Sadly, there is no miracle cure or quick fix to take an Average Joe and turn him into Zig Zigler. If you want an all-star sales team, you will need to invest in regular training.
The first step is to schedule regular training. Making the training regular does a couple important things. It shows that you are committed to the betterment of your employees, a huge morale bonus.It also ensures your staff is up to date on current trends, new technology, and ideas in your industry. You have an excellent opportunity here to cross train as well. Invite a few people up for a promotion to sales into the training to assess their skills. Invite non-salespeople to give them an idea of what the sales team needs to do so they become well-rounded and perform better in their roles.
Your sales training must have roleplaying. As uncomfortable as it can be for new salespeople, it is the only way to enact the hundreds of unique scenarios your sales team may encounter in a way that everyone benefits from the knowledge. Role playing allows immediate feedback on minor details which may escape people new to sales. You have an opportunity to fine tune a sentence or a vocal intonation time and again until someone gets it right, an opportunity you miss out on in live training.
How you structure your training can develop other qualities in your sales people. Try something similar to the Toastmasters Table Topics. In Toastmasters, there is a portion of every meeting that is impromptu. One person prepares questions on a topic, then asks the members of a group. They have to speak for 1-2 minutes on the question or phrase. You can easily adapt this in a training setting to the curveballs that leads always throw out. Your sales team will learn to be creative and think on their feet.
Do a few of your people have huge pitches coming up? Are there team members preparing to present at an industry conference? Your training is a great way for them to practice the presentation in front of a safe audience to get feedback.
If you change who runs the weekly (or monthly, but weekly is better for retention) meeting, that person will get practice at running and organizing meetings. Are you looking for a new person to step into a management role? Here you can assess current skill levels in leadership, time management, and organization. Bonus: you’ll immediately know who tends to procrastinate.
Hiring someone outside for sales can bring in tons of experience and new perspective. Training salespeople from within means you will have people who know the ins and outs of your industry trained to sell in a way consistent to your company image.