4 Recognize that different selling skills are needed for different channels
The sales skills needed across channels, from distribution to direct and inside sales, differ markedly. But companies often deliver one-size-fits-all sales training for each channel.
Sales organizations can start offering more differentiated, targeted sales training to people if they do two things: determine the skills needed for each role and assess their talent to identify skills gaps.
The first step is to create a success profile for every role. A success profile defines what work each role does, then identifies the skill set necessary to perform that work. It also delves deep into the type of mindset that would excel in a role. It’s a data-driven approach to determine what tangible and intangible attributes — including skills, competencies and drivers — are associated with success in a role.
Then, using the success profile as a guide, organizations can evaluate their current salesforce to determine how well they match the success profile for each role. Gaps can be filled in areas where they lack particular skills or attributes with a targeted sales training and coaching program.
A focus on development can also address the risk of employee turnover. As Korn Ferry Senior Client Partner Jason Allen noted, “Our research shows that sales has the highest voluntary turnover rate of any job function. When employees feel that their organization is investing in them and helping them build a career, they’re less likely to leave. Plus, if they are thinking about changing roles, we can use our assessments to figure out a role where they might be a better fit.”
5 Reinforce sales training with sales coaching
Mark Grimshaw, Senior Client Partner in the Global Sales and Service Practice at Korn Ferry, believes that organizations should invest heavily in coaching. “Sales coaching helps build a culture of ongoing learning and continuous improvement, leading to greater seller retention and, in turn, stronger sales and profitability.” Sales training and technology can improve sales, but sales organizations need to reinforce skills with regular sales coaching.
Coaches tap into their sellers’ assessments to understand their strengths and opportunities. They combine this information with insights from their CRM to determine which skills need reinforcement. They can also determine how to emphasize the skills likely to drive more sales. The key, he observed, is that coaching can’t be a one-time thing. “Regular coaching sessions are necessary to ensure everyone stays at the top of their game,” he added.
Coaching should cover the full buyer’s journey, from leads and opportunities to skills and behaviors, funnel assessments, relationship building and territory development. Technology, such as a CRM plug-in, can help reinforce coaching and remind sellers of the sales methodology to follow at each step of the journey.
Strengthen your seller training programs today
Want to learn more? Get in touch to learn more about how sales training and sales coaching can strengthen your sales organization’s results.