Sales performance culture

12 Dec 2019

What differentiates high-performance sales vs. avg. sales organization?

Q. What really differentiates a high-performance sales team vs avg. performing sales team?

A. Good training that’s it, quick answer!

OK! As a sales training and coaching firm, you may think that we are just selling the concept of sales training! So don’t take our word for granted!

Most people believe products, good market access, experienced sales team matters. We definitely believe that is all-important. But what gets missed out in this process is the training and learning part of the sales team.

As per the report from Mckinsey, companies must start reskilling to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

Let’s explore how having a trained sales force and continuous learning culture can build a high-performance selling organization.

Can sales training impact sales performance?

Sales Training as per Zolster & Sinha exists to make salespeople successful.

Sales training exists to make salespeople successful – continuously successful.

Zolstner & Sinha from Accelerating Sales Performance

Every firm depends on sales for its existence but not many manage their sales force to optimize their sales process, sales skills or develop sales performance culture.

How this all can be done is by developing a culture of continuous learning and conducting regular sales training be it online or offline!

The successful selling organization gives its salespeople the opportunity to develop the competencies they need in order to succeed in every situation.

Sales training ensures high retention of sales force and keep their morale are high.

Now when we say this, there is general doubt among many sales leaders and business leaders that, with so much attrition in salesforce, what is the point of giving the teams sales training?

What happens when they leave?

Will other companies not benefit from our trained force?

For this, we need to ask why is their attrition in the first place?

The most common reason for attrition, the sales force is not able to perform and hence they quit or asked for quit. Any organization can look into their own attrition numbers and check how many performing salespeople quit?

Provided right incentives exist and sales professionals are able to close more sales then he is happy to continue in the organization.

Sales training will help more and more sales force to become more capable and successful in their sales. And retention will increase!

Also, there is a clear difference between highly trained salespeople and those whose training has been deficient, regardless of their level of competence.

Below is a sample list, which gives the ways in which successful training and continuous learning culture have a favorable impact on the 3 core elements of any business which is customer, the sales force, and the company.

Impact of trained salespeople to the customers

  • Customers feel that their salesperson adds value in every conversation and can be trusted.
  • Customers feel that salesperson is not wasting their time.
  • Customers like to work with the company’s salespeople.
  • Changing customer needs are incorporated into an adaptive selling process.
  • Customers feel a salesperson is serving them by understanding their specific needs, wants and offering matching products or services.

Impact of training on the sales force

  • New salespeople become productive quickly.
  • Salespeople enter every selling situation confident that they are equipped to succeed.
  • Salespeople are aware of technological, environmental, market, customer, industry, and product trends.
  • Salespeople know the skills to develop relations with new customers and don’t rely on existing customers only
  • Changing customer needs are incorporated into an adaptive selling process.
  • Selling new products, entering new markets is something that becomes natural.

Impact of the trained sales force on the company

  • Salesperson retention and sales force morale are high.
  • Products and services are differentiated; price competition is minimized.
  • The company culture is understood, supported, and embraced by the sales process.
  • Productivity and performance improvement happens

It is in every firm’s interest to equip its people for success.

Regretfully, a leading management consultant has said many firms maintain their machines, equipment better than they develop their people.

Many businesses worry about their sales team attritions and low sales performance but after in existence for years, wouldn’t have done sales training to their teams.

In France, there is a law that requires the very company to commit 5 percent of its payroll to professional development and training.

Keep the sales team trained gives them self-esteem and in turn, they provide more value to the company when they grow professionally.

The data shows most salespeople are also less likely to look for another job when their firm invests in their training and development.