Training of Salesmen
Training is the process of perfecting a salesman i.e., making him quite fit for the work.
Are salesmen born or made?
Some sales managers and businessmen may argue that salesmen are born and not made. A Salesman can only be successful if he possesses certain inborn qualities. They opine that salesmanship is an inherent ability, that cannot be acquired or developed. However, now-a-days this belief does not hold good.
Experts on salesmanship argue that with certain fundamental qualities, a good salesman can be made as we make engineers, doctors, actors and musicians. But as all these engineers, doctors, etc., undergo training before they are accepted as qualified, persons having inborn qualities of a salesman also need training. Otherwise, their talents cannot be developed to the fullest extent.
Persons having some inherent selling talent are not beyond the need of training. Rather, their talent can be properly harnessed if they are given adequate training. Thus, the argument that salesmen are only born but not made does not hold good.
The training programme may be costly; but it is essential for the success of the sales force. An effective training programme should have a clear definition of objectives, good programme content, selection of training methods and execution of the actual training programme.
Need for Salesmen Training
Most of the people who are employed as salesmen will not have knowledge of the products they have to sell, its customers and the methods of selling the products. So, they require good training before they actually enter the field of selling.
Experienced salesmen, already serving the company also require training to become aware of the new products introduced by their firms or by the competitors and to learn about the improved sales techniques to improve their ability and efficiency.
Thus, training is quite essential that is why, all firms, organize training programmes for their sales force.
Objectives of Salesmen Training
There are several objectives in giving training to salesmen. The main objectives are:
1. To teach the newly appointed salesmen the principles and techniques of selling.
2. To make the experienced salesmen know the improved techniques of selling.
3. To enable the salesmen to know their firm (i.e., the history of their firm, its structure, achievements).
4. To acquaint the salesmen with the policies of the firm in respect of distribution, credit, prices, etc.
5. To enable the salesmen to acquire full knowledge of the products their manufacturing processes, characteristics, uses, etc.
6. To give the salesmen information about the dealers and the customers of the firm’s products.
7. To acquaint the salesmen with the position of the competing firms in the market and to show them the ways of improving the sales against such competition.
8. To keep the salesmen well-informed about various laws and Government regulations affecting the sale of goods.
9. To keep always ready a sales force to replace the salesmen who retire or resign and those who may be absent.
10. To find out, in the course of the training, the unsuitable appointees and weed them out.
11. To increase or improve the efficiency of all types of salesmen, experienced as well as new.
12. To make the salesmen well prepared for the work and to reduce the turnover of labour force (i.e., reducing the number of salesmen who will leave the job).