There’s never a wrong time to run a sales refresher.
The worst thing that can happen to a salesperson is that they get stale. They begin reciting their pitch without thinking about it and miss verbal cues. Some might even default to their favourite products and push them instead of personalising the offering to the customer.
As a sales manager, you should know when it’s time to run a sales refresher. Once a quarter is always a safe bet. But it should at least be once a year at a minimum.
But what should a sales refresher consist of? You want to ensure it’s worthy of everyone’s time and that it will deliver the results you need for the next period. So before you call a meeting, plan your session with this guide.
Highlight the Goals of the Sales Refresher
Before discussing sales, you should establish the session’s goals. You could want to lift overall conversion or reduce the number of acquisitions that drop off within cooling-off periods. Perhaps you have a peak period coming up and want to prepare your team for the increase in enquiries.
Whatever the goals, they should act as your guiding light for all the activities in the sales refresher. Each one should help contribute to the objective and improve the team somehow. Throughout your planning, cut out anything that doesn’t help and save it for a session where the goals are different.
Discuss What is Working
A sales refresher doesn’t mean throwing out everything the team is doing and starting from scratch. It’s good to identify and share with your people what is working well with prospects. It could be certain phrases or a specific approach. Not everyone might be aware of the tactics of their colleagues, so it’s an opportunity to let everyone know of these strategies.
You might have also noticed aspects of sales conversations that your team members haven’t. Once you make them aware of it, they are sure to incorporate it into their spiel. They might even be encouraged to get creative and develop new approaches to test and learn.
Explain What Isn’t Working
It’s also a good idea to share with your sales team what isn’t working. You might have noticed some elements of the conversation that aren’t landing as they should. It might need a tweak here or there. Maybe it needs to get dropped altogether.
The conversation’s outcome is an excellent way to explain why certain parts aren’t working. Generally, it would result in a lost sale or confusion from the prospect. It’s something that’s taking the discussion down the wrong path to the point it can’t be recovered. Sharing it with the group helps everyone avoid the same pitfalls.
Collaborate on a Strategy
Once you’ve established what is and isn’t working, you can move on to creating a strategy. This should be a collaborative effort. Your team members will know best what the market wants. You can combine your knowledge via the data and what you’re seeing or hearing from prospect conversations.
Together, you should establish how you will achieve the sales refresher’s objective. What elements need adjusting to lift conversion, or what needs to be done differently to reduce the number of people cancelling within a cooling-off period? By bringing everyone in on this strategy, your direct reports will buy into it and are more likely to embed the behaviours.
Get Agreements From Your Team Members
With a strategy created from the group, you now want to get agreement from your direct reports on what they will do differently during the next sales period. You should aim to get one from the whole team and each individual in the room.
This becomes an agenda item in your next one-on-one with each direct report. Find out how they embed new behaviours or tactics into their sales conversations. Ask where they need help or provide advice on how they can continue to improve.
Prepare for the Next Sales Refresher
After running a sales refresher, you should start monitoring results and planning for the next one. It’s a good idea to choose a date. Let the team know too. It will act like a deadline for them to embed the new strategy. The last thing you want to do is repeat yourself in the next session because the same issues are prominent.
Need help with your sales strategy? You should follow the Better Boss Blog. You’ll find tips, tricks, and advice on how to get the best out of your team. Follow pwf services on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, so you never miss a post.