Today’s sales professionals face an increasing amount of competition from each other as well as from digital sales channels. To close more deals, salespeople must hone their prospecting, presentation, relationship building, and other selling skills by investing in the best sales training programs. The best salespeople make training and learning a continuous process of improvement.
Pro tip: Reinforce your training with a good customer relationship management (CRM) like Freshsales to encourage your employees to develop the right habits. Freshsales makes following up with leads easy by allowing you to make calls and send emails directly through the CRM and by setting reminders automatically after the initial contact. With Freshsales’ lead scoring system, it will also help your sales team prioritize the deals most likely to close. Click here to start a free trial.
We’ve identified 21 of the top sales classes, seminars, and resources for 2019.
Online Sales Training Programs & Sales Classes
Online and digital sales training programs are delivered through a range of online channels, including video conferencing, webinars, videos, ebooks, and podcasts. Below, we have provided a selection of online training programs ranging in price from free to slightly less than $3,000.
Sales Hacker is a consulting and training company that offers a variety of sales classes online and in-person. It produces an annual conference called Revenue Summit and records and uploads all of the sessions on YouTube. Summit topics include cold calling, sales conversations, and marketing funnels. It also produces free webinars on things like sales metrics, using chatbots, and choosing a CRM as well as fee-based consulting and training.
Jill Konrath is a well-known author and sales trainer offering free sales training resources including ebooks and kits, worksheets, webinars, audios, and videos. Topics she covers in her courses include social selling, prospecting, email sales, agile sales, and more. She also offers paid in-person programs and speaking engagements as well.
This three-month virtual program by Brian Tracy covers the seven key facets of sales: Prospecting, developing trust and credibility, identifying the buyer’s problems, overcoming resistance, selling value, closing, and getting referrals and repeat business. Along with 24 videos you can rewatch at any time, you also get workbooks, exercises, and bonus training modules.
This online course teaches inbound sales techniques based on the inbound sales methodology, which encompasses everything from identifying potential buyers to developing personalized presentations. Once you’ve finished the course and passed the exam, you’ll get a badge to display on your LinkedIn profile, email signature or website.
This course is focused on the art of cold calling and telephone sales and teaches you how to engage buyers in the first few seconds of the call, get past gatekeepers, overcome objections, add value at each buying stage, secure follow-up calls, and more. The format of the course is four live virtual sales classes and lifetime access to other live sessions and webinars after the course.
This five-week course offered by Northwestern University through Coursera provides new sales reps with a solid introduction to sales fundamentals. It covers prospecting, sales pitch, closing techniques, and creating an effective selling process. The course is relevant to both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) salespeople and includes lectures, reading, and real-world exercises.
In this eight-week training program, B2B sales professionals will learn phone skills like getting past gatekeepers, opening statements, engaging prospects, follow-ups, and asking for referrals. In addition to the one-hour per week live online interactive sales classes, you get scripts, workbooks, quizzes, and final exam results. Workshops are recorded to review in the future.
Top Sales Academy offers free one-hour webinars on B2B sales topics, including creating value, closing techniques, sales videos, building your pipeline, getting referrals, and more. These sessions are available on the Top Sales Academy website and can be accessed on the website without having to create a login and password.
As the name implies, Rapid Learning Institute is all about quick exercises that teach important concepts. There are dozens of microtraining sales classes on topics covering prospecting, presentations, handling objections, getting referrals relationship building, and more. These video-based lessons last six to 10 minutes and the learnings are followed up by reinforcement lessons over time.
SalesDNA offers online sales classes on topics including list building, cold email outreach, and referrals. Creator Josh Braun also offers other digital sales training tools like outreach email templates, B2B growth playbook with monthly updates and an initial conversations script. In addition to online courses, Sales DNA also offers live hands-on training.
Public Sales Training Programs
Public sales training programs are usually delivered as one- to three-day workshops or seminars. They normally take place in local conference venues or shared office conference rooms, and anyone can join in by purchasing a ticket. Admission costs range from $500 to $3,000 per seat.
If you’re looking for classic sales training, Miller Heiman hosts a number of sales training workshops in the United States, internationally, and online. Live events typically last two to three days, covering a variety of sales topics, including large account management, SPIN selling, and strategic and conceptual selling, which are techniques geared toward complex B2B sales.
Launched after publishing the classic business book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” FranklinCovey offers a wide variety of business training resources. It sells books, offers online business training programs, hosts live seminars and provides one-on-one business coaching. Sales training topics include sales leadership, filling your pipeline, closing sales, and qualifying opportunities.
Dale Carnegie was known for the classic book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and the principles from the book are at the heart of the organization’s training. Sales training include live in person and live virtual training on topics like relationship selling, cold calling, storytelling, and presentations.
Private Sales Training Programs
Training groups will work with your company privately to create a curriculum specific to your business needs and sales goals. They will travel to your office to deliver training to your sales team. Costs are usually significantly higher than public courses, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 per day.
The Brooks Group provides both public and private, customized sales training courses. Public sales seminars include IMPACT Selling, sales management, and virtual impact selling. Private, customizable programs include these public seminar titles, plus training on channel sales, territory planning, and sales management coaching.
Known for customized training programs, Richardson offers courses on a variety of sales topics that correlate to three major sales stages: find, sell, and grow. Specific training topics include social selling, storytelling, team selling, and trusted adviser. First, it assesses your needs and identifies selling behaviors key to your company’s success. It uses the information to create a program right for your sales team with success measures.
Wilson Learning offers private, customized training courses. It believes that single training seminars aren’t effective because the learning isn’t retained and behaviors aren’t adopted. Instead, Wilson offers sustained sales training programs that take place in time through a variety of mediums, from live in-person to virtual to delivery via a mobile app.
Signature Worldwide offers customized training courses in sales and customer service. Topics include client-centered sales, prospecting, coaching, and customer service. Training is available in areas like casinos, spas, leasing, and equipment and is based on a needs assessment. Signature Worldwide also creates success measures and offers follow-ups with mystery shopping and ongoing training over time.
DoubleDigit Sales specializes in training programs for sales teams and managers. It creates customized courses based on business needs. Training is delivered, and reinforcement options supplement what is learned in training. Topics include storytelling, insight selling, proactive prospecting, sales management, and sales leadership. Post-training reinforcement includes ongoing coaching, videos, podcasts, and elearning.
Niche and Specialized Sales Training Programs
There are a number of niche or specialized sales training programs that help salespeople hone skills specific to customer needs in a particular industry like financial services or technology. General sales training programs are less effective than training programs designed around a specific niche. Below are a few niche sales training options.
RAIN Group is known for RAIN selling featured in their bestselling book, “Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in Any Situation,” which emphasizes building rapport and connecting with customers. In addition to offering general sales training, RAIN Group also offers industry-specific training programs in areas like technology, financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, health care, and a few others. It focuses on specific niches in these industries like insurance, wealth management, and banking within financial services. It offers in-person, online, and train-the-trainer options.
No Pressure Selling offers sales courses in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), home improvement, and solar sales. Courses are geared toward sales, service, and business owners. Examples of courses include Trane Bootcamp, Territory Management, Service Agreement Workshops, Window Replacement sales, and Pool and Spa sales, and more. The advantage of niche sales courses like these is the ability to learn and apply proven sales techniques to products you’re selling.
Mike Ferry offers a variety of real estate sales training programs. Training is offered in several different formats including live events, virtual events, and audio and video recordings. Topics include getting listings, prospecting, and real estate productivity.
Tips for Maximizing Sales Training
Here are eight things you should do to maximize your sales training:
- Commit 100%: You should commit to the sales training 100%. Unless there’s an emergency, avoid talking on your cell phone or texting.
- Give 100%: Dive right into your sales training class and give 100% effort. Don’t hold back. Learn everything you can while you’re there.
- Keep an open mind: Be open to learning new ways to make connections and increase sales. Even if your established ways of selling are working, be open to ways that make your skills better.
- Take notes or record sessions: Taking notes helps most people remember important points. Recording sessions are also great because doing so allows you to be fully present.
- Review notes & do homework: Both during and after your sales training class, review your notes and do any homework assigned. Reviewing important points helps you remember them. Doing homework helps you apply new skills right away.
- Apply learnings as soon as possible: As soon as you’re back in the office or in the field, use what you’ve learned in your sales training class. Put it into practice so that you reap the rewards and so you start developing new sale skills.
- Reinforce your training: There are a number of ways to reinforce training. Many of the sales training programs in this article build this into what they offer. At regular intervals, create time and space to practice the techniques you’ve learned in your sales training class.
- Measure what’s working: When learning new techniques in sales training classes, it helps to measure which techniques or even which training methods are working and which ones are not so that you can focus on what works.
According to Kristen McGarr, owner of Androit Insights, a company that audits sales processes for small businesses, customization is key when considering sales training programs.
You should ask yourself:
“Is the sales training program standard and off the shelf? Is it simply customized to your industry or does the sales trainer first gain an understanding of your company, process and people and then develop training accordingly? The more customized the training is to your company and your team, the more likely they are to benefit from it and continuing using the skills learned in the future.“
“The best way to maximize sales training is to measure what is working and what isn’t constantly. If you think you have a great method for training salespeople but you’re consistently seeing disappointing results, it could be time to rethink the different elements of your sales training. Break down the different elements of your training ― from emailing to calling to product education ― and be sure to keep track of the effectiveness of your program.”
― Troy LeCaire, Account Executive of RippleMatch
The Bottom Line
Every business has different needs when it comes to sales training. It’s a good idea to reinforce knowledge with ongoing lessons as opposed to a just one-time workshop. You can always reinforce sales training programs with sales books and sales training videos to help increase your chances of making and sustaining positive changes that will result in more sales.
Don’t forget to supplement your training with a good CRM like Freshsales. It makes it easy to follow up with and nurture leads by using a highly customizable and interactive dashboard. Best of all, it has a Free Forever plan as well as robust paid plans. Click here to start a free trial.