Sales Teams can be some of the most challenging for Learning and Development to effectively support through skills development and Sales Training.
The Sales Team is under pressure to perform, every month, month on month. They tend to be very target driven and skills development can feel pretty low down the priority list. And yet, in the time of Covid19, they are one of the teams that will, in all likelihood, need more support. What are the best approaches to achieving this Sales Training in a practical way that will hit home with these very driven leaders?
As a reminder, high performing companies start with the end in mind, (Emerald World Index, 2020, Formally Towards Maturity). So focus on the business goals at this disruptive time when talking to Sales Leaders about Sales Training. And if we ever doubted the significance of online learning, current events have certainly overturned that! For those of you with LPi membership, take a peak at Clive Shepherd’s recent blog.
Give them a helpful gift, show you want to help, open the door to talking about sales leadership skills.
How can you offer insight and give the Sales Leader a helping hand at the moment? Consider the pain point – is Sales Strategy up in the air? Are they needing to reconsider the value proposition for the company?
Do your research – Harvard Business Research refer to refocus, retool, retrench, and, in most cases, to prepare for the eventual rebound. Understanding the impact of the lockdown from a sales perspective will help to set the scene and open the way for a skills discussion.
Evaluate the current skills support on offer
How good is the current support from L&D for the Sales Leader? Does current Sales Training work well? Is it still relevant? Is there anything there at all? Does it need to change or adapt? Be prepared to listen and change what L&D offers the Sales Leader. Be open, be honest.
What is the role of the Sales Leader in your organisation?
How does your Sales Leader regard their role in skills development? Are they coaching, do they mentor? What role do they play in developing their people? Understanding how the role of the Sales Leader will need to change in the near future is critical if you are to understand how best to support from a skills perspective. Will the Sales Leader need to develop radically different capabilities within their team? Will the team need to start working on their virtual selling skills as part of their Sales Training?
What is the culture, competitive or collaborative?
The peer group within your organisation can be competitive or collaborative within the sales team or anywhere in between. Is it helpful? How can this be made even more effective? How do the team share market intelligence? Where is it held? How do they share their experiences? How are new team members introduced to the team?
The model that Jane Hart uses to analyse learning environments is a useful one and can be well applied to help discussion when evaluating Sales Skills.
A plug here for what we do; we are firm believers in understanding the context that people work in rather than applying any specific selling model. Our approach is always to evaluate through diagnostics what the pain points are and the most effective methods of addressing those pain points. If Sales Leaders need a bit of structure at the moment, then our sales skills toolkit may be the help they need to get going. WillowDNA are deeply experienced in supporting the development of complex online learning.