When it comes to sales training, a lot of managers mistakenly think they only have two options to choose from: bring in an outside training organization, or handle the training themselves.
Certainly, both of these should be a part of your sales training mix. As the leader of your department, it’s your job to be sure your team has the knowledge and skills it needs to compete for business, and no one knows your industry and situation better than you do. And at the same time, there is definitely something to be said for having someone with a new voice and perspective coming once in a while and freshen things up.
But it’s important to know that there is a third way, as well, and one that can be just as effective: having the members of your sales team teach each other.
In our book and workshops, we advise sales leaders start holding weekly “sales huddles” where producers can talk about issues and challenges they are facing in the field, give feedback on winning techniques, and otherwise raise topics that concern their selling situation. The only catch is, these meetings should take no longer than 20 minutes – and preferably less – and that each person can speak for no more than two minutes at a time.
This last point often surprises people, and understandably so. Don’t your salespeople need longer to fully explain themselves? Believe it or not, they usually don’t. That’s usually an adequate amount of time to talk about what’s going on and get some feedback, and short enough that most of your salespeople won’t be tempted to skip the meeting out of fear that it’s going to put them behind in their work.
Beyond that, getting a steady stream of two-minute thoughts, perspectives, and pieces of advice turns out to be just the thing to keep your sales team energized and thinking creatively. It’s not so long that they have to get bogged down considering every idea and implication, but it’s long enough for them to pick up an idea and see the benefit. And as the weeks roll on, so will the two-minute increments – meaning that your salespeople are always getting a little bit better week to week.
Short sales huddles are a great way to break up the monotony of weekly meetings. But aside from just making things more interactive, you might be surprised at just how much your sales team can learn in two minutes or less.
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