Skill development is more or less the holy grail in sales. Taking a team of b-squad account executives, and turing them into superstars can change, and shape the bottom line numbers for an entire organization. Stats show that roughly 60% of sales people don’t achieve their quota month in, and month out; thats a ton lost revenue, lost commissions, and overall lost earnings. So how can this ship be turned around? How can engagement help a manager tasked with developing sales associate skills? One word: Training.
Talking about training can inspire a shutter from the masses. Sales people are a unique breed; qualified, achievement driven, productive salespeople even more unique. There is no secret sauce when it comes to engagement, each person is unique, with their own motivators, likes, and dislikes. However, taking a discerning approach through identification can make all the difference in the world.
Learn about your team members. Assessments are an excellent way to gain valuable information about a individual. Sales personality assessments are even more value (in the context of this conversation). Imagine knowing how a person will act or react before you even hire them. Imagine having insight into a sales associate’s skill set. Do they make a good first impression? Are they skilled in overcoming objections? Do they completely drop the ball when it comes to becoming a trusted advisor? All of this information allows management to custom tailor training based around what it will take for an individual to thrive in the sales environment.
Make it Fun
Some times a bit of fun can change the shape of a training environment. Using games, and reward based challenges to encourage learning is an effective tool. As a manager you need to ask yourself, “would I want to sit through this?”, if you don’t want to participate it is unrealistic to think anyone else will. So go online, and find some fun and creative tools to engage your team.
Rinse and Repeat
Often times with learning, repetition is king. Constantly practicing skills is the only way to master them. Michael Jordan took 1000 jump shots a day when he was young, he did this every single day. Arguably, he became the greatest basketball player to ever walk the earth, granted he had talent beyond just a “gift”, but his work ethic, and dedication is what catapulted him to greatness. It’s no different with sales skill sets. Practicing a pitch, practicing needs analysis, religiously improving on closing tactics is the only way an individual can become great. Taking your sales team through regular on-going training is the only way to make them better, just keep in engaging.
When it comes to personal growth, your team should be all about it. People get into sales for a lot of reasons, but for the majority, it’s about the money. If you have a sales rep who doesn’t care about their commission, help develop them over to account management, or customer service. But for those associates who want to be better, who need to be better; invest your time into them; and with following these steps the ROI will be huge.