No sales team will reach it’s full potential without effective training. Whether you’re hiring new salespeople or looking to train your existing team, a good course can improve areas of weakness and boost their overall sales effectiveness.
Before we dive into the details on this topic, we also suggest you check out Insightly, our recommended small business CRM. Insightly is an inexpensive, easy to use, contact and task management system. Visit Insightly to learn more.
We’ve identified 10 of the top sales classes, seminars and resources. In general, they can be divided into 3 main categories:
Public Courses– Typically a 1-3 day workshop or seminar, public courses take place at a convention hall where attendees can join by purchasing tickets. Admission is anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per seat.
Private Courses– Training groups will work with you to write a curriculum specific to your business, then travel to your office to teach your employees. Costs can be quite a bit higher than public courses, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 per day.
Online Training– The simplest and most economical of the 3 options, online training websites focus on short daily lessons to teach and quiz employees. Online training can be used on its own, or alongside a course to improve knowledge retention.
The following list covers a wide range of industries and topics, so you should be able to find something that works for your business:
Public Sales Training Programs
1. MHI Global
Area(s) Of Focus: Enterprise Sales
If you’re looking for classic training seminar, MHI hosts a number of sales training workshops around the US (as well as Canada, Europe and Australia). Their events typically last 2 to 3 days, covering a variety of sales topics, including Large Account Management, SPIN Selling and Strategic Selling – which teaches a step-by-step process to handle complex sales.
Prices range from from around $1,500 to $3,000 per seat.
Area(s) Of Focus: Time management, self improvement
Launched after publishing the classic business manual The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, FranklinCovey offers a variety of business training resources. They sell books, offer online training, hosts live seminars and can provide one-on-one business coaching.
While they do offer sales performance courses, the majority of the resources and events cover topics like time management, data analysis, leadership and critical thinking.
You can view a list of their public training seminars here. They range from 1 to 5 days in length and are priced from around $500 to $3000 per seat.
Private Sales Training Programs
Area(s) of Focus: IMPACT Sales Cycle, Sales management training
The Brooks Group provides customized sales training courses. What I like about their approach is that it avoids the hype of pop sales books: “Customized sales training is NOT a matter of changing the language or giving you a unique acronym for the sales process,” reads their website.
Instead, The Brooks Group develops a close understanding of your business so it can teach according to your specific needs: “Real customization ensures that the training your salespeople receive accurately matches their daily selling experience, [is] tailored to fit your unique sales environment and organizational culture.” Before deploying to teach your employees, The Brooks Groups spends 3 to 12 weeks working with business owners to build the curriculum.
The Brooks Group also offers low-cost online training.
Area(s) of Focus: Sales cycle training, client interaction, negotiation
One of the big names in customized training courses is Richardson Sales Training. They start with assessment tests that highlight areas of strength and weakness in your sales team. Then, they use this to develop a course that addresses your specific needs – i.e. lead generation, opportunity management, on-boarding, account development, etc.
Richardson also has a number of 1 and 2 day course that cover topics like sales conversations (how to interact with a client), sales negotiation, complex sales training and more. View the rest on their website here.
Richardson can serve a wide variety of businesses, but according to their website, they primarily focus on financial services, finance, technology, manufacturing and distribution, chemicals, life sciences and professional services.
Area(s) Of Focus: 9-month custom training courses
Wilson Learning offers private, customized training courses. They follow the belief that single training seminars aren’t effective, since much of what’s learned is forgotten months down the line.
Instead, Wilson focuses on year-long training: It starts with 3 months of consulting with managers, then several months of face-to-face training with the sales team. Finally, Wilson provides reinforcement quizzes on mobile apps to ensure lessons are retained.
Area(s) Of Focus: Phone sales training, prospecting, sales training for equipment dealers, property leasing agents
Signature Worldwide offers customized training courses in a few areas of specialty. “Client-Centered Sales” is a general training courses that helps salespeople build rapport with their clients. Other sales courses focus on prospecting, equipment sales and rental property leasing.
Training can happen both onsite and online. Like Wilson Learning, they follow the belief that single training events are not retained very well months down the line. Instead, they help reinforce knowledge with follow-up lessons. Telephone “mystery shoppers” gauge the effectiveness of your sales team and help Signature Worldwide trainers determine what to focus on.
Area(s) of Focus: Sales, sales management and customer service training
Fusion Learning offers customized training courses. One program that caught my eye was called “StorySelling.” As Fusion explains on their website, “Stories are one of the things that make life and work fun and fulfilling. The ability to craft and tell great stories is a critical business and life skill.”
Other topics include prospecting, sales presentations and consultative selling.
Area(s) of Focus: Custom online training exercises
One of the top online sales training websites, Mindflash lets you create your own training courses. You can upload materials you already have (like PDFs, PowerPoints or videos) and tailor them into an engaging lesson with quizzes.
Mindflash automatically send invites and reminders to users, so you don’t have to keep prodding your employees to continue their training. It generates reports for you to view their progress and determine who needs to focus more on what.
Mindflash is highly customizable and can be tailored to teach the ins and outs of your business. The downside is that it takes a while to setup, since you have to create the courses. Also, with a starting price of $250/month for up to 50 trainees, it is something of an investment.
Area(s) of Focus: Fast online sales lessons
As the name implies, Rapid Learning Institute is all about quick exercises that teach important concepts. There’s 70+ sales training lessons called “Quick Takes” that last 6 to 10 minutes. One of the key benefits to Rapid Learning Institute is you don’t have to create courses yourself, as you would with Mindflash.
Training topics include prospecting, presentation, handling objections, closing, referrals and more. When you assign lessons to your staff, they’ll receive automated emails reminding them to log on.
You can check out some free educational videos on their blog here.
Area(s) of Focus: Sales Assessment Tests, Sales Training
Boyer Management Group offers a variety of sales resources. The one we want to highlight, however, is their sales assessment test. This may seem a little out of place in an article focused on sales training, but sales assessment is actually the first step in any good training program.
By scoring each area of the sales cycle, including prospecting, performing a needs assessment, presenting, closing, etc., the Boyer Assessment Test tells you which employees need help on which areas of focus. Rather than each all employees all topics – in which case, they’re liable to lose focus – you can zero in on their specific needs.
Armed with this information, you might realize you don’t even need an outside educator – You can host training sessions of your own, or pair employees with “mentors” who have more experience in particular areas.
BONUS: HubSpot Sales Training
Area(s) of Focus: Inbound Sales
HubSpot has a free online sales training course, featuring lessons from Chief Revenue Officer Mark Roberge. The course is a detailed overview of inbound sales, which is essential for any business that wants to boost sales from online leads.
Five 30-minute video classes correspond to different steps in the sales process and teach you how to personalize your process to the buyer’s journey. Content includes how to identify active leads, connect with them on the first attempt, host customized exploratory calls and advise prospects on purchasing decisions without being pushy. It’s an ideal tool for sales managers to pass onto their reps for professional development or use for new hire onboarding.
You can register here.
Want to manage 1000's of leads, save time, and get organized? Click Here to get our FREE CRM guide and find out how.
The Bottom Line
Every business has different needs when it comes to sales training. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to reinforce knowledge with ongoing lessons, as opposed to a just one-time workshop. But you can always pair your training with online quizzes to achieve this.
If you don’t know where to start, consider using a sales assessment test to identify areas of strength and weakness in your sales team. Given this insight, you might realize you can host your own classes, or design your own course through Mindflash.