Assess, Align, and Train Your Sales Team to Achieve Maximum Performance on Every Level
by Krauthammer blog, on Sep 21, 2020 3:08:05 PM
Driving your team members to achieve maximum performance on every level means understanding how to be a great sales leader and supporting and guiding your team as they overcome obstacles, navigate challenges, and boost their productivity. As many sales leaders know, leadership isn’t just about leading; coaching also plays a big role, with activities such as conducting side-by-side field visits, win-loss analyses, and deal coaching proving to be absolutely integral to developing a strong leadership style.
However, as a sales leader, you can only coach individuals so far. You’re limited by the skill sets and abilities of your team. After all, you can’t coach a sales rep on a skill they don’t possess. This is where things get tricky. To reach targets and increase your sales team’s performance, you need more from your team. And that calls for developing your team so that they can give you what you need; this means a need to assess, align, and train your sales team to produce the best results.
Assess Your Team
Before thinking about ways to train your team, it’s first necessary to assess them. Many sales leaders - especially in the post-COVID world - worry about reaching their targets, and the truth is that reaching targets can be difficult, if not impossible, if you don’t have the right skills onboard. That’s why one of the first tasks that any new sales leader should do is perform a skills gap analysis; an assessment highlighting the abilities of the team.
Being able to visualise the current abilities of the team makes it easier to see what capabilities are needed to get the team to where you envision them; to a place where they’re achieving maximum performance on every level. Knowing what individuals need to achieve this is the foundation of a strategic growth and development plan that enables you to train your sales team in the right areas necessary for the business, even if you are now dealing with a remote sales scenario for the first time.
Align Skills with Goals
In the sales world, there’s a lot of emphasis on skills and talent. But the truth is that skills and talent are both ultimately useless unless they align with business goals. It’s like having a world renowned pastry chef in a user experience role; the skills are there, but they’re just not right. Achieving maximum performance at every level means two things:
- Aligning existing skills with business needs. This could mean reorganising your team and having the confidence to go against the decisions of your predecessor to ensure that the right people are in the right place, at the right time to really deliver an impact.
- Aligning future skills with future business needs. This means developing a long term strategy for the team, and ensuring that the right people are provided with the right training opportunities to guarantee that ability and business needs align in the future.
Train Your Sales Team
As you work through the assessment and alignment stages of team development, it’s probably becoming more and more apparent that effective training must match the individual requirements of each sales team. An assessment by insights firm McKinsey found that while ‘good companies’ use high quality, off-the-shelf content for their training needs, ‘great companies’ tailor content to their sales force’s specific selling motion. It’s clear that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to train your sales team, and this can be frustrating. The good news, however, is that it is still possible to invest wisely in your people through in-company training which can be highly beneficial for sales.
In-company training services are intended to meet the needs of your team - and your business - in a real time capacity. This means you’re not wasting budget on training your team across all possible sales categories, and are instead focusing your spend on the areas that have been identified through assessment, and which align with your goals.
Achieving maximum performance on every level means that it’s absolutely vital that your sales team has a good grasp of things at ‘every level’, not only within the comfort of the team but across the entire organisation. And this is something that many sales leaders overlook. Sales departments do not work in isolation. Instead, they are heavily integrated with marketing, production, operations, and other key business areas.
In-company training recognises this. The unique training model offers courses that are typically filled by different individuals across the same organisation, which enables a variety of departments to all come together to up skill towards a common goal. It’s an opportunity for your team to observe others, learn from others, and enter into cross-departmental communications to build a streamlined, productive strategy.
Quite simply, it is impossible to achieve maximum performance on every level if your team is confined to their own silo, and confined in their ability to grow. Assessing, aligning, and training your sales team using the right techniques are the three keys to ensuring your team has everything it needs to meet targets and drive total success.