Small businesses must work to develop their products and services as a key elements of their growth and success. Equally important, your sales staff is the vehicle that moves products and services into the hands of your customers. Ensure that you enhance sales representatives’ abilities and knowledge with a high-quality training manual. Write a sales training manual that will give salespeople the knowledge, expertise and tools necessary to excel.
1. Create job descriptions for every sales position in your company and write out each job description completely in the training manual. Include hours, performance expectations and required sales quotas in the job descriptions.
2. Describe each product or service the company offers in complete detail. Make separate entries, dividing each item with horizontal dividers. If you have enough text to fill an entire printed page, use one page for each product or service. Include information about key features and benefits that sales reps must learn – especially in comparison with competitive products or services.
3. Formulate sales scripts for reps for each product or service. Include scripts for cold calling by telephone, for cold calling in person, for sales appointments and for follow-up appointments. Make the scripts as complete as possible, incorporating common excuses and resistance given by customers.
4. Include copies of all order forms and company paperwork in the manual. Fill out each form with sales data as an example of how to use the forms.
5. Explain any applications or software necessary for the sales process. Provide complete instructions for using the software, including photos to help show how to use the software.
6. Create a “Tips” section with suggestions and valuable sales methods used by successful sales reps in your industry or company. Make each tip a bulleted entry for easy reading.
7. Include graphs, diagrams, photos, and tables that explain how the products or services work. This section can help familiarize new reps with the sales process, and some might be suitable for using with customers to explain products or services.
8. Make a glossary and place it at the end of the manual. Include terms, lingo and special words that are important in the industry. Provide pronunciation, if necessary.
9. Add blank pages where sales reps can write notes that pertain to the sales process.
- Number the pages and create a table of contents to enable sales reps to find specific information quickly and easily.
- If pages of the sales manual are suitable for customer use – diagrams and photographs, for example – place these pages in a special section designated for customer viewing. Sales reps can create copies of these pages and use them in the sales process.
- Use a large font, bold headers and sub headings and numerous graphics to create a user-friendly manual.
- Keep the sales training manual updated regularly. When you add new products or services, add these items to the manual as soon as possible.