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The Importance of Reskilling Senior Sales Professionals

Maintaining competitive agility is becoming an essential corporate demand as new-age technologies dominate the business environment across industries. Traditional corporate operations are being disrupted, and new growth strategies and organizational processes are being implemented due to the ‘digital age.’

For both B2C and B2B markets, more businesses are changing how they sell and recognizing changing consumption trends. Artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning, virtual reality, and chatbots, among other emerging technologies, are increasingly finding uses in sales.

Finding industry-ready people is getting more difficult as sales processes undergo this technological update, with a large gap between available and desired skill sets. Any investment in new-age sales tools will be a waste if teams cannot successfully use or interpret them.

The annual cost of lost production owing to a lack of essential attention to training and other learning activities is estimated to be almost $7 trillion. As a result, businesses must upskill their senior sellers for effective sales enablement, and they may ensure that their sales team remains relevant by implementing regular training efforts. This will ensure that they are prepared to respond to market shifts and technological advances.

opportunities for current and future sellers

Providing opportunities for current and future sellers

Sellers play a critical role in propelling the global economy forward. In today’s digital world, when tech-powered sales enablement tactics reinvent the seller’s journey, staying relevant necessitates knowledge with the most up-to-date tools. With practically every market player using cutting-edge tools, sellers must be kept up to date on the latest developments at each stage of the trip, or they will be left behind.

Sellers utilize AI-powered intelligent database systems to find new clients and expand their market penetration. Advanced data analytics and predictive modeling are becoming increasingly important tools for identifying potential buyers.

Similarly, firms turn to intelligent CRM technologies and marketing process automation for faster prospect outreach and better-qualified leads. Contrary to popular belief, data-driven, automated processes result in quicker sales, allowing sellers to manage their time better and prioritize their tasks. As a result, familiarizing your senior sellers with digital technologies and providing them with the necessary training is essential for a company’s sales divisions to become future-ready.

proper training strategy

Incorporating the proper training strategy

While training is essential for future-ready sellers, selecting the correct training concept and the program is equally important. You may start with an overview examination of the business functions to be trained and the identification of skill gaps and other factors, including location, medium, duration, and accessibility. The data gathered can be used to create an appropriate training structure aligned with essential business goals.

You may then streamline tasks following the training delivery plan. Finally, you must conduct a full assessment of the training program to determine top learning and make necessary modifications.

This training process can be considered a cycle aimed at sustaining sales team development in the face of technological disruption, diversification of the company’s operations, or even labor churn.

Aside from a well-thought-out approach, it’s critical to remember that the primary goal of training should not simply be to conduct an employee upskilling session. Instead, the focus should be on developing a long-term practice that adapts to shifting needs and market trends.

Furthermore, these programs should hone the analytical abilities of the sellers to use data-driven reports and draw meaningful insights, in addition to providing them with the know-how of the latest sales technologies.

In today’s technology-driven world, training programs must recognize the importance of the human voice and teach sellers how to improve their soft skills and have more personal client conversations. While most sellers acknowledge that quality training programs positively impact their engagements, businesses may reach 73 percent quota attainment with constant coaching methods. These efforts can aid companies in developing multitasking, dynamism, and culture of staying current in their sales force.

Coordinated actions to achieve actual reforms

Coordinated actions to achieve actual reforms

The training or learning strategy will need to be changed to account for the different skill requirements and forthcoming trends to tackle the problem of extraordinary market developments. It will also be critical to develop future-ready sellers by establishing a flexible and innovative curriculum in academic institutes and combining it with vocational courses and R&D centers to prepare the workforce to be industry-ready.

It is feasible to find and outline solutions for the most prominent learning demands of sellers by bringing together government functionaries, industry experts, and leading academics worldwide, thereby adjusting future sales teams to technologies that will likely arise.

Such coordinated efforts will not only build teams capable of delivering results in a fast-paced, continuously changing sales environment but will also instill a growth attitude in salespeople, allowing them to upskill and re-skill to stay ahead of the competition constantly.

As a result, educating the sales force and providing them with the abilities they will need to succeed in the future is critical to establishing long-term success.

To guarantee that learning experiences are engaging, enjoyable, and challenging, businesses must prioritize the need to upskill and reskill their sellers, especially the senior ones, and promote learning.

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Why Sales Professionals Should Make Time for Education

The current sales role necessitates constant learning, which demands enablement beyond onboarding. The sales market is more cutthroat than ever, requiring sellers to do more than just present the features and advantages of the solutions or services they’re offering. To attract buyers, sellers must build relationships, learn about their specific environment and difficulties, and demonstrate that their product is the best.

To prepare your sales team to achieve and surpass their requirements, you must provide them with continuing training and mentoring. As a leader, it is your responsibility to guarantee that your team is prepared for success by building a learning and coaching culture.

Sales training onboarding is an excellent approach to presenting your company’s history, solutions, culture, sales processes, etc. However, as your company, industry, and buyers evolve, your sellers must keep up to stay viable in the eyes of your prospective clients.

Beyond onboarding, continuous education — with the periodic review process, skills certifications, learning courses, and so on — provides a boatload of benefits for both your company and potential buyers. 

Benefits of Continuing Sales Education

Benefits of Continuing Sales Education

Improved sales preparation 

Sales preparedness, or how ready your sales team is to connect with clients throughout their journey, is improved by providing continuing development to your team. Sales reps are prepared and equipped to handle any buyer engagement when they master essential skills like communicating, product and industry expertise, managing objections, and building pipelines.

Higher winning rates

Your sales staff will perform better due to being more prepared for buyer discussions and having the abilities they need to personalize messaging. Increasing your success rates should be one of your sales training goals because it is a leading sign of your company’s market competitiveness.

Better employee retention

When sales professionals meet their objectives, they are more likely to stay with your organization. They will experience an increase in performance and, as a result, will be more willing to wait for the long haul if they receive the ongoing support they require from leadership. Over half of sellers who regarded their learning as successful were also very happy with their jobs.

How to Get the Most Out of Sales Training

How to Get the Most Out of Sales Training

Change your habits, and your life will change.

It doesn’t count toward your quota if you watch YouTube videos instead of studying the latest sales techniques. Browsing the news and watching the latest videos is a popular distraction, so ensure you and your team understand what constitutes effective sales practices, such as scheduling sales training at specified times.

Tailor your sales training to your business. 

While sales methods can be applied across businesses, special skills are frequently necessary for different industries. Selling vehicles, for example, necessitates another skill set than selling software to oil and gas businesses. Make sure the training you provide your sellers is specific to your industry.

Even if the training courses you look at don’t have much information about your sector, you and your team can best brainstorm how to utilize them for your target audience. Building a repository of industry-specific examples, anecdotes, case studies, activities, and resources is a vital first step in enhancing sales training that works.

Find out what your team expects from training and coaching.

Inquiring about your team’s preferred sales training materials and methods can go a long way toward gaining greater buy-in. If a team member enjoys webinars but prefers in-person or YouTube training, they may not be getting what they require. Try out webinar training to observe how your staff reacts.

Getting even one person enthused that you listened to their suggestions can encourage them to push the ball ahead and motivate others.

Appoint a notes and materials keeper.

It’s possible that going through notes gathered during training is just as crucial as the instruction itself. Ensure you have a system set up that allows teams to interact and access the content. Few things are more frustrating than investing in learning and having ideas fall by the wayside after a long weekend that pushes training to the back of your mind.

Conclusion

Confidence breeds success, and knowledge breeds confidence. You can help your sellers feel confident in what they’re doing, hold even the most demanding client contacts, and turn the most challenging situations into possibilities by providing competent and well-organized training.

Your sellers will become authentic representations of your company’s brand, vision, and values if adequately trained. Use these suggestions to help you structure your training program for optimal advantage and create a highly-skilled sales force where every new member is given the chance, knowledge, and support to succeed.

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How to Measure the Success of Sales Training

You have a fantastic product and a sales team eager to sell it. Maybe you are getting a regular stream of leads, and everything seems to be going well. However, it is natural to wonder if things can be better even when things are already going well as a business owner.

It can be difficult to assess your sales team’s efforts and effectiveness. You want to make sure they’re constantly doing everything they can to generate new sales for your company through lead generation and prospecting. However, you are aware that the modern B2B selling process takes time and, at times, luck.

So, how can you get rid of some of the ill-defined measures that have traditionally been used to measure sales effectiveness and replace them with valid, accurate key performance indicators? What metrics do you need to keep track of to get a clear picture of your sales team’s progress?

Elements to Consider When Monitoring Performance Post-Training

Elements to Consider When Monitoring Performance Post-Training

To acquire a comprehensive view of their sales team’s performance, every sales manager should track these essential elements.

Activity

Simply said, activity is a metric that tracks the daily actions that your sellers engage in to produce more leads and boost conversions. The manner you track activity will be determined by how your sales team typically tackles lead creation, but your KPIs might look like this:

  • Quantity of potential accounts in the seller’s pipeline
  • Daily outgoing or cold calls made
  • Emails sent out as part of an outreach campaign
  • Amount of scheduled demos
  • Number of booked meetings

Because all of these measures are simply quantifiable, sales managers can see what each seller’s daily output of effort looks like.

Sellers have little control over how many people respond to their email communications or how many cold calls are returned, but they have complete control over how many they make. As a result, assessing output is a better approach to gauge effort than using a response rate.

Quality

The quality of a sales team’s pipeline is the following KPI to consider when evaluating their performance. This will give you a good picture of how well your seller is prospecting and how well they understand your ideal consumer.

Quality can be quantified using KPIs such as:

  • Rates for return calls
  • Open rates for emails
  • Setting up a warm sales appointment
  • Trial demos given vis-a-vis sign-ups
  • How far leads get into a seller’s funnel

These KPIs are also simple to track, and they should be able to inform you which of your sellers have nailed their prospecting and outreach strategies and which need some improvement.

Tracking these KPIs is also an excellent opportunity for your sellers to share best practices with the rest of the team. Let’s imagine you see that every email sent out by one seller receives a 60% or higher open rate. Maybe they can discuss the kind of subject lines they’re using with the entire team and the methods they’re using to expand their email list.

Conversion

The result of all of the above processes is measured by conversion. Usually, conversion is determined by factors such as:

  • Conversion value on average
  • Ratios of a quote to close
  • Methods of contact sales
  • Customer retention
  • Time to close

While most sales managers use the list above to track their sales teams’ progress, you can’t just rely on conversion KPIs to determine success. You won’t get a complete picture of performance unless you combine conversions with the other two types of KPIs mentioned above.

One of your sellers, for example, may have a low conversion value. However, based on these KPIs, you can see that they are closing more sales than the rest of the team. This could signal that they are particularly adept in lower-tier, speedier sales.

Alternatively, say one of your sellers isn’t completing many transactions, but you observe that most of their leads are moving quite deep down the funnel. Perhaps their low close rate is due to terrible timing, poor luck, pricing, or other factors beyond their control.

Conclusion

The indicators mentioned above will disclose whether or not your training initiatives are producing the desired effect on the business. Understanding your data will assist you in optimizing your sales and marketing budget and generate excellent outcomes, regardless of the size of your company.

We propose that you evaluate these indicators regularly to observe how they’ve changed over time. This will assist you in determining what is most important to work on.

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How To Choose The Right Sales Training Program

Now that most sales motions are happening digitally, it’s never been more important to invest in your team’s digital selling skills.

The easiest way to achieve this is by investing in a digital sales training program that will standardize and formalize the way your revenue team’s prospecting, account growth, and account retention efforts.

Your efforts to modernize the sales process should be supported by the entire organization, from the top-down. Everyone needs to be on board, from your revenue leaders down to your frontline sales reps. The sales training program you choose should also be integrated within your existing oversight and coaching framework.

This way, everyone in your sales team can properly receive the sales coaching and guidance that they would need to succeed.

Your organization’s leadership committee also needs to be involved. As this might be new information to them, they might not see the need for digital sales training. By involving them in the process, they can better understand why a digital sales transformation is necessary. 

But how can sales leaders choose the right sales training program for their organization?

What makes a good digital sales training program

There are dozens of sales training programs available for all types and sizes of businesses, focusing on different aspects of the sales process. With so many options available, choosing the right one for your team can be daunting.

Here are four criteria that you should consider when deciding on a digital sales training program for your organization.

A good digital sales training program…

1. Should Sufficiently Address Skills Gaps
To create a tangible impact in your organization, start by identifying the most prevalent sales skills and performance gaps that your revenue team is facing. This is how you can find opportunities to upskill the members of your revenue team. Here are some of the most common issues that should be addressed immediately:

  • Lack of communication skills: Communication is a two-way street. While most sellers are great at talking, not all sellers can listen well. The best salespeople actively listen to their prospects, asking intelligent questions and using both verbal and nonverbal means to get their customers to warm up to them. Low performers usually spend at least 70% of their calls and meetings speaking.
  • Lack of preparation for sales conversations: You’d be surprised at the number of sales representatives who go into sales calls and meetings without a back-up plan or even a specific objective. There are even sellers who take on calls without knowing anything about the prospect or how your product would specifically benefit the customer.
  • Lack of a prescriptive sales process: Your whole revenue team needs to be consistent when it comes to your sales process. You can’t have a seller skipping certain steps or adding unnecessary ones—that’s how they can miss important tasks like following up with leads or sending email sequences. Even the smallest inconsistency or inefficiency could affect your whole bottom line. 
  • Lack of social selling knowledge: While the term social selling is well-known, not all sellers are aware of the techniques and best practices it involves. They might know that LinkedIn can be used for networking and prospecting, but they don’t necessarily know how to do so. And if your organization doesn’t have a prescriptive process for social selling, it’s pretty much like the blind leading the blind. Which leads us to the next point…

2. Should Teach Social Selling Skills
In this age of digital networking, social selling is no longer optional, but a must-have. It’s an incredibly important skill set that drives actual pipeline and sales. And with pipeline creation being one of the most crucial aspects of the sales process, your team needs to utilize all tools and resources at their disposal.

3. Should Be Incorporated Into Your Existing Sales Process
Training wouldn’t produce results if it’s not aligned to your company’s goals, values, and strategy. That’s why the concepts that will be taught in your chosen sales training should be integrated into your existing sales process to make it more efficient and effective. A good digital sales training program should optimize your sellers’ style, adjusting specific actions for better results instead of dictating a non-negotiable list of things to do per situation.

4. Should Be Reinforced for Optimum Learning
Reinforcement of skills is also important, as long-term growth is rarely produced by one-time training. Learnings need to be applied, and tested, a feedback loop should be established, and sales managers should be able to provide coaching and mentorship.

Wrapping It Up

When it comes to your sales team’s performance, there’s always room for improvement. A good sales training program is necessary for developing your sellers’ skills, tapping into their expertise and talent to increase sales and profits, drive growth, and cultivate a high-performing work environment. 

While there’s no harm in investing in marketing, recruitment, or tools, companies shouldn’t forget about their current sales force—your most important asset and revenue-driver. By enabling your sellers’ transformation into high-performing salespeople, you’ll be better equipped to blast ahead of your competition.

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Leadership

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Eliminate “Random Acts of Prospecting” with an Activation Cycle – SLA

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