The sales industry in the United Kingdom is huge, with Crown Statistics showing that one in every six workers in the country is employed either directly or indirectly in sales. Meanwhile, according to an Aaron Wallis Recruitment and Training survey, 55 percent of businesses believe sales is their most important department.
What these two pieces of research clearly demonstrate is the abundance of sales roles out there and the essential nature of them. This can perhaps go some way towards explaining why spending on corporate training has soared in recent years, with sales team and sales managers training accounting for much of that additional spending.
Here, we look at four key ways in which high-quality training can help to take your business to the next level.
Reason #1: It Can Plug Skills Gaps
Around 1.5 million British employees have a skills gap, which prevents them from achieving maximum work performance, according to a recent UK Employer Skills Survey. Moreover, 61 percent of businesses say that this skills gap is contributing towards them falling short of their business objectives.
By investing in high-quality training for your sales team members, you can help to eliminate this skills gap. The key is to move away from generalised training and focus instead on providing tailored training that addresses specific problems. Identify exactly where the gaps in skills in your organisation are and develop training to plug them.
Reason #2: It Can Provide Targets
Another way in which sales team training can help to elevate your business is through the establishment of clear goals – both for your business as a whole, and for individual employees. For example, if you notice a key weakness in your sales team’s performance, you can set an improvement target and gear training towards reaching it.
Similarly, you can use training to work with employees on a one-to-one basis, pin-pointing both their strengths and weaknesses, through the use of key metrics. Once a weakness has been identified, you can set a realistic goal for that employee to work towards and make sure you provide the necessary training for them to achieve it.
Reason #3: It Can Build Confidence
Training your sales team can also help to take your business to the next level through providing staff with the confidence they need to succeed. Running through role-plays, improving employee knowledge, working on communication skills and highlighting body language issues can all result in improved staff confidence.
“A good training program goes much further than just sales skills,” says Nick Moreno, a sales trainer from the National Sales Center. “Prospects buy from confident salespeople and sales training builds that confidence. Confidence is something a prospect must see in you if you expect to generate great sales success.”
Reason #4: It Can Improve Morale
Finally, when you invest in really good quality training for your sales department, you will find that it results in morale improvements. A key aspect of successful training programmes is including a practical element, so that employees to practice their skills, and you can make some of these sessions light-hearted and fun.
More importantly, once a sales team member’s performance begins to improve, they begin to feel good about themselves and about the training. This becomes an addictive feeling, motivating them to continue with their professional development. In this sense, training can actually serve as a highly valuable motivational tool.
The upcoming MHI Global EMEA Sales Leadership Event in July in London will look to tackle some of these ideas in greater detail, so if you wish to take sales training to the next level, feel free to register.