Five Steps To Improve Your Sales Training Process


(By Loyd Ford) If you want your salespeople to increase their earnings and the revenue they haul into your local station or cluster, you already have an internal sales training process on-site.

Let’s take a closer look at a broadcast company that is (in our story) struggling to increase its revenue through advertising sales. It happens. Everyone takes their turn “in the barrel.”

Like you, the struggling local radio group in our story went through Covid-19 and the ‘after-wash.’ They’ve tried to rebuild, but the struggle seems to have become more chronic. They have tried many little ideas, but nothing seemed to work for regenerating significant sales. 

So, what do you think they should do to change that? 

We believe they should commit to bringing regular sales training to their team and to individuals on the team. An owner, market manager, or sales manager should take it upon themselves to ‘take an interest’ in individual sellers, how they are growing relationships with buyers and advertisers, and how committed they are to real sales strategy and prospecting depth. These things matter in today’s short-attention-span world.

One of the first steps to consider should be boosting accountability of local management to encourage, teach, sharpen, and role-play with sellers to grow their sales continuously. 

Let’s add to the fun by being more open about what to do.

Here are the five most powerful ways you can launch and maintain an excellent advertising sales training process. Notice we lay out specific important characteristics of what is important and how to “get after it” with your sellers.

  1. Understanding your advertising customer.  The first step in advertising sales training is to understand the customer. Sales reps should learn about the target audience’s needs, wants, and pain points. This will enable them to tailor their pitches to the customer’s specific needs and make more sales. Nobody wants to buy your stuff. Train your sellers to do their research before engaging someone. Train your sellers on significant customer needs analysis. 

    Get the feeling advertisers want to see fewer salespeople? It’s not a feeling; they want to see fewer sellers because they don’t see these “sellers” as bringing value; sellers are wasting the advertiser’s time.  Why shouldn’t YOUR sellers be different?

  2. Product Knowledge. Sales reps need to have a deep understanding of the products they are selling. They should be able to answer any questions the customer may have and highlight the benefits of using the product. This builds trust with the customer and increases sales. I know; you’re gonna tell me your sellers know everything. Please don’t tell me that.
  3. Sharpen Communication Skills. Great communication skills are essential in advertising sales, but they are not a given in the broadcast business. Sales reps should listen to the customer’s needs and concerns, be able to explain the benefits of the product clearly and confidently, and effectively negotiate deals.  To do that well, someone has to drill them, engage them, and practice them (in front of one another whenever possible). The team that trains together gains together. 

    Regular training in active listening, questioning, and objection handling can help improve these skills even more than you think. If you don’t regularly role-play with your team, your numbers go down.

  4. Consistently Work On Time Management. This is so tough for a lot of people and poor performance in this area is a revenue killer. 

    Time management is critical in advertising sales. Sales reps should be able to manage their time effectively to maximize their sales potential. This includes prioritizing sales activities, setting goals and targets, and tracking progress. Placing a focus on this as a part of regular training will have a dynamic impact on performance.

  5. Continuous Learning is critical and important. Finally, sales reps need to be constantly learning and updating their skills. This isn’t valued by everyone and managers should figure out how to recognize those who don’t value these skills because “they got to go.” 

    Sales techniques, products, and markets are always evolving, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. Listen to me. Want to know why you can’t do what you’ve always done and achieve consistent revenue increases? It’s because customers move on. They are tempted by new things. They want to believe in the next great thing

    Offering ongoing training and coaching to your sellers can help keep sales reps motivated and helps them consistently improve their performance.

These are five powerful ways that our ‘struggling broadcast company’ can actually start to see ‘sales lift-off.’ *Number 6 is to ‘always be recruiting potential sellers. 

Free Your Team To Be Well-Trained & Money Will Flow

Broadcast sales reps are more confident, knowledgeable, and effective in their pitches when they are sharpened by local management who is consistently encouraging and engaging them regularly in role play and bringing regular training resources and even drills to the team. 

The One Outcome

What is the only outcome that comes from more training, role-playing, and focus on helping individual sellers on your team with consistent training ops?


Investing in advertising sales training is a crucial step towards achieving success in any highly competitive market.

Here’s a question: How much more revenue do you want? Now you know how much more regular sales training you need.

Loyd Ford is president and chief strategic officer at Rainmaker Pathway Consulting Works (RPC). They help local radio with ratings and revenue. Reach him anytime at 864.448.4169 or [email protected]. Read Loyd’s Radio Ink archives here.


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