With less time and resources for sales team training and development, one of the most critical issues for any Sales Director or Sales Manager is how to ensure ‘peak sales performance’ from their team. This needs to be achieved without disruption of the day to day sales effort and at the same time focused on the particular needs of each individual within the team.
Huge demands on salespeople
The fact is that selling in today’s climate is both an art and a science. Sales is a profession that
demands a far wider range of skills than ever before — skills that require continual fine-tuning and constant practice.
Continual reinforcement and development
The operative word here is “continual.” Even if salespeople have undergone initial sales
training, there’s no guarantee that they will be successful. It is common knowledge that skills
grow rusty over time, and salespeople are prone to pick up bad habits along the way or to
simply skip steps and take shortcuts that can lead to long-term trouble. Perhaps even more
important these days is the fact that markets, competition, technologies, and customer
preferences are all in a constant and accelerating state of change over time.
A VARIETY OF DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS
Skills development can take many forms, including formal and informal mentoring, sales
coaching by managers, and/or classroom training, distance- or e-learning, and other kinds of
Since the best way to learn something well is to teach it to others, mentoring programs offer organizations a win-win proposition: in addition to enhancing the skills and performance of the salespeople, they help mentors develop their sales skills while improving their coaching and management skills as well.
Today, more and more organizations are waking up to the value of building a strong coaching
culture. Analogies to athletic coaching are common but especially apt. Training alone does not
guarantee that a great tennis player will deliver Grand Slam-winning performance. This can only
come from continuous daily support and guidance from an expert coach. Equally, top sales
professionals need expert coaching support from their managers to stay at the top of their
game. Whether sales managers deliver their coaching support face-to-face, on the telephone, or
via e-mail, those organizations that have a strong coaching culture attract and retain the best
The challenge for Sales Directors is to provide the support that sales managers—all of whom are
hard-pressed for time—need in order to provide the kind of support their salespeople must
have. Successful Sales Directors have found a range of supporting tools, resources, and kits that
save managers’ time and enhance the impact of their coaching time.
The Sales Enhancer provides a unique set of tools, resources and methodologies to assist the Sales Manager in providing effective coaching and development to sales teams.
Finally, formal training can also have a huge influence on skills development, especially if it is
implemented with two additional ingredients:
- The training must be based on what the salespeople need and should be tailored to address
diagnosed performance gaps. Using a diagnostic approach saves an organization money and
time because there is nothing to be gained from teaching people something that they are
already doing well or, conversely, that they don’t need to do in the first place.
- Any training program will be more effective when the skills that participants learn are reinforced on a regular, continual basis.
The importance of ongoing performance development is summarised very effectively by Steven
S. Reinemund, CEO PepsiCo Inc.:
“To have growth in products, you have to have growth in people”
A complete Sales Team Development toolkit
The Sales Activator® offers a real treasure trove of resources and a wealth of learning and development opportunities for sales people. This toolkit includes over 70 hours of flexible sales development sessions you can implement to improve the performance of your sales team.