After the last round of performance appraisals, your human resources team suggested capacity building for employees in the sales department. While having your staff hard it work and converting new clients is your priority, you cannot underestimate the value of additional training for the sales team. Most companies will train new staff upon hiring while others require new hires to catch up on their own. On the job training saves time from hard training sessions but it can also be costly down the road.
Take an example of a poorly trained sales representative. The sales representative can only perform as far as their skills will allow them. The chances are that they will perform dismally for a consecutive number of weeks and probably make a dent in your sales numbers. This negative impact will force your hand to pay a little more attention to your sales team.
You may be wondering, how do I train my team without halting operations? In this article, we discuss various ways that employees can partake capacity building training without interfering with their regular assignment.
The first one or two hours of the day are suitable for training as most clients are yet to report to work. If your sales team usually report to the office first before heading out to the field, encourage them to have seminars early in the morning before the pressures of the day kick in. Driven employees should have no qualms about reporting to work a little early if this effort helps them horn their skills.
While sales employees may have a retainer, the bulk of their income comes from direct sales efforts in the form of commission checks computed on the basis of their closed sales. A great training can turn introverts into the champions of the team.
Employees are entitled to a one-hour lunch break to have a meal and stretch their legs or just catch up with colleagues. You can gather your sales staff in the boardroom for a webinar or PowerPoint presentation on the best sales tactics. Motivate them to attend this training by offering healthy snacks to the first ten sales reps to walk through the boardroom door. Alternatively, you can have a brown bag lunch in the break room or by the fountain in the yard of your office building.
If gathering your sales team during the day proves difficult due to erratic schedules and field assignments, you may want to try training them after 5pm. Any employee who understands the value of this training will hold off on excuses such as a routine dental appointment or spin class.
After-work training is likely to be more fruitful as there are fewer distractions from clients and colleagues from the other departments. What’s mire, you can have that executive boardroom and its state-of-the-art conferencing facilities all to yourself; go an extra mile and invite a training expert to give a lecture on your chosen topic.
If all else fails, consider training your sales staff over the weekend when things have cooled down a notch. Try Saturday mornings or afternoons for a solid training session. Be conscious of the fact that you are occupying your staff’s weekend, so avoid stretching out the training beyond the agreed duration. Make it a little fun and interactive by dividing the staff into groups and having an ideation session on a topic of your choice. Have each team put up their sticky notes on the whiteboard and go through each idea they suggest.
This way, your sales reps will share ideas on what works for them and what does not. Involving them in this scale helps them own the responsibility to deliver world-class performance through teamwork.
Training your employees is not a one-off exercise but rather something you should do more frequently. Make use of technology to keep the conversations going. For instance, you can set up webinars or sign them up for online training with external tutors on a quarterly basis. Remember to incentivize your sales team when they hit their targets. Incentives can be in the form of commissions, team building retreats, certificate of recognition. Incentives will boost the morale of the team and encourage competition in the team.
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