Effective sales in 2022 requires a scientific approach to creating a repeatable and productive process. When it comes to training an efficient sales team, businesses need to abandon the traditional ‘sink or swim’ approach and implement a tech-enabled long-term training process.
Sure, there are elements of sales that require creativity and ‘artistry’ – as a good salesperson must be able to empathise and connect with others on a human level. However, when it comes to building a successful, scalable sales programme, sales must be viewed as a science with data collection and strategic experimentation at its core.
Evidence suggests that the most productive salespeople are between 26% and 33% more likely to spend time in training with their manager. This suggests that if training is embedded from onboarding and is continued throughout the representative’s career, they will continue to want to develop and improve their skills. Having an engaged workforce that is willing to learn will improve business revenue in the long-term. Therefore, if businesses want to make lasting improvements to their sales process, they must formally adopt the new innovations in technology and training to take a more scientific approach.
Investment in technology and infrastructure
We must first consider the technology and infrastructure available for businesses to improve their sales teams. If businesses are to develop a repeatable sales programme, sales technology platforms are essential to gain visibility into the sales cycle and engineer a productive revenue operation.
Sales teams can only be as efficient and data accurate as the company’s tech stack allows them to be. The number of tools used consistently among sales teams is up 300% and sales enablement tool usage is up 567%. With all these tools at the disposal of sales teams, sales leaders and end users must work together to select the right tools for their purpose based on their current sales process and goals.
Businesses need to take these two steps to embed sales enablement platforms into their business operations:
1. Choose the appropriate platform
As mentioned, there are many sales enablement platforms at the disposal of sales teams, meaning choosing the most appropriate is key to effectiveness. Important elements to look for when selecting a sales enablement tool are:
- A simple user interface.
- Inter-departmental collaboration.
- CRM integration.
- Training facilities.
Taking these elements into consideration and choosing the most appropriate platform for the business will improve efficiency of outreach, produce better audience segmentation, and increase visibility into the business’s sales cycle.
2. Understand the full functionality of the platforms
Once the company has selected the appropriate tech platform, it is important that they maximise the functionality of it. This can be done by ensuring that training on functionality is given to all team members. Developing a long-term training process on enablement platforms needs to be a core part of sales representative development and will fully embed the use of platforms into the sales process.
Implementation of long-term training and development
Training and development are arguably the most critical element to a successful sales operation as not only does it equip people with the knowledge of a business’ sales process, but can have long-term revenue benefits for a company.
Training needs to be a long-term system that takes entry level employees and continually invests in their growth. Sales teams often feel the effect of lacking a training course by failing to retain team members, with 44% of salespeople admitting they plan to leave their role within two years. Additionally, replacing a sales representative costs an average of £26,139, making the traditional ‘sink or swim’ approach very financially unproductive.
Here are some proven best methods to build an effective sales and training and development programme to benefit a business’s revenue:
1. Create an environment that encourages learning
Encouraging learning and development has benefits for both the employer and the employees. If businesses fail to encourage employees to learn and develop, they will likely have low levels of employee retainment as people will look for other challenges elsewhere. Creating an environment where sales representatives are presented with opportunities to develop their skills will mean people will likely stay with the businesses as they see it as a place of progression.
2. Adjust training to be in line with the business’s goals and objectives
Ability to measure the success of the established sales process and sales training is key to improving and developing them. Aligning and measuring training against the business’s KPIs and financial outcomes that are important to the top management of the company will determine the progress of sales training and the likelihood of future investment in sales.
3. Detach training programmes from the current management structure of the firm
To create a repeatable sales process, training also needs to be repeatable and adaptable when changes happen within the business. A change of management structure should not directly impact the sales system that has been established. Therefore, producing a long-term piece of business equity in the form of a sales development programme means the established system can last beyond the current management structure.
It is evident that businesses need to turn to a scientific approach of investment in a tech-enabled system of training and development to develop a long-lasting and successful sales operation. No longer can companies spend little time on training staff and hope that they embed smoothly into the firm. To retain employees and improve the work of sales teams, businesses must adopt sales technology to harbor a company of continual development and success.