Top Sales Leaders Invest in Sales Capabilities
When sales start to lag, some sales leaders panic and look to business sales training as a silver bullet. But we know that training for training’s sake rarely cures the problem. After measuring over 800 sales training programs, we know that only 1-in-5 sales reps change their on-the-job behavior and performance from sales training alone.
Sales training in and of itself is not a remedy. Instead, when you want to boost sales, you need a multi-pronged, targeted approach.
Five Ways Top Sales Leaders Invest in Sales Capabilities
If you are planning to invest in sales team capabilities, be sure you design it around the following best practices.
- Ensure that the Sales Strategy Is Clear Enough
Top sales leaders know that it all starts with sales strategy. Our organizational alignment research found that strategic sales clarity counts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing sales teams in terms of revenue growth, profitability, and customer loyalty.
Is your ideal target client profile, unique value proposition, and go-to-market plan clear enough, believable enough, and implementable enough to win in the eyes of your sales team? If not, your sales conviction will not be high enough to improve sales skills or performance.
- Ensure that the Sales Culture Makes Sense
Too many sales leaders still mistake sales culture as soft or abstract. Nothing could be further from the truth. The health, accountability, and alignment of your sales culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing sales teams.
Because your sales strategy must go through your sales culture to be successfully implemented, smart sales leaders invest in creating a sales driven culture before they invest in identifying and building the sales capabilities required to thrive within that culture.
An unhealthy, unaccountable, or misaligned sales culture will dilute the strongest sales skills every time.
- Prioritize Sales Management
Sales leaders know that sales management training is essential to lift overall sales performance. They ensure that their sales managers can jumpstart sales performance by focusing on sales rep desire, productivity, capability, and results. Sales reps who receive consistent and effective sales coaching from their sales manager outperform their peers 4-to-1 in terms of quota attainment.
Can your sales managers lead, manage, and coach their teams to higher sales performance?
- Prioritize Sales Capabilities, Processes, and Accountability
Once the sales strategy and culture are aligned and sales managers are equipped to lead, top sales executives provide the sales tools, skills, processes, and accountability their teams need to perform at their peak.
To make any solution selling training truly relevant and effective, you need to work on two fronts. First, you need to customize sales skill development to each sales rep while focusing on the top three to five sales scenarios and skills that matter most for your unique sales strategy, culture, and marketplace. Second, you need to create sales processes that make it easy to sell while holding everyone accountable for the desired skills and behaviors for profitable growth.
- Measure Sales Skill Adoption and Impact
Measuring the number of participants and training satisfaction scores means little. When it comes to sales training measurement, three things matter most:
(1) Are sales reps using the desired sales skills?
(2) Are sales reps receiving consistent and frequent sales coaching?
(3) Are the new skills making an impact on sales revenue, profitability, win-rate, and cycle time?
The Bottom Line
If generic sales training worked, everyone would be meeting their sales targets. Unfortunately, only 21% of sales reps meet or exceed their quota. Are you following these five best practices?
To learn more about setting your sales training up for success, download The 6 Top Reasons Business Sales Training Initiatives Fail