The sales professionals you hire can have a huge impact on the success of your business. In fact, over 70% of C-level executives believe sales productivity is critical to achieving growth. However, it can take a significant amount of company resources to assemble a top-performing team.
What presents an even greater challenge is that the average annual turnover rate for sales professionals is almost 30%. So how can you improve the return on your training investment? Here are tips from top sales courses that you can use to build a winning team.
Define the ideal role profile
Ultimately, the success of your team usually comes down to the people you hire. So, before you kick off the hiring process, take the time to define an ideal role profile first. The more you understand the skills and attributes you need, the better your chances of recruiting the right person.
Also, how effective a salesperson often depends on their company’s sales tasks. So, be sure to take the time to understand the key tasks in your market. Then, identify what traits and behaviors a salesperson would need to carry out those tasks successfully. Document the details and share them with everyone involved in the interviewing process.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that positive group dynamics can help to ensure that your team performs at high levels. So, once you’ve used your ideal role profile to identify a potential candidate, have your employees interview them to see if they fit in with the rest of the team.
Build an effective onboarding process
Many companies spend thousands of dollars on recruiting only to drop the ball during onboarding. The first days and weeks of a salesperson’s time at your company are critical.
A poor onboarding experience is a top cause of employee turnover. If turnover rates are high, not only can it impact your bottom line, but it also could affect the morale of those left.
When well done, onboarding offers numerous benefits. For example, a positive experience can increase engagement and lower absenteeism and turnover.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind to create a dynamic sales onboarding training class:
- Use a standardized process. Studies show that having a standard onboarding process results in over 50% greater new hire productivity and retention.
- Set clear expectations. Ambiguous expectations can impact performance and could lead to costly mistakes. Clear and consistent instruction can also help keep your teams accountable.
- Have check-ins at regular intervals. Consistent feedback can help boost engagement and productivity. Most experts recommend leaders check in at the 30, 60, and 90-day marks.
- Balance training with practice. Onboarding classes are unlikely to bear fruit if you use them as a data dump. Most people learn best interactively through role-plays, exercises, and action learning.
Establish a mentorship program
It takes new reps about 15 months on average to get up to speed. A sales mentorship program could help cut down on this time-to-productivity. The opportunity to coach others can also be a benefit for the mentor.
For instance, mentors have the chance to develop their leadership skills. Exposure to fresh perspectives, ideas, and approaches from their mentees could also help seasoned employees develop their talents.
Mentoring programs are often most effective when the connection is organic. So, allow senior sales reps to choose their mentee. To avoid creating dependent partnerships, ensure that the program has a “weaning” stage.
The ability to coach others is a skill. So, be sure to give mentors formal sales mentorship training.
Ongoing sales training
It’s rarely enough to train your sales team once. Almost 90% of all training information is lost after 90 days, finds a survey by Gryphon Sales Intelligence. What’s more, markets, technologies, and social nuances are constantly evolving. Your company’s products may also change.
It’s vital, therefore, that learning be a continuous process. Providing ongoing training can help your team build new skills to keep pace with the market. Professional development programs can also increase employee experience and lower hiring costs.
Here are some ongoing training best practices to keep in mind:
- Assess your sales teams to find out what skills and knowledge gaps need attention.
- Create or choose a training class that addresses those specific gaps.
- Align training and on-the-job workflow to keep team members accountable.
- Provide reinforcement and support to cement learning.
Enhance your leadership skills
Leadership is recognized as one of the key skills that can boost the performance of sales teams. A study by Steve W. Martin, a noted sales trainer, found that almost 70% of salespeople who exceeded their annual quota rated their sales leaders as above average or excellent. So, consider utilizing books or classes on sales leadership to enhance your company’s performance. Some essential skills to develop include communication, decision-making, and empowerment.