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By Eric Quanstrom #hack September 8, 2016

Training your sales team can lead to high-quality, homegrown talent. We strongly recommend regular training with your team since it can be difficult to find, recruit, and retain talent.

Situation Questions (from SPIN Selling) – Have them ask you and each other situational questions. Those are the information-gathering questions asked at the beginning of the sale. Teach them to find the fine line between gathering enough of the right information and boring the customer.

Problem Questions (from SPIN Selling) – Have them figure out what the issue is. What problem is the lead looking to solve? Is it an obvious problem with a clear answer or is the complaint a symptom of an underlying problem? Practice both scenarios until your entire sales team can think through a problem.

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Implication Questions (from SPIN Selling) – Rather than telling someone what their amazing result will be with your product, lead them to it by asking the right questions. This is an art in itself. People don’t like to be sold something, they like to feel they found the solution on their own. By asking subtle leading questions, your sales team can be experts at making their leads feel great during the sales process and gently lead them to the sale.

Need-Payoff Questions (from SPIN Selling) – What would happen with the solution your sales team is presenting? If the lead works that out on their own, they are ten times more likely to remember when they are presenting your solution for approval. Focus on getting the people in your training to ask questions that make the lead feel positive and actually envision how well your solution would work.

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Impromptu Questions – Ask-off-the wall questions. Ask questions with no answer. Have someone give their thoughts on a statement you make. Putting someone on the spot with an unexpected question mimics the quick thinking your salesperson will need to answer those weird questions leads always manage to come up with. Thinking on one’s feet is a crucial skill in sales and this is a great way to build it.

Role-reversal – A great tool for beginners. Sell them something. Have them play the client and give them a problem they are looking for the solution to. Pause the scenario from time to time to demonstrate a tactic or certain way to look at the sale.

Do it again – Having someone answer the same questions over and over can be time consuming and tedious. This should be used for people who know the answers and are quick thinkers. Doing it again is a fine tuning tool to perfect cadence, pitch, and intonation in your sales team. We don’t always catch ourselves saying words like “um” or “you know” when we are thinking while speaking. Other people are clueless that they sound bored or irritable. The more your sales team can focus on perfecting their sales voice, the better you’ll do.

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Introductions – Here in the U.S., we have an unfortunate tendency to ask how someone’s day is going as a “Hello” rather than an actual question. Focusing on introductions in a sales scenario demonstrates an interest in the other person. Roleplay this by having the salesman in training refine their initiation into a conversation which sets the tone for the entire sales call. Having a good tone helps start you off on the right foot.

Frequently Asked Questions – There will be questions that seem to commonly crop up throughout the sales process. Going through all of these in one of your sales trainings will prepare the new salespeople for them as well as help them look like they know what they’re doing.

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