How do your sellers keep at the top of their sales game?

01 April 2014 by Charles Howden

I love asking this question, because it is as much your sellers’ responsibility for developing their own skill-sets, as it is for you to facilitate the process.

I love asking it directly to sellers, as in “what are you doing to develop your own sales skills?” How would this question be met by members your sales team?

When businesses get this particular learning dynamic established, almost anything becomes possible. Sellers wanting to learn, and management wanting to support. It should be easy really, shouldn’t it?

Plenty of businesses have expressed expectations of creating a learning environment, though at an operational level, what can line-managers do to achieve this? Here are a few ideas:

Placing the “learning how” at the centre of regular sales meetings. Inviting external speakers, trainers, and sales coaches to open up different areas of sales practice, with question and answer sessions, role-play, and case studies.
Including a ten-minute slot in daily/weekly team briefings, and expecting contribution from each seller as in “what worked” and as importantly “what didn’t work”.
Giving sellers permission to make mistakes (they really won’t make many). Everyone makes mistakes and if your sellers can’t spot their own, they don’t know enough about what they’re doing.
You probably have your suggestions to add to this list. Please do, I’d love to hear them.

Ultimately, it’s about leadership. Setting an example, finding a training budget, sharing knowledge, developing talent, and when it works, it is transformational.

How much time do you devote to creating this paradigm?

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