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What is Sales Training, and Why Do You Need It?

A worker in a headset taking notes down in a notebook.

Starting a new job can stir up feelings: nervousness, excitement, fear, and hope. The training you receive upon starting can ease you into a new company, prepare you for a new role, and acclimate you to a new environment.

Unfortunately, many companies have not created and invested in a sales training program suited for their organization and employees. The thoroughness, duration, and quality of the training can vary drastically.

Poor onboarding leads to 28% of new employees leaving after three months. This outcome wastes time, money, and resources for the company and the individual employee.

Training has the potential to be highly effective when well executed and bring proven results that benefit the individual, the customer, and the organization as a whole.

What is Sales Training?

Sales training enhances the skills, techniques, knowledge, and attitude of people within the sales team to equip them to succeed in their roles and drive seller success. Sales training creates lasting behavioral and mindset changes that help salespeople to communicate better and understand the needs of customers and others within the organization.

The knowledge and skills learned in training and applied on the job can directly impact seller performance, company revenue, and customer satisfaction.

Why Sales Training is Important

So, why is sales training important anyway? Writing off training as another task on a checklist for new hires to get out of the way may be tempting. However, quality training can make a massive difference in the success of new and old employees and the company.

An employee who feels prepared, confident, and supported will be much more productive than an employee who does not.

Training helps keep employees up to date with the trends and latest practices in the industry. It teaches people how to fill in the gaps, gain trust, build relationships now, and nurture them over a more extended period. It also teaches employees how to handle roadblocks and continue moving forward.

Not only will people who go through well-built training be more successful, but they are more likely to stay at the company long-term and be happier there.

A speaker presenting to a room full of people

What Makes Sales Training Good?

For sales training to be beneficial, the training program must be intentional and created with the company and the students in mind. The days of sitting in a giant room and being lectured from PowerPoint slides are a thing of the past.

Yes, those types of training still exist, but they don’t tend to be as fruitful for the company or the individual. Training and education are evolving to be more effective and lead to better understanding and retention that individuals can apply while on the job.

Company Vision and Goals

Before starting the training, defining the brand identity and the company’s vision are crucial. Be upfront about the training program’s goals and what you expect to accomplish.


People desire engaging and interactive training rather than sitting quietly and being lectured. Not only is this more enjoyable for the trainees, but it grasps their attention and motivates people to want to learn.

Participation, group discussions, interactive activities, role-playing, and case studies are suggestions for making teaching more engaging.

Tailored and Up-To-Date

Create the training with the organization’s needs and sales department in mind. It should address the current strengths and challenges of the company and the market they are in.

Sales training should educate employees on the organization’s desired sales approach and strategies to create a consistent system across the sales team.

Training programs will look different depending on the company, the type of sales, the product or service offered, and the customer base. Appropriately tailoring training programs to create training suited for a specific company and position is part of what makes it successful.

Co-workers high-fiving each other.

Accessible, Comprehensive, Ongoing

Employees have shown a desire for instantly accessible training and resources. There are benefits to online sales training, such as instant accessibility right on an employee’s computers or phones. Hybrid training is another good option to get the benefits of both online and in-person education.

Sales training should cover all sales process steps, from sales prospects, closing deals, maintaining customer relationships, and everything in between.

Training is beneficial for all employees, not just new ones. Markets are ever-changing, and the sales approach may change as new information research and strategies arise. There is always something new to learn or nuggets of wisdom that even the most experienced salespeople can gain.

It is essential to continue training and provide support and guidance for employees, even after they are established in their roles and at the company. Providing opportunities for further professional development is desirable to employees and will further improve the organization’s quality of work.


The people responsible for training should be qualified, trained, and experienced to pass it on to others. They should have the knowledge and an understanding of the organization and the industry and be able to teach others effectively and engagingly.

Measurable Success

Along with the explicit goals of the training, there should be clear outcomes and ways to measure success. Having measurable performance indicators allows individuals and organizations to recognize success and have something to work towards while also identifying the areas needing improvement.

List of attributes that make for positive sales training.

Invest to Take Care of the Rest

We highly recommend companies invest in good training and employee development. However, individuals can also do so on their own. Taking the initiative to further your training as an individual makes you stand out from the crowd within your organization and while applying for jobs.

The Regional Economic Development Center (REDC) at Yavapai College is a dedicated resource center full of opportunities to learn and improve while, in turn, strengthening communities and boosting local economies.

REDC has a wide variety of training and certification courses to better yourself as an individual and within a career. There are several professional sales training options to teach people practical sales skills and strategies. Whether you are looking for sales training for a company or an individual, REDC has various enriching and engaging options to take your sales team to the next level.

Home LinkThe REDC is a Division of Yavapai College.Go to yc.edu

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