Ideally you want sales reps 100% proficient and consistent on product knowledge. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case in reality. For a variety of reasons, the messaging and content generated by marketing too often changes, gets misinterpreted or misrepresented in client-facing sales meetings. Product launches and onboarding can create further distance between the marketing message and sales pitches.
It’s easier than you think to achieve consistency across your sales force.
Establishing a certification program engenders collaboration between product marketing and sales. Often a certification is the key in to ensuring and demonstrating your reps are trained, knowledgeable, and ready to close deals.
Follow these three simple steps to get started with sales certification programs:
1. Leverage Product Marketing
Product marketing professionals position your team for success by creating content directly tied to the solution your reps present to clients and prospects. They work closely with product development and also understand and define your target market. Their job is to intimately understand the benefits of your solution offerings, pain points addressed, and what differentiates you from competitors.
Take advantage of their expertise by leveraging their content rather than reinventing the wheel. Involve them in the sales certification process. This will not only ensure that your reps get the best training materials but will help close communication gaps within your organization.
2. Implement Sales Certifications
Sales certifications typically come into play when your company rolls out new products, programs, or information. The idea is to create an actual certification process and report demonstrating knowledge transfer. A technology solution, like Showpad Coach, can help formalize this. By using a training platform, you can to guide reps through new content, assess knowledge, practice, and report results. Reports and certifications allow sales leaders to evaluate skills and identify where additional coaching and refinement are needed.
3. Measure Success
After successfully implementing your sales certification programs it will be critical to measure the return on your investment. With sales reps certified on product and company knowledge, are you seeing positive results?
Consider metrics like:
- Decreased time to first sale?
- Increase in average deal size?
- Increase in monthly/annual revenue per sales rep?
- Additional “target” clients converted?
Measuring the ROI of your sales certification investment will allow you to point to successes, which can allow you to expand and scale your initiatives over time. For example, you might consider implementing certifications to demonstrate industry background, buyer personas, competitive landscape, internal sales tools and processes, and sales methodology. Sales certification can also be used in Partner Enablement.
Sales certifications give sales leaders the peace of mind that their reps know exactly what to sell, how to sell, and who to sell it to. They boost overall performance, improve skills, and complete the full cycle from product marketing to a closed deal. If you haven’t started implementing sales certifications to prove your sales reps are trained, it’s time to jump onboard.