What is the perfect time management balance between developing your sales team with effective training and meeting customer needs that achieve bottom line results? Achieving this balance is about avoiding the extraneous, reinforcing strengths, identifying skill gaps with each individual team member, getting directly to the root of the problem, and delivering a tailored learning journey that will uplift performance at the right time in the right places.
Identifying Top Skills
According to a recent article in the International Journal of Sales Transformation, pinpointing the “top skills” (at various levels including role, region, industry, etc.) and eliminating skill gaps in those areas, enables teams to more frequently exceed average quota attainment. For example, those without a gap in the skill “Deal Negotiation & Closing” achieve, on average, a 35-percentage point increase in additional quota attainment.
The identification of these top skills, skills that are crucial for your team to succeed, is an essential first step. One way to accomplish this is through internal team surveys. Creating a survey of top skills, skill gaps and processes, encouraging the individuals to rate themselves, and then empowering team leads to conduct the same survey on each of their individual team members – is a great way to gather enough data to identify skills gaps and deal with inefficiencies within the team.
Keep in mind that while process issues are regularly identified, skill gaps might be overlooked or misunderstood. Even in the largest organizations, salespeople, heavily armed with selling knowledge from workshops, simulations, shadowing opportunities, and perfected onboarding processes, still have to execute their activities with skill. These skill gaps, when left unaddressed, lead to a flawed sales experience for the customer and underperformance for the sales team.
Learning and development is, in almost all cases, a system-wide solution, while the personalized learning elements are mainly initiated by salespeople as private requests. Through a hyper-focused and individually tailored continuous training process, sales professionals will be able to more rapidly identify their strengths as well as their skill gaps and act quickly to fill them.
The average uplift in quota achievement for salespeople who are experts versus novices is 74% (International Journal of Sales Transformation, 2020). This positive correlation between quota attainment and proficiency across a major skill group area helps enablement teams refocus their efforts – driving them towards a collective mastery of critically important skill sets. In other words, to see true ROI in ongoing professional development, sales teams should be continuously working toward expert level proficiency in the skills that have been identified as critical to their success in that job role.
Over the course of the past year, an international survey of sales teams in various industries determined that employing a personalized top-skills-focused continuous training process reaped significant results:
- 17% decrease in time-to-close,
- 33% increase in revenue booked,
- 46% improvement on conversion ratios,
- 68% increase in unique accounts won,
- 79% more value in pipeline opportunities.
The future is personalized
A personalized learning path leads to better results. Instead of treating training as a collective event, Global Performance Group will support you in customizing learning material, providing one-to-one coaching, and leaving space for each sales executive to create his or her own unique approach. Customization and personalization are the keys to a future-proof sales organization empowered to attain all quotas.
Global Performance Group (GPG) helps sales professionals successfully close business faster. Our expert team has been recognized year after year as one of the most effective sales training companies in the world. Our innovative hands-on approach provides sales teams with the skills, tools, and confidence to be more effective at every step of the sales and negotiation process. We will help you to reach critical revenue, margin, and cycle goals quickly, cost effectively, and permanently.