This is the first of a two-part series that covers the PDX AA-ISP Sales Training Panel. Check back in a few days for the next installment.

sales trainingSales coaching is distinct from sales training, but we often prioritize them in similar ways. And we have to stop.

Nobody loves sales coaching more than The Bridge Group President Trish Bertuzzi, and even she says that while coaching should be the top of the list time after time, it always falls to the bottom.

Too often, the same goes for sales training. There’s typically either a small amount of it included in your onboarding process for sales reps, or none at all. Even if you already coach your reps to master specific sales skills in your weekly one-on-ones, you still need to be doing more with sales training than just treating it like a one-time event.

Trish joined Outreach VP of Sales Mark Kosoglow in an AA-ISP panel on sales training and host Chris Ortolano of DiscoverOrg. Here are the highlights:

15 Sales Training Pointers

Trish and Mark start by discussing some of the early roadblocks to sales training:

  1. “People think they need [sales] training to treat a symptom of what’s usually a much larger disease.” Trish Bertuzzi, President, The Bridge Group (@bridgegroupinc)
  1. “People who go and say, ‘My team is not performing. I need training.’ Are not looking at the big picture.” Trish Bertuzzi, President, The Bridge Group (@bridgegroupinc)
  1. “Maybe you do need training, but don’t just go hire someone who’s going to roll out their full boat curriculum. What specifically do you need training on?” Trish Bertuzzi, President, The Bridge Group (@bridgegroupinc)
  1. “If you think a one-day or two-day training event that covers your entire sales process from soup to nuts is going to increase your productivity, you are wrong.” Trish Bertuzzi, President, The Bridge Group (@bridgegroupinc)
  1. “I think training needs to be very, very specific. And reinforced. And focused. And very actionable.” Trish Bertuzzi, President, The Bridge Group (@bridgegroupinc)
  1. “The good [sales] trainers understand behavior modification, so they’re training is not just event-driven, but it is reinforced. And you train the trainers. And you come back again and again.” Trish Bertuzzi, President, The Bridge Group (@bridgegroupinc)
  1. “Convincing people to do what you want them to do when it comes to training is hard because everyone thinks that training takes away from sales time. They don’t understand that training enhances sales time.” Mark Kosoglow, VP of Sales, Outreach (@GIDSelling)

Then they both talked about training for onboarding and routine processes.

  1. “The first thing people need to build out before they ever talk about their product or solution is training around your buyers.” Trish Bertuzzi, President, The Bridge Group (@bridgegroupinc)
  1. “Our recommendation is: Your first training event — which should be part of your onboarding — is all about your buyer: What does a day in their life look like? What is their job? How are they measured? What are their challenges? How are they currently addressing those challenges? What are they reading? Where are they gathering socially and in person? What language resonates with them? That is meaningful training.” Trish Bertuzzi, President, The Bridge Group (@bridgegroupinc)
  1. “As opposed to firehose product training or skills-based training, buyer training is the most important part. Not enough people focus there.” Trish Bertuzzi, President, The Bridge Group (@bridgegroupinc)
  1. “Everyone’s always looking at AE’s when they look at close rates. Back up the bus and look at your SDRs. They’re putting good stuff into the top of the funnel.” Trish Bertuzzi, President, The Bridge Group (@bridgegroupinc)
  1. “We do a bunch of drilling using the Pomodoro Technique, for people to build muscles. When you say, ‘You only have two hours to write emails’ and they only do 4 emails, you’re not going to make it. They need to be able to do 5, 6, 7 in an hour but most people don’t have the muscle to do that, so you have to work them out. So we use the Pomodoro method to work on people’s muscles to help them do quality actions a lot faster.” Mark Kosoglow, VP of Sales, Outreach (@GIDSelling)

Finally, they emphasized the importance of leaders and reps assessing both each other and themselves.

  1. “If you’re not listening to your reps on phone calls, then what are you doing as a sales leader? It’s like being a hitting coach and not watching people take swings at bat.” Mark Kosoglow, VP of Sales, Outreach (@GIDSelling)
  1. “Self-assessment at the rep level is a critical component of any good training or coaching program.” Trish Bertuzzi, President, The Bridge Group (@bridgegroupinc)
  1.  Self-coaching is the No.1 skill you can teach any salesperson.” Mark Kosoglow, VP of Sales, Outreach (@GIDSelling)

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15 Sales Training Pointers
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15 Sales Training Pointers
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Even if you regularly coach your reps, you still need to be doing more with sales training than just treating it like a one-time event.
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Level Eleven
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