kwilliams
Hello!

I'm looking for resources like this forum for assistance with training new employees with technical sales.

Does anyone know of any workshops, trainers, online resources, university classes, etc. that can help?


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jchacona
What is the scope of your training needs? (# sales people, length of desired training, budget, CRM training included?, etc)

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kwilliams
Right now it's 2 employees, both new to sales.  One is an experienced engineer and technical sales person but has not had more formal training or classes on the sales side of things.  The other is fresh out of college business major with sales emphasis.

To start, a week or two of training would be acceptable; a university's semester's worth of learning would be ideal.

Budget is currently undefined, looking for resources at this point so we can determine the above based upon our capability.

CRM software has yet to be implemented, but will be at the start of 2017.  So CRM training would be a nice thing to have included,  but again cost is a factor.

Both employees are competent with the technical understanding of our products and production capabilities.  They could use more experience and learning on the sales side of Technical Sales (i.e. time management, cold calling, prioritization, customer relationships, communication, etc.)
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the_wolf_of_tech_sales
Hi kwilliams, I'm not sure about formal week long training courses but I have a few suggestions for inexpensive books. 

SPIN Selling discusses large ($$) sales and how to ask the right questions successfully. It would be a good place to start to enable your people for customer relationships, probing questions, cold calling.
The Challenger Sale discusses how to approach customers, the sales process, and communicating value.
Predictable Revenue  is great for sales development, cold calling, etc. especially if you plan to use salesforce.com

Additionally, there are free resources (moderntechsales.com/resources) to start familiarizing yourself with common terminology and strategies. 

PS what part of the country do you live? I may be able to track down some university courses (I know a buddy that took a technical sales & marketing class in his undergrad so I know they exist).
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kwilliams
Thank you very much!

I will take a look at those books.

We'in Southern California, so we do have a lot of good universities nearby. 
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TechGuy
Those above are all great resources!

I would also recommend they read Demonstrating to WIN! and see what related video training content you can find out on the ether. Demo2Win! is, by far, an incredible resource to have in the technical seller's toolkit. Since you have two, you could challenge them both to read the book and hold each other accountable for the lessons learned.

From there, next up would be Just F*ing Demo! By Rob Falcone, then The 7 Rules of Sales Engineering, Kiros.

Once they have the technical side of sales down, it's still important to tie in sales methodologies. Holden is one of my favs, but Sadler is good as well and yet another is Covey. Lastly, I'd have them read Emotional Intelligence 2.0. I did most of my 'reading' during my daily commute, audible in the car and book on the train.

I was once in the same situation, started off in dev (employee #6) and our sales team couldn't speak the language when asked the hard hitting questions from the technical C Levels. Before we had the necessary staffing, we filled the gap with PM, Support and Dev. Not exactly efficient, but wearing many hats comes with the territory in start-ups. Perseverance pays off, just be sure not to isolate them in their roles too much otherwise the business could suffer if you don't tap into their existing knowledge while you're still small.

Feel free to ping me when you start to look for funding. I'd be happy to provide feedback on your pitch and I'm always keeping an eye out for my next investment [wink]
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NorCalTech
One tool not mentioned is Role Playing. I would highly recommend having the two new sellers begin practicing their skills with each other (or others within your company) before experimenting with live customers. Role playing is one of my personal favorites to simulate real world sales interactions. It is fairly awkward and uncomfortable at first, but it works. Be sure to do a debrief after any role play to assess where the strengths and weaknesses were in the conversation and how to improve for next time. I found this PDF of 5 free sales training role plays. I would recommend using them as a starting point but modify them to your specific customers and industry.  
"Do. Or do not. There is no try."
-Yoda, 
Jedi Master.
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the_wolf_of_tech_sales
kwilliams how is the on-boarding going? Any successful training resources that have worked well for the new folks?
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sidman1324
the prime book for everyone on here i think is "mastering technical sales" - although the book is a bit pricey - every SE website i go to mentioned this. [smile] 
another 2 i am waiting to get from amazon are - "making the technical sale: real world training for the successful sales consultant" and "the evolving sales engineer" 

check those out [smile] 
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Regius
I'll be curious to hear how you like those books sidman! They sound interesting.
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