For sales managers with limited budgets, the key question is always how best to spend those dollars. Today’s sales teams need to be savvy on everything from the latest technological tools to the classic strategies that can help sell products and services across niches. One area that is growing in popularity—but isn’t without controversy—is the value of niche-specific training.
Here’s a closer look at what today’s busy sales leaders need to know about niche-specific training and what steps they can take to decide if it’s right for their team.
Niche vs. Generalized Training
Does your team need to strengthen their understanding of sales fundamentals, such as prospect research, or are they better served by exploring how to efficiently serve your target clients? The answer to this question is really the crux of whether your team could benefit from specialized training. These types of training are typically geared to your teams by sector and can provide the insights needed to help your sales team become a valued resource to prospects. This approach is valuable primarily because today’s customers want solutions recommended by experts, not a hard sales pitch from a generic rep. As a sales manager, investing in niche training can help take your team to the next level and ensure they are providing a high level of value at all levels of interaction.
The Ways Niche Training Can Benefit Your Team
Niche training can help your team in numerous ways to transcend a sales experience and become trusted advisors to your clients by:
- Helping them better understand the industry landscape and forces that shape how client businesses operate;
- Providing a deeper understanding of the business models, opportunities, and challenges faced by the specific types of companies you serve, such as software businesses or consulting firms;
- Taking a deep dive into the problems, challenges, and obstacles the customers face, and a closer look at how the solutions you offer solve those issues;
- Discussing the common buying processes and buyer’s journeys in your industry, and how to recognize critical signals and respond appropriately;
- Recognizing typical objections sales reps are likely to overcome in a specific space and effective ways to respond to them or head them off before they’re even brought up; and
- Bringing an understanding of what image, positioning, behaviors, credentials, and other factors will make you a trusted resource within your target community.
Moving Forward with Niche Training
Some critics of niche training feel that the classic fundamentals of solid sales training are enough to make a team successful. It’s true that these principles should be able to move your team forward, especially when their key challenges are focused on closing deals and mastering the sales process.
Niche-specific training becomes the right choice when you’re moving to the next level and developing consultant-quality sales reps. When your people deeply understand your products, your customers, and the industry ecosystem they’re playing in, they’re able to conduct better research, provide knowledgeable advice in meetings, and speak the language of the client.
Niche training can have a big payoff in terms of building trust, helping position someone as a perceived expert, and speed up the sales process through strategic consultations. Think about your customer base and long-term goals to determine whether this type of training can help your sales team deliver on that vision.