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Five Reasons to Be Thankful for Sales Coaching and Training in 2020

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Are you one of those companies that is currently leading the pack in your industry? Is staying on top of the most effective selling strategies one of the reasons for your success? How did you discover these strategies and who taught them to your sales and marketing people?

Obviously, what you’ve figured out is that effective sales training and coaching must be a priority for any company if it hopes to be successful. That said, if your sales managers are too busy putting out fires and problem solving to stay up to speed on all the latest strategies and techniques, you should consider bringing in an experienced professional sales coach to instigate a performance-based program to keep your sales people operating at peak levels.

In the spirit of making 2020 your most successful year yet, here are the Top Five reasons to be thankful for expert sales coaches and trainers this year:

They Improve Selling Skills

Sales training tends to focus on the development of the sales team while sales coaching targets each individual rep’s selling skills. Targeted skill areas, especially for new hires, include call prospecting and call planning. The right coach will also introduce more senior reps to negotiation skills and how to effectively present value.

They Boost Closing Rates

Sales coaching is used to improve individual sales rep’s closing rates. Normally, this involves focusing on opportunity coaching, a methodology that plays to the strengths of sales managers, especially those who previously excelled in closing sales. Just as with skills coaching, the temptation to tell the rep what to do rather than inquire about opportunities in the pipeline must be avoided. What is essential is to help the rep think through his or her closing strategies.

They Help Sales Managers Get Better

Typically, sales training and coaching experts focus on sales reps but they can also have a significant impact on managers. By working with sales managers, the right coach can help them become good mentors and coaches. Bottom line: While the sales reps are being trained and coached, don’t forget to include the managers in the process.

They Speed the Development of New Hires:

New hires invariably attend programs that often include sections designed to teach them improved selling skills. Normally, this coaching is left to the sales managers which can be hit or miss if the manager is not a particularly skilled instructor. Better to bring in an expert who can teach the new hire exactly what they need to know and leave the sales manager to focus on their primary role.

They Create Leverage

If sales managers get into a habit of just telling their reps what to do all the time, they will find themselves in a situation where the reps stop looking for their own solutions to problems they encounter. This reduces the sales manager to the role of problem solver which is not a good use of their valuable time. Bringing an outside coach is like teaching the reps how to fish instead of just giving them fish all the time. This frees up the manager to devote more time to developing sales strategies which will be far more beneficial to your company.

Sales coaches and training experts help companies develop a coaching culture. Although it may take time and patience, the result – an empowered sales force – is well worth the effort.

Why Hiring a Sales Coaching and Training Expert Is Better Than DIY

Sales coaching and sales training is critically important. Ask any industry leader in just about any field you can think of and they’ll confirm this statement.

However, for every successful company out there that has benefitted from bringing in outside expertise, there are just as many excuses being offered by less successful companies for not doing it.

Sales training and sales coaching is a highly specialized field and no matter how good they are at their real job, your average sales manager lacks the teaching skills needed to complete this task effectively and efficiently.

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A sales manager, after all, has different priorities. They need to focus on getting their teams to make more sales. They simply do not have the time it takes to keep up with all the latest sales and marketing approaches and techniques. Nothing against them. There’s only so many hours in a day and if teaching was their strength, they probably wouldn’t be working as sales managers.

Aside from trying to get one of your more senior managers to conduct training in-house, the next most common short-cut is to enroll employees in a skills program or send them to a seminar. While better than nothing, these options do little to help the employee tackle all the work they have on their plate as they’re learning the new techniques and skills.

Bringing in an outside sales trainer addresses all these issues as they are able to be onsite helping your employees learn in the “real world” working on actual tasks.

Ask yourself: How do the top companies in my industry train and coach their sales employees? Chances are they don’t ask a sales manager or someone from HR to take on the additional responsibility. They understand hiring a true sales coaching and training expert is always going to better – and more cost-effective than a DIY approach.

Truth be told, the benefits of sales coaching and sales training are obvious as the recent spike in the industry attests. All you need to do now is find an experienced professional with a stellar track record to help your sales people scale new heights of selling success.

The Sales Coaching Institute

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Developing Sales Leadership Skills Is a Strategy for Long-Term Success

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According to a recent report, companies are dedicating only 10% of their learning and development (L&D) resources to improving sales. Indeed, the most common complaint among new hires is the lack of in-depth sales training. Find out why sales training is an investment your company can’t afford to overlook.

 

Why Invest in Learning and Development for Your Sales Team?

The 2019 Learning and Development (L&D) Report from professional search engine findcourses.com conducted a survey of over 70 L&D professionals. Of those surveyed, only 10% reported sales as a top training priority despite the proven benefits of learning and development. The report revealed a clear connection between learning and innovative business practices, diversity and inclusion training and financial growth, and current financial growth with increasing L&D investment.

 

L&D training is a key facet of running a successful and growing business. However, businesses are missing out on fostering long-term growth when they overlook sales training in L&D plans. By strategically increasing investment in L&D, you can maximize your potential for revenue growth, while cementing the sales team at the center of your business’ success.

 

So, what L&D strategies will help more sellers become more effective? If your goal is to lead your sales team to victory, practicing L&D professionals have identified some key training insights to boost sales and encourage innovation.

 

Create a Safe Space for Idea-Sharing

A successful sales team is one that openly shares and communicates their ideas in the spirit of collaboration and mutual support. Tiffany Poppa of Bonobos credits their high rate of innovation to their culture of trust and relationship-building: “Focusing on strengths creates trust; it creates a safe space to try something and possibly fail, have a conversation about it, and move forward.”

 

Similarly, Training Manager of CyberCoders Dani Chang emphasizes idea-sharing when hiring and training new sales recruits: “My team hire, manage, train, and ramp up individuals that have no prior sales or recruiting experience.” The training encourages idea-sharing and bonding among the new recruits which is then carried throughout their time with the company, ultimately leading to higher levels of innovation.

 

Stay Flexible and Adaptable

Businesses often require sales teams to switch tact quickly and efficiently. Keeping your L&D program agile will help you lead your team smoothly into any new structure that results from mergers or acquisitions. Consistent evaluation and recalibration are the best ways to keep exceeding expectations.

 

Tiffany Poppa, Director of Employee Experience at Bonobos explains that, “Focusing on what’s right with people makes for an inclusive environment where people can openly express themselves, their ideas and even their challenges.” Cultivating a working environment and an agile L&D culture that encourages openness is the first step to inviting innovation to your office, and to keep it there.

 

Embrace the Future of Sales with Virtual Reality

Harnessing the power of new virtual reality technology gives sales teams the opportunity to complement existing training with something relatively rare: practice-as-learning in a safe environment.

 

VR coaching company STRIVR’s Chief Strategy Officer Danny Belch has seen the impact of VR on L&D in real time. “With VR, because of the on-demand nature, a real-life experience can be fired up at the click of a button … it’s not role-play. You have this beautifully free space to practice, to stumble on your words,” Belch observes. He finds that putting the information presented in training into a real-life scenario gives you the repetition needed to get it right.

 

The Key Takeaway

Investment in sales training L&D will provide the tools to maximize your sales team’s success. Making that upfront investment in L&D, creating a safe space for idea-sharing,  researching the latest trends in technology and innovation and keeping your training agile and personalized are all techniques practicing L&D professionals have found successful. Boosting sales training is no small feat, but the research shows that investment in L&D is by far the best place to start.

 

Keely Witherow is a writer and content editor at professional training search engine findcourses.com and higher education portal educations.com. A native-Texan based in Stockholm, Keely has utilized her interest in cross-cultural relations to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

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How to Go from Good to Great in Sales

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If you’re stuck trying to answer the question of how any can company (good, bad, and mediocre) improve and achieve greatness, you aren’t alone. Most people wonder how some companies can go from good (or bad) to some of the most elite companies in the world. In a sense, it falls on the sales managers and the sales teams. No sales team is ever going to be great if the sales manager settles for being good instead of the best. Being good is much easier than being great.

Who and What

Most people focus on the ‘what’ first, but you need to focus on finding the right people before anything. Your human capital is your best asset. Not all people are going to fit the bill, but that doesn’t mean you can’t utilize them in other ways.

You may need to shift people around, hire new sales reps, and let go of current ones. Once you have everyone in place based on their strengths, you can determine your strategies and vision for the company.

Consider a variety of questions to weed through your current employees. You should determine if there are people on the team that shouldn’t be there. You may also want to focus on moving team members to new positions that aren’t in the best positions or whose skills aren’t being utilized to the max.

Trying to find the perfect sales executive for your organization? Click here to learn more about our executive sales recruiting.

Confront but Keep Faith

Research has shown that you achieve results primarily when you make a series of good decisions. However, they must be executed at the right time and must be in sequence to work. Of course, perfection isn’t the key here, but to be great, you must make multiple good decisions one after the other, and you must make more good decisions than bad ones. Of course, to do that, you need the most accurate information.

How Practicing Hunger, Hustle and Humility Can Transform Your Personal Life and Sales Career

For a few years now, thanks in large part to a best-selling book, the three H’s of hunger, hustle and humility have been buzzwords in C-level offices all over the United States.

Unfortunately, the book leaves everyone on the lower floors out in the cold because it is specifically targeted at those in leadership positions. To be more precise, the book theorizes that being humble, staying hungry and always hustling – in that order – is the can’t miss formula for leadership success.

While the author is not wrong about the three H’s, he has missed the boat on a couple of major points. First, the three H’s can be applied by anyone who dreams of being more successful whether it be in their personal lives or in their sales careers. Second, the three H’s need to flow in the following order:

Hunger: Without the desire to be a more successful sales professional, there is no motivation to make the necessary changes and to do the work that will make it happen. Even if your goal is a modest one, the hunger simply must come first or there’s no reason to change.

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Hustle: Having identified your goal and what you need to change to achieve it, understand there is only one way to get there… hard work! Give it all you’ve got and once you’ve achieved your goal, you will have created a roadmap and a work habit that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

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Humble: This one’s a no brainer for the third spot. After all, without hunger and hustle driving you to new heights, what do you have to be humble about? Decide you want a big stick and then do the work to get that stick. Once you have it, then you can worry about walking quietly. Staying humble provides you with several benefits. These include more self-control, better relationships, and better leadership skills.

While not a professional salesman in the truest sense, Hall of Fame golfer Gary Player exemplifies the three H’s when applied in the correct order. As a 15-year-old growing up on a farm in South Africa, Player’s father asked him what he planned to do for a living. He replied that he was going to be the No. 1 golfer in the world.

“Are you sure about that, son?” replied an unconvinced Player Sr. “There are a lot of very good golfers out there.”

“I know,” the younger Player replied. “But I’m going to outwork all of them.”

Today, having followed his passion for golf (Hunger) and gaining a reputation as the hardest working player on the global tour (Hustle), Player is quietly retired in Florida with nine major championship trophies scattered around his living room. Although you’d never know it by talking to him (Humble), that ties him for 4th on the all-time list, trailing only Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Walter Hagen.

So, find something that makes you hungry – even if all you want is the Employee of the Month parking spot – and then will yourself to develop the habits to get you to where you want to go. Then, and only then, will it be time to work on staying humble.