It is not uncommon for businesses to invest heavily in sales training in good times and stop offering professional development, coaching, and training for the sales team in times of economic downturns.
While there is a logic behind this, it is faulty logic. The correct logic or approach is that sales are critical for the success of a business in any economic market. In fact, it is easy to argue that sales training and staff development is more essential in a poor economy as sales are more difficult.
At the basic level, sales are all about communication. Training the sales team to communicate more effectively both with customers as well as within the team, is a part of ongoing professional development. Training the sales managers with the team in these skills is a key point for the top sales companies in the market today.
To understand the importance of ongoing sales training, here are four essential factors to consider for any B2B or B2C company.
Training in Technology
Tracking and monitoring customer behavior has become easier with advances in technology. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software allows sales staff to monitor all interactions with customers, including potential new customers. The benefits of this technology are only available if sales staff is trained in how to use the software for maximum results.
Using the Latest in Research
Sales strategies have changed over time, and leading sales teams are using the latest in research to reach current and new customers. Understanding the use of social media, content marketing, and partnering with customers rather than selling to the customer is a critical part of capturing sales even in a difficult market.
Coaching for sales staff is a highly effective professional development strategy. Coaching or mentoring provides one-on-one support, assisting in new skill development for current or new members to the sales team. This is extremely important to create a sales team that is able to meet quota and exceed sales objectives as all sales professionals are continually improving.
Supporting the Team
Sales can be a very competitive and very isolating profession. In providing regular training throughout the year, the sales team has a way to develop a sense of trust, collaboration, and interaction that usually will not develop without these shared training opportunities.
As collaborative work in sales is seen as a more effective overall model than competitive models, training is an ideal time to build both skills and the critical sense of working together as a team. Working with top trainers to incorporate both individual skill development and collaboration is the best way to develop the culture.