Create Sales Legends:

The Essential Guide to developing the most critical skill

Sales skill is one of the most critical functions in any organization—is there some way that this can be developed?

Today, there are plenty of studies that confirm what we already know: without a solid sales team an organization is not likely to survive. But can sales skill be acquired? Is there a guide that ensures sales team is able to perform consistently with decisive strength and speed in ensuring that top line growth in not affected. Is there a way of preventing disengagement of star sales reps? According to CEOInsights.com, over 48% of inside sales companies surveyed reported that they missed their monthly revenues goals more times in a 12-month cycle than they achieved them. In addition to missing revenue numbers, many other companies indicate that the level of training, core selling skills, and overall selling talent of their sales team could be improved as well.

Other statistics confirm high levels of employee disillusionment with the process, delivery and content of sales training. In addition to lagging revenue numbers, many organizations indicate that the level of training and core selling skills of their sales team could also be improved. To determine what makes a sales training initiative successful, 150 best-in-class organizations were surveyed and studied, and the findings were reported in a white paper by Think! Inc. According to the white paper, 56.5 percent of the respondents considered a successful sales training initiative to be one in which the “use of the methodology is strongly encouraged, measured and rewarded, and in which there are consequences for noncompliance.”

In this paper, we explore various facets of Sales Training and unearth why traditional methods no longer work — and what can be done to fix it. We highlight five tenets of Sales Training and provide a guide for creating a successful, repeatable, sales skill development paradigm. This paper is meant to work as a guide for organizations that are keen on boosting sales skills in their teams thereby enhancing revenue, ensuring retention and increasing engagement.

Alignment with business strategy

The most significant step in ensuring that Sales Training is successful is by ensuring that employees know what are the strategic objectives of their leaders and what are the behaviors that they are hoping to drive through the training. Setting clear objectives and quantifying what needs to change for a sales rep to be successful is the key to effective Sales Training.

Effective instructional design

Time is a premium for sales reps – every hour spent away from the field is an opportunity lost on the field. Sales teams are keenly aware of this. Hence, training needs to be focused and relevant to their role. Training built on situational challenges; practical scenarios and daily interactions enhance engagement of the learner. Instructional designers can play a key role in ensuring that there is a strong alignment of content to real life business challenges and training is not only relevant but is also actionable. Effective instructional design and dynamic facilitation can ensure that Sales Training addresses specific knowledge and performance skill gaps of the learners.

Leverage technology

With the rise of new technologies and devices Sales Training has become more advanced and modular in nature. Leveraging technology can help a sales rep achieve a tangible improvement in sales performance. New technologies encourage learning on-the-go, allows for updating courses to reflect latest market intelligence and product development and enables marketing and sales support to build courses faster and more easily, while incorporating collaborative learning approaches to encourage reps to interact and learn from peers. This keeps the training dynamic and relevant and allows learners to learn at their speed and in their own time.

Reinforcement campaign

One of the most important aspects of Sales Training is the reinforcement of the messages and behaviors. While there are multiple channels that one can use to achieve this, the most effective ones in recent years have been game-based and social in nature. They allow for not only instant feedback and self -assessment but also helps improve the effectiveness of the training, and make adjustments to the subsequent ones.

Measuring impact

Measuring the impact of all Sales Training sessions may seem basic to any corporate initiative meant to drive change – but according to McKinsey only about 50 percent of organizations keep track of participants’ feedback. The same report further states that only 30 percent use any other metric to measure success. Tracking and reporting system makes it convenient to determine true return on investment. With analytics and reporting tools, organizations today can get an immediate view of key lead and lag indicators and use them to make training more effective.

References:

Global Human Capital Trends 2015: Leading in the new world of work, Deloitte Report Maximizing the Effectiveness of Sales Training, Sales Readiness Group 2012 Inc. Article named: Critical Skills for Sales Success Published On: Jun 1, 2007 http://www.inc.com/resources/sales/articles/20070601/jthull.html Three Techniques to Make Your Sales Training More Effective (Article Published in on Oct 3, 2013 by Mike Brooks)
http://www.eyesonsales.com/content/article/three_techniques_to_make_your_sales_training_more_effective/
Is Your Sales Training Effective?
http://www.clomedia.com/articles/is_your_sales_training_effective
7 Essential Ingredients in Creating Effective Sales Training for Sales Teams By Dario Priolo Published on 6th September 2013 (http://blogs.richardson.com/2013/09/06/7-essential-ingredients-creating-effective-sales-training-programs-sales-teams/)

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