Right now your competition is sales training. Are you?

The pandemic threw everyone into a state of upheaval. Much of what we knew and understood changed on a dime. The businesses that thrive as we emerge into our new, new normal are putting sales training and professional development in the forefront. Consider these trends.

  • More than half of companies are retooling their training programs, and 62% of businesses affected by changes due to COVID-19 are spending more on training in 2021.
  • Leaders surveyed by Udemy said closing the skill gap was top learning and development goal in 2020, with more of their employees being upskilled or reskilled compared to the previous year. We are seeing more organizations recognizing the skills gap and taking action to fill it.
  • According to Forester Research, 80 percent of the B2B sales cycle will be digital in the foreseeable future.

Sales training will be integral for successful sales organizations as we move forward. Here are five reasons why.

5 Reasons Why You Need Sales Training

1. Skill Development Needs to Be On-Going

Businesses with successful sales teams make sure sales training isn’t “one and done.” It must be a continual part of your sales growth plan, just like your sales strategy is. When your organization supports continual learning through sales training, innovation happens, processes transform, and positive change is inspired.

As you retool your go-to-market strategy and internal sales processes, you will uncover skill gaps. Sales training can close those gaps. My own professional services and B2B clients have moved to a long-term, multi-faceted sales training approach, rather than looking at it on a project basis.

2. The Remote Workforce Changed the Sales Paradigm

A lot of sales teams were already remote before COVID hit, but now customers and clients are in a remote environment too. Many are likely to stay remote, at least part of the time, because working from

home turned out to be more productive for businesses and more appreciated by employees than expected.

That means being able to function well and sell effectively in a remote environment has become integral to success. To address this evolution, your sales team needs to develop remote selling skills—from prospecting and relationship building through negotiating and the sales closing. As you retool your go-to-market strategy and internal sales processes, you will uncover skill gaps. Sales training can close those gaps.

3. Sales Training Shines a Light on Talent Retention

Talent retention isn’t a new fad. It has always been important to retain your top employees. But 2020 shined an even brighter light on talent retention. Companies rated highly on employee training saw about half as much attrition.

Typically, top performers will gravitate toward high-performing organizations, and high-performing organizations consistently invest in their people. If you want top performers within your sales organization, you must offer sales training and skill development opportunities for them.

4. Mindset Matters

Sales training is critical to developing the right sales mindset. Sellers experience more objections, rejections, and pressure than most other professions. How do the best sellers maintain their drive and sense of optimism? One skill helps them stand apart– a growth mindset.

A growth mindset influences everything a sales professional does, which can include emotional intelligence, executive presence, handing rejection and delays, and staying agile in the face of disruption. They need to be agile, optimistic, persistent, systematic, and competitive, especially in times of disruption. When your sales team members are part of a sales training program, they will be prepared to face challenges and deliver the right solutions to your prospects and clients.

You can also create sales training programs specifically on the skill of developing a sales mindset. The sales training methodology I’ve designed includes sales assessment work with the entire sales team and leadership team, to accurately gauge for these qualities and capabilities.

5. Sales Evaluations Set the Stage

Successful sales leaders take time to uncover the gaps in their organizations. An evaluation will study your team’s productivity and performance. It also gives you the opportunity to stop and consider if you have the right people in the right roles with the right skills.

By conducting an evaluation before you launch your new sales training initiative, you’ll know what type of sales training to invest in rather than guessing what might work.

Avoid These Sales Training Pitfalls

Now that you understand why you should launch your sales training program, here are five pitfalls to avoid.

1. Rushing the process. Too often, sales leaders treat skill development as a point-in-time event, when it should be an ongoing endeavor. Modern selling skills take time and practice to ultimately master. Long-term results require long-term investment. As a result, we are seeing sales training engagements now span a year, rather than simply being on a project basis.

2. Limiting the scope of sales training. Selling is a multifaceted process. Your sales training should be multifaceted, too. Include multiple ways your team can develop skills in your sales training plan—group programs, individual programs, microlearning, and more.

3. Not starting at the top. Nearly 60 percent of people have left a job because of their manager. Make sure your sales leaders are equipped with skills they need to cultivate a sales growth culture.

4. Lacking clarity. In sales training you must be clear on what you want to accomplish. Without goals, it is hard to measure results. There needs to be specificity to make sales training successful and help your organization achieve your sales goals.

5. Not committing to an investment. Like with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Typically, a higher investment per salesperson results in a higher level of satisfaction with the training, as well as better results in the field. Money spent now will save you more in the future.

Get Started with Your Sales Training

Don’t let your competition get an advantage. We can help. If you want to know how to get started with a sales training program that ignites sales, let’s talk. Contact us to schedule time for a discovery conversation with Amy.

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