A study by the Sales Management Association found that companies with a strong focus on training had two times more sales per employee than companies with weaker training programs. There is clearly a strong correlation between continuous learning, development, and improved sales performance.
According to the Association for Talent Development, organizations with better systems for learning had a median sales growth rate twice as much as those with weak or no learning programs. Some companies also reported 24% higher profit margins after adding employee training to their priority list.
These numbers show us that you are 15% more likely to exceed your sales quota with better productivity and experience if you have ongoing sales coaching. Here’s an example of how this correlation works.
Learning and performance go hand in hand
Sarah was a successful salesperson who worked for a small software company. She was an ambitious woman who was determined to be successful in her job. However, despite her best efforts, she struggled to meet her sales targets. Her manager sat her down and had a conversation with her about her sales performance.
He told her that while he knew she was working hard, he felt she could do more to improve her skills and increase her sales. “I was shocked! I thought I was doing everything right and the realization felt like a slap on the face for me. I had been in the same job doing the same routine tasks for a few years. My learning and development of new skills had grown stagnant — I was complacent and no longer striving to improve,” she recollected.
Sarah knew she needed to make a change if she wanted to boost her performance. She realized just in time that a growth mindset is a key prerequisite for any corporate job. At no point can you stop learning and become stagnant. Yes, you have the skills and are great at them.
But what can you do to improve yourself and even simplify your process? With these thoughts in mind, she began seeking out sales coaching, new learning opportunities, and taking online courses. She also started working with a mentor who helped her hone her sales techniques and develop new strategies.
The coaching experience
Sarah’s mentor was an experienced salesperson who had been in the industry for many years. He had a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with Sarah, and he was eager to help her grow as a salesperson.
One of the first things Sarah’s mentor did was help her change her mindset. He showed her that being successful in sales wasn’t just about hard work and determination; it was also about having the right mindset and approach. He taught her to focus on solving her customers’ problems and helping them achieve their goals, rather than just trying to sell them a product.
Furthermore, he encouraged her to be more proactive and take charge of her career. He pushed her to set clear goals for herself and to take action to achieve them. He also challenged her to think outside the box and try new things to increase her sales. With this timely guidance, Sarah was able to change her mindset and approach to sales.
She started seeing her job in a whole new light, and as a result, she was more motivated and confident in her ability to succeed. “As I continued to learn and grow, my sales began to improve. I started making more sales and exceeded my targets. My company had set some goals for me, and I had some personal ones for myself. I was able to reach both and became more confident and motivated,” Sarah said.
Our key takeaways
Sarah’s story illustrates the importance of continuous learning and development in boosting sales performance. By investing in herself and her career, Sarah was able to take her skills to the next level and achieve greater success. She was able to predict situations and hone her skills to meet modern demands.
She mentioned that a few days later, she was approached by a potential customer who was interested in purchasing the software her company sold. However, the customer had several requirements that Sarah wasn’t sure the software could accommodate. In the past, Sarah might have simply tried to sell the customer the software as is, even if it didn’t fully meet their needs.
But thanks to the knowledge and skills she had gained through her coaching sessions, Sarah knew there was a better way to handle the situation. Instead of trying to push the sale, she took time to listen to the customer’s needs. She asked questions and probed further to understand what they were looking for to ensure customer success.
With this information, Sarah was able to go back to her team and suggest some changes to the software that would better meet the customer’s needs. She also worked with the customer to come up with a customized solution that would meet their specific requirements. The customer was very impressed and ended up purchasing the software and his loyalty and trust increased manifold.
Sarah’s success in this situation was a testament to the value of learning to improve your sales performance. She had learned to be more customer-focused and proactive, and as a result, she could close the sale and guarantee customer success.
How can you prioritize learning and development to level up your skills?
It’s never too late to learn. Here are some simple yet effective ways in which you can implement learning in your routine. Trust us, you will notice visible changes soon!
- Attend industry conferences and events
Attending conferences and events can provide your team with valuable information about the latest industry trends, technologies, and best practices. These events also provide opportunities to network with other sales professionals, learn from experts and thought leaders in the field, and gain insights into new sales strategies and techniques.
- Take online courses and certifications
The internet has made it easier to access a wide range of online courses and certifications that can help salespeople build new skills and stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends. Some popular online learning platforms include Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning.
- Read industry publications and books
Sales professionals can also benefit from reading industry publications and books that provide insights into the latest sales strategies and techniques. Some popular industry publications include Salesforce Blog, HubSpot, and SalesHacker.
- Seek mentorship and coaching
Working with a mentor or coach can be a great way for your sales team to learn from more experienced individuals in the field. A mentor or coach can provide guidance and advice on how to navigate the sales process, build relationships with customers, and close deals more effectively.
Learning is a crucial aspect of enhancing sales performance. By pushing their teams to attend coaching sessions, companies can ensure that professionals are updated with the latest industry trends. They can build new skills and knowledge, and gain valuable insights into effective sales strategies and techniques.
Additionally, this is a process that should be regularly assessed to ensure that sales professionals are reaching their goals. Overall, it will not only improve your sales performance, but also aid in increased productivity and higher profit margins for the company. Set goals and prioritize self-improvement based on what the mentor has suggested to you.
Get started on your journey to self-development and growth to improve your sales performance.