Building and leading a successful sales team is no easy feat. In fact, sales leaders in one study named the time it takes for new reps to become effective and retaining and hiring sales talent as two of the top challenges they routinely face. Yet some organizations treat training sales leaders and representatives as a simple checkbox in the onboarding process. Because the market, your products and services, and customer expectations are constantly changing and evolving, upskilling the sales force must be an ongoing process if they are to be successful. Here are four benefits of upskilling your sales force.
More Consistent Sales Language
A sales team that follows a consistent process and learns new sales techniques together has more opportunities to develop a unified and effective sales language. As one entrepreneur and writer describes, “Successful salespeople need to be deeply attuned to the words they use in their pitches, conversations, and sales collateral in order to consistently engage their customers.” Upskilling through sales effectiveness training helps salespeople build a consistent language and improve their performance in the following areas:
- Communicating with prospects and existing customers in a way that demonstrates empathy and expertise
- Pitching cross-sale opportunities to existing customers
- Negotiating sales terms
- Efficiently moving the sale to a close
Stronger Customer Relationships
Success in sales requires not only understanding customer needs but also communicating value to the customer so that they see a strong connection between their needs and the seller’s product or service. When the sales team understands how to communicate with customers and demonstrate value, they will be closer to developing a relationship of trust and increasing the likelihood of a sale. Upskilling the sales force helps them to forsake outdated sales methods, such as selling on price or product features, in favor of sales methods that enable them to offer solutions and demonstrate value to customers, ultimately supporting stronger and deeper customer relationships.
More Effective Sales Leaders
Sales leaders are the cornerstone of the sales team and contribute immensely to its success. One study found that 69 percent of salespeople who exceeded their annual quota rated their sales manager as being excellent or above average. The study also found that 56 percent of salespeople who rated their sales organization as excellent also rated their sales manager as excellent. Strong sales leaders not only show sales reps what successful selling looks like, but they also guide and coach individuals on their team to follow sales strategies and tactics that work. Without strong sales leadership, there’s a greater chance that each salesperson on the team will follow their own methodology and engage in sales behaviors that are less effective and could result in lost business. Upskilling sales leaders raises the standard of leadership effectiveness within the sales team and helps to achieve the following benefits:
- Consistent application of the sales process throughout the sales team
- More fruitful coaching and feedback delivery
- Stronger relationships between sales leaders and their teams
More Predictable Results
Although it’s true that many factors affect sales results, the effectiveness of the sales team is critically important. Having a sales team that lacks current skills and knowledge leaves too much to chance, whereas upskilling through training helps to uncover more revenue and enables the sales force to deliver more consistent results. When you have the assurance that the sales force understands and knows how to apply modern selling techniques in their roles, it is easier to predict the success of the team overall.
Sales effectiveness training is not a “one and done” solution, nor is it meant solely for sales representatives. Regular upskilling of sales reps and sales leaders is necessary to ensure the sales force is equipped to address changes in customer expectations. With the benefit of training that teaches sales leaders how to coach for results and teaches all salespeople how to communicate, negotiate, and build trust with customers, organizations can realize more predictable sales revenue and a more effective sales team.