In the last few years, we have had the chance to train auto parts sales reps from across the country. We hone sales pitches, learn to deal with customer objections, and work to always move towards a close. Regardless of their location, there are some common sales training roadblocks that every sales manager will have to overcome. Knowing about some of these now can help you deal with them before they arise.
Usually one of the first obstacles to effective sales training is the lack of telecom features to support the training. Recycling yards are still slow to implement phone systems that allow for recording of salespeople’s calls. An integral part of the sales training puzzle is giving sales reps the opportunity to hear themselves in order to identify where there are opportunities for improvement. Yards should not simply record inbound phone traffic, having access to outbound sales calls is important to be able to hold sales reps accountable as well. Sometimes the fix is as simple as contacting your telephone service provider, a web-based recording feature is becoming increasingly standard for most providers.
One of the next sales training hurdles to arise is the lack of a “Yes!” mentality amongst a sales team. Sales reps are too quick to tell a customer, “I don’t have that.” The sales reps with decades of part sales under their belt, are as guilty as green newcomers of purposefully overlooking out-of-stock sales opportunities. The veteran may not want to do the “extra work” and the newcomer is usually afraid of choosing amongst unknowns. The fix for this issue is to direct your sales team to think of themselves as problem solvers, not phone answerers. They should be encouraged to empathize with their customer’s problem leading them to say, “Yes! I have a solution!”
Another very common sales training roadblock is the lack of an effective, commission-based, salary structure. If sales reps aren’t properly incentivized, there’s almost no reason for them to adopt new sales techniques or actively look for areas of improvement. It’s not enough for commission structures to be simply based on net sales. Yards should be tiering commission structures based on milestones set for each profit center. Transparency and clarity during the implementation of these payment structures is crucial because reps need to have a deep understanding of how they can actively increase their take-home pay.
With call recording in place, and a team of money-motivated problem solvers on board, the stage is set for an environment where sales training can sharpen the finer aspects of closing deals and creating relationships that open new opportunities.
Robert Counts Chad Counts Rich Tyler Emily Richardson Johnny Logel
Robert Counts, firstname.lastname@example.org; 512-693-6915
Chad Counts, email@example.com; 512-963-4626