15+ Sales Training Topics Every Enablement Team Should Know

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A successful sales enablement strategy means ensuring that your sales team has everything they need to close more deals. Many of these successes start with training and coaching that cover various sales training topics and reinforce both hard and soft sales skills. 

Research has found that companies that invest in training and development for their sales teams are 57% more effective than their competition. Get a head start by learning about the different sales training topics your sales enablement team should know. 

What is sales training?

Sales training is the process of teaching your sales professionals how to be more effective and efficient sellers. Training can encompass many different aspects of sales. Although it includes hard skills, such as how to use certain sales technology and how to negotiate with prospects, it also includes soft skills, like improving communication or building rapport through active listening.

Sales enablement teams need to understand the different facets of sales training to ensure they’re providing their sales teams with all of the tools, knowledge, and skills they need to boost their effectiveness as sellers. 

What are sales training topics?

You can break down your sales training into different sales training topics. Topics might include knowledge of your company’s services and products, vetting and qualifying leads, and how to implement content into your sales strategy.

Of course, the best sales professionals don’t just understand the ins and outs of closing deals and cold calling. They also understand how to build relationships, retain customers, and be effective colleagues.

Sales training programs can break their training into various topics to ensure they’re covering sales training topics most effectively. These programs can be implemented to help sales representatives learn about specific products, sales processes and frameworks, communication skills, and more.

Top Sales Training Topics to Cover 

Giving your sales teams the tools to expand their knowledge in these sales training topics means creating a team of sales professionals who are capable of building relationships and closing deals. 

1. Product Knowledge

What it is: Your sales teams should come away from product knowledge sales training with a deep understanding of all products and services your company offers.

Why it’s important for sales: Your sales reps should be knowledgeable about the product they’re selling to help demonstrate why someone would want to buy or invest in it. Your sales reps should be able to answer any questions a prospect has about a product and tell potential buyers why the product solves specific issues and how it serves diverse functions. 

2. Buyer Personas

What it is: A buyer persona takes your ideal customer profile (ICP) and creates a fictional person with specific traits, preferences, demographics, and behaviors that you can base your sales strategies on. Your organization may have several different buyer personas depending on your product or service.  

Why it’s important for sales: According to Hubspot’s research, using buyer personas can cause a 97% increase in online leads and a 124% lift in sales leads overall. Understanding buyer personas can help sales professionals have more effective conversations and presentations with potential buyers by proactively addressing their pain points and speaking to them about how the product or service they’re selling fulfills their unique needs.

3. Objection Handling

What it is: Objection handling refers to the process of addressing and resolving concerns or objections raised by prospects during a sales conversation. Sales reps must understand the prospect’s hesitation, provide relevant information or solutions, and reassure them to move forward with the purchase or decision.  

Why it’s important for sales: Research found that 92% of sales professionals give up after the fourth call…but 80% of prospects say no four times before making a purchase. Sales reps should have the tenancy and training to turn a no into a yes. 

Spekit helps guide your sales reps through handling objections. With Spekit, your sales reps will receive the answers and information they need to show a prospect why your product is the one for them. The best part is that these answers are sent directly to your sales representative, meaning that they don’t have to interrupt their workflow to go searching for solutions.

4. Negotiation Skills

What it is: Negotiation relies on several soft skills, including communication, problem-solving, and patience. It also requires sales teams to be solution-oriented, persuasive, and able to demonstrate their emotional intelligence to prospects.

Why it’s important for sales: A good negotiator can close a deal with a prospect that leads to you making more profit due to upselling and other sales tactics. However, your prospect should also walk away feeling like they got what they needed and wanted. If a prospect feels like they’re being slighted through pushy sales tactics during negotiation, they may not feel comfortable making a purchase.

5. Lead Qualification

What it is: Lead qualification is a sales training topic in which sales and other customer-facing teams learn to determine how likely a sales prospect is to convert. Teams should be able to evaluate and categorize leads to decide where to spend their time and resources. 

Why it’s important for sales: Research suggests that the average conversion rate in B2B is only 2.23%. If sales professionals can’t determine which leads are most likely to convert, they’ll spend time selling in the wrong places and potentially lose high-quality leads because they’re not giving them the attention they need.

Top Sales Training Topics to Cover 

Giving your sales teams the tools to expand their knowledge in these sales training topics means creating a team of sales professionals who are capable of building relationships and closing deals. 

1. Product Knowledge

What it is: Your sales teams should come away from product knowledge sales training with a deep understanding of all products and services your company offers.

Why it’s important for sales: Your sales reps should be knowledgeable about the product they’re selling to help demonstrate why someone would want to buy or invest in it. Your sales reps should be able to answer any questions a prospect has about a product and tell potential buyers why the product solves specific issues and how it serves diverse functions. 

2. Buyer Personas

What it is: A buyer persona takes your ideal customer profile (ICP) and creates a fictional person with specific traits, preferences, demographics, and behaviors that you can base your sales strategies on. Your organization may have several different buyer personas depending on your product or service.  

Why it’s important for sales: According to Hubspot’s research, using buyer personas can cause a 97% increase in online leads and a 124% lift in sales leads overall. Understanding buyer personas can help sales professionals have more effective conversations and presentations with potential buyers by proactively addressing their pain points and speaking to them about how the product or service they’re selling fulfills their unique needs.

3. Objection Handling

What it is: Objection handling refers to the process of addressing and resolving concerns or objections raised by prospects during a sales conversation. Sales reps must understand the prospect’s hesitation, provide relevant information or solutions, and reassure them to move forward with the purchase or decision.  

Why it’s important for sales: Research found that 92% of sales professionals give up after the fourth call…but 80% of prospects say no four times before making a purchase. Sales reps should have the tenancy and training to turn a no into a yes. 

Spekit helps guide your sales reps through handling objections. With Spekit, your sales reps will receive the answers and information they need to show a prospect why your product is the one for them. The best part is that these answers are sent directly to your sales representative, meaning that they don’t have to interrupt their workflow to go searching for solutions.

4. Negotiation Skills

What it is: Negotiation relies on several soft skills, including communication, problem-solving, and patience. It also requires sales teams to be solution-oriented, persuasive, and able to demonstrate their emotional intelligence to prospects.

Why it’s important for sales: A good negotiator can close a deal with a prospect that leads to you making more profit due to upselling and other sales tactics. However, your prospect should also walk away feeling like they got what they needed and wanted. If a prospect feels like they’re being slighted through pushy sales tactics during negotiation, they may not feel comfortable making a purchase.

5. Lead Qualification

What it is: Lead qualification is a sales training topic in which sales and other customer-facing teams learn to determine how likely a sales prospect is to convert. Teams should be able to evaluate and categorize leads to decide where to spend their time and resources. 

Why it’s important for sales: Research suggests that the average conversion rate in B2B is only 2.23%. If sales professionals can’t determine which leads are most likely to convert, they’ll spend time selling in the wrong places and potentially lose high-quality leads because they’re not giving them the attention they need.

With Spekit’s AI content recommendations, your sales representatives will be able to spend less time searching for the right content. Spekit provides recommendations for the right content to show to your prospect after a call. The AI will review your meeting notes and then share the perfect collateral to send to your prospects to guide them down the sales pipeline. 

 

Learn more about Spekit AI

Soft Skills Sales Training Topics

Selling isn’t just about hard skills. Being in a customer-facing role means sales teams require training on how to build rapport, create more effective communication with customers, and more. 

1. Time Management

What it is: Time management refers to training your sales team to utilize their time properly. Your sales team should be prepared to divide up their day in a way that helps them close more deals and be a more productive team member. 

Why it’s important for sales: Salesforce’s study found that sales professionals only spend an average of 28% of their week selling. The rest of that time is doing more administrative and manual tasks, such as looking for the right content to follow up with prospects or the right answers to a specific issue they’re facing. By teaching your team time management, you’re giving them back time to focus on strategy and connect with potential buyers. 

You can also help them get their time back by offering sales enablement tools like Spekit that reduce the need for more manual tasks. Spekit gives your sales team what they need right when they need it. 

Instead of having to search through product or sales manuals to find an answer to a challenge they’re facing, that information comes directly to them, right in their workflow. Spekit also offers AI-powered content recommendations, so your sales team no longer needs to spend hours searching for the right content to follow up with a prospect. 

2. Effective Communication

What it is: Effective communication means training your team to become better communicators, both when selling and when being collaborative with their colleagues.

Why it’s important for sales: Communication is the cornerstone of sales: It helps build trust, clearly conveys the value of a product or service, and addresses prospect needs and concerns. It ensures that both the salesperson and the customer are aligned and satisfied with the transaction.

Sales is also a highly collaborative role, so your sales representative also needs to be prepared to communicate with their team members as well as marketing and customer success teams.

3. Active Listening

What it is: Active listening is a communication tactic that helps your sales representatives be more engaged and aware during conversations and respond based on what they heard–rather than just following a script. 

Why it’s important for sales: Active listening allows sales reps to fully understand the customer's needs, concerns, and preferences so they can tailor their pitch and provide relevant solutions. It also helps build rapport and trust to make customers feel valued and heard.

If the salesperson isn’t actively listening, they might be responding with assumptions–not solutions.

Other Sales Training Topics

Let’s take a look at some of the other sales training topics today’s sales professionals need to know.

1. Social Selling

What it is: Social selling is a sales training topic that reviews how to interact with prospects directly through the use of social media platforms.

Why it’s important for sales: According to Hubspot’s research, 59% of sales professionals say they’re making more sales through social media than in previous years. As social selling continues to grow, it’s vital for sales professionals to be given the tools to become social selling masters. 

2. Customer Success and Retention

What it is: Customer success refers to a business strategy in which the company helps the customer utilize their service or product with their unique goals in mind. Customer retention means how long a customer stays a customer.

Why it’s important for sales: A part of account management is understanding that your job as a salesperson doesn’t end when a sale is made. Your sales team can work collaboratively with your customer success team to ensure that retention rate stays up.

3. Ethical Selling

What it is: Ethical selling is a sales training topic that ensures your sales professionals are staying truthful and transparent during the selling process–not making promises or claims that they cannot support. 

Why it’s important for sales: If your sales team is making misleading claims to make sales, they could be damaging your reputation. You may also face fines and other penalties.

4. Sales Process Mastery

What it is: A sales process is a series of steps that your sales professionals follow when converting a prospect to a buyer. Although each sales process is different based on your company and service, they generally follow similar steps, including prospecting, qualifying, presenting, negotiating, closing, and following up.

Why it’s important for sales: Mastering the sales process is crucial for sales professionals, as they need to be able to move prospects down this pipeline. As the steps may not always be linear, they need to understand the sales process fully to manipulate it to their needs. 

5. Specialized Sales Methodologies

What it is: Specialized sales methodologies provide a framework for how to follow the sales process. An example would be MEDDIC, which identifies six unique steps to make B2B sales.

Why it’s important for sales: Just as it’s important to master the sales process, it’s vital to understand how your sales process was set up. Your sales professionals should know why you use this methodology and how to implement it into the sales process to ensure they’re using it properly and effectively.

Sales Training Tips

According to Spekit’s research, 47% of sales professionals have left a position due to poor training and onboarding. Start implementing successful sales training by: 

1. Understand where you’re starting

Just because someone is new to your company doesn’t mean that they’re new to the world of sales. They may already be knowledgeable about certain topics, which can make sales training topics feel redundant. 

Consider doing an assessment of your sales reps’ skills and knowledge when they start. That way, you’ll know what topics you need to cover during your onboarding and training.

2. Offer just-in-time learning

According to Gartner’s research, even when a company attempts to predict what skill sets will be needed, employees only use about 37% of the skills they learn. Meanwhile, a widening skills gap in today’s economy means that they may not be learning the skills they really do need. Gartner recommends a more dynamic training strategy, which focuses on adapting to skills needs in real-time and allowing team members to learn new skills at the time of need.

Spekit’s just-in-time learning platform embeds bite-sized lessons right into your workflow. Rather than digging through old training manuals with potentially obsolete and unhelpful information, team members can access the information they need right when they need it.

For example, if you implemented a new tool, rather than having to go through training that leads to information overload and your team likely having to search for more answers later on, your team members would get bits of training on how to use the tool delivered right to them while they’re using the tool. They’ll get helpful, digestible training right when they need it most.

Or if you use a certain sales framework, like MEDDIC, your sales reps will get training data on how to use the framework in the context of the sale they’re aiming to make, with the information coming to them in the tools they use every day. They’ll learn while doing, one of the most impactful ways to learn.

3. Personalize your sales training 

Using one sales training manual for every sales enablement professional means that your team members may be spending more time on topics they either already know or don’t need to learn. Offering more personalized training lets your team members focus on more advanced sales training topics and further their growth in skill sets they need to work on.

Sales enablement teams can use Spekit to access personalized learning paths. Since Spekit uncovers the information you need directly in the flow of work, some team members might focus on one topic, like product knowledge, while others might be learning about buyer personas. No more redundant training, and no more team members feeling like they’re not learning what they really need.

With real-time quizzes, Spekit doesn’t just provide information right when your sales reps need it. They also get short, helpful quizzes that pop into their workflow, enabling them to test their skills and providing managers and higher-ups with insight into where employees may need more training. 

4. Provide the right materials

Forrester found that sales representatives have to deal with an average of 1,400 pieces of content throughout the year. No wonder sales reps spend hours searching for the right training content. In fact, Spekit found that they spend an average of three to 11 hours per week looking for answers to their questions.

Spekit functions as a sales content management system, providing companies with a place to store and easily update all of their sales and sales collateral, from sales playbooks to scripts to battle cards

But, Spekit doesn’t just store content—it also helps you use it more effectively. Spekit AI unpacks your meeting transcripts, emails, and more to find the most impactful content. It shows you what you need right when you need it, providing you with relevant content that improves your sales team’s training and customer interactions.

5. Evaluate and adjust 

Gartner’s study also found that the number of skills required for a single job is increasing by 10% every year—and over 30% of skills needed three years ago will soon be obsolete. 

With a more dynamic approach to your sales training, you’ll be able to adjust to skills that need changes in real time. But to make those adjustments, you need to frequently evaluate your sales training strategy. 

Set Your Sales Team Up For Success

Sales training topics are diverse, though many are intertwined. To most effectively train on all of these topics, sales enablement teams need to centralize and automate the training process, which is where a sales enablement platform can be helpful. 

With Spekit’s just-in-time learning, training is finally simple. Spekit offers just-in-time learning, so your sales team can learn while doing, which has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to learn. Rather than dealing with information overload, Spekit provides bite-sized bits of learning that are easier to understand and retain.

Spekit also helps your team find what they need before they even know they need it. From sales playbooks and scripts to useful content that leads to conversion, Spekit gives your team the content, answers, and information they need, wherever they are. 

Sign up for a Spekit demo.

About the author

Elle Brayton
Director, Content & Communications
Elle is a boy momma 2x, brand builder, storyteller, growth hacker, and marketing leader with 12+ years of experience scaling SaaS B2B organizations.
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