Office of Continuing Education

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Christa Sterling

December 12th, 2016

Sales training will help a sales team generate more leads and sell more.

Sales training used to be fairly straightforward: there were leads to generate or locate, and a funnel to get those leads into so that eventually, a sale could be made. Listening skills and gentle persuasion were important, and a salesperson was often an educator that could use facts and information to create a perception of need.

In today’s business climate, every employee should attend sales training, because with our educated customers, it is all about customer service!

In the last decade or so, society has changed in fundamental ways that have disrupted the traditional methods for making sales. Thanks to the internet, customers have access to detailed information about a product (and alternatives) before talking to a salesperson. People don’t answer their phones anymore unless they know who’s calling, so making phone calls to leads isn’t nearly as effective.

Additionally, technology has advanced, so salespeople who want to maximize their effectiveness need to know how to use online tools and mobile apps to help them make sales. Sales training received 10 or 20 years ago will not be sufficient to achieve sales success today. It’s also important to know that everyone on your team can benefit and contribute to the bottom line with these skills.

Rolling With the Changes

It might be possible to eke out a living using old sales techniques, but up-to-date sales training will help salespeople reach their potential in this new environment. Here are some new tools that salespeople need to learn about to succeed.

Inbound Marketing Software

Software is now available from several sources to increase lead generation, sometimes exponentially. Some research has shown that using inbound marketing software not only generates more leads, but that those leads often make larger than average purchases, too.

Sales training of years gone by may not be as effective as it was.


There are many different ways to use LinkedIn, from forming relationships with “friends of friends” and joining groups to providing content and answers to questions through LinkedIn Answers.


Having a blog with frequent content posted will give you credibility and help potential customers find you when they are looking for help in purchasing a product.

CRM Tools

CRM (customer relationship management) tools allow detailed record-keeping on leads and prospects so that you’re not starting over with each contact. CRM tools can also provide lists of leads to give you an idea of who to follow up with first for your best chance of conversion.

Video Messages

Putting video messages and links in your blog content, in email marketing, and on your website can give a more personal feel to your overall sales efforts. Video content can be posted to YouTube or you can use a professional video hosting site to have more control over your content.

Email Tracking

Tools are now available that can track how many of your marketing emails are read and how many attachments are opened (and even by whom they are opened.) Now you can see exactly which prospects are most interested in your products and their level of engagement.

As you can see, sales training has evolved in major ways over the last decade. The Office of Continuing Education will be offering a new Sales Certificate this Spring! Come to our Professional Development Fair on January 11 to learn more! Call or email Christa Sterling; or 860-832-2277. If you are interested in learning more about the latest and greatest techniques, join our mailing list for opportunities to update your sales training.