the material they're teaching and make the learning process enjoyable. This is especially important when teaching sales professionals looking for training courses that offer an immediate payoff. An engaging personality also helps to create a positive learning environment in which students feel comfortable asking questions and sharing their experiences with others.
It's important that successful trainers realise that an effective sales training session is not about them, but about the training participants. This requires humility and the ability to be comfortable not being the centre of attention during training sessions. Effective trainers facilitate meaningful discussion between participants and guide sales representatives to the solutions to different sales challenges without taking over the conversation or lecturing their students. This raises engagement and ensures that participants feel that their experiences are important.
6. Passion for sales
Being visibly passionate about sales helps training participants to see that a trainer values and respects their field of work. When trainers are passionate about sales, it influences their students and encourages them to be more engaged in the material. Passionate trainers are also more likely to keep their classes on track and maintain discipline among students. If you're not feeling passionate about your career, it's important to try and regain some of your enthusiasm to make yourself a more effective sales trainer.
7. An enquiring mind
Good sales training professionals have a naturally curious mindset that allows them to develop and grow alongside their students. Trainers who spend their free time researching new sales strategies, attending seminars and reading up on the latest sales trends are more likely to be successful in their field. This inquisitive nature also helps trainers to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in the sales industry and to better understand the challenges their students face. By being open to new ideas, trainers can ensure that they learn from their students too.
Trainers who can adapt to the individuals they're working with and the scenarios they face are capable of offering effective sales training no matter who or what they're working with. This requires the ability to think quickly and adapt your training methods at short notice to ensure that all students reach their full potential during training sessions. It's important that trainers can quickly identify the unique challenges of the teams they work with and improvise during training sessions to address these challenges on the day of training.
9. A student-focused approach
Just as it's important for trainers to be humble, it's also important for them to coach with a student-centric approach. The most effective sales training sessions focus on the students, with trainers asking questions, listening to participants' replies and encouraging students to learn from one another during the session. This approach enables trainers to better assess the needs of their students and to provide relevant and timely feedback that remains current with contemporary sales trends and technology.
If a sales trainer is genuinely invested in the success of their students, this comes across during the delivery of training and creates a stronger bond between student and teacher. If seeing the progress your students make during the training energises you, you can share this energy with your students to further motivate and engage them. Being emotionally invested in the success of your students also helps you be more diligent about following up on the results of your training sessions and using this feedback to improve the training you deliver.
What are the benefits of sales training?
Sales are fundamental to the success of many companies, which is why it's worth investing in developing your sales professionals through training. Hiring trainers can help an organisation to increase its sales, gain new leads and boost profits. Some of the benefits of sales training include:
Increasing sales: Sales training can help sales managers to increase sales within their organisation by helping sales reps to reach their targets and teams to reach group goals.
Developing new sales strategies: Sales training offers an efficient way for sales teams to develop new sales strategies and work effectively with different kinds of customers when prospecting, closing or following up.
Improving employee satisfaction: Motivated employees appreciate opportunities to undergo professional development at work and offering sales training to your staff is an effective way to boost performance and employee satisfaction at the same time.
Training employees more efficiently: On-the-job training can turn new sales reps into experienced salespeople in years, but sales training professionals can significantly improve the skills of your sales team in hours.
Working towards company goals: Whether an organisation's goals are increasing sales, profits or reaching new customers, sales teams are responsible for driving performance in many organisations after the product development stage and training can help sales teams to reach these goals.
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