Sales training: types of sales training

Once you have answers to the questions for your sales managers  you will be able to draw up outline programmes.

Discuss and agree these with the relevant stakeholders – for example your sales directors – and then you should specify sets of skills to match the activities that matter to sales teams in the markets in which they operate. These will look something like this:

General sales skills:

  • Relationship building
  • Questioning methodologies
  • Proposing solutions
  • Negotiation
  • Problem solving
  • Proposal writing

Telesales skills:

  • How to make high impact opening statements
  • One-liners to prepare the sale (eg working from scripts)
  • How to avoid and overcome silences
  • Making appointments
  • Building rapport
  • Closing the sale

Field sales skills:

  • Getting and setting appointments
  • Identifying the needs of your clients
  • Why buyers make decisions
  • Building rapport
  • Proposing solutions
  • Overcoming objections
  • Building credibility
  • Communication skills and body language
  • Creating and delivering effective presentations


There’s nothing like respectable third-party accreditation and endorsement of training courses to help L&D managers sleep soundly at night.

The relevant body in sales training is the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) which offers, through accredited third-party suppliers, of which there are about 30, courses leading to certification at various levels. These range from Level 1, which covers the very basics for those new to sales, to Level 6 which is for sales directors who are relatively new to the role.

These qualifications link to the national Qualifications Credit Framework and success in them earns credits towards qualifications from bodies such as City & Guilds. The ISMM will also endorse in-house sales training.

Director of education Denise Eden says this involves a checking and verification process – including assessing course content and trainers – and costs £500 for one year’s endorsement per course and £100 renewal thereafter.

ISMM certificates can be issued to delegates who complete such courses at £10 each.


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