A whole host of professions exist, with vastly differing journeys to obtain them. For example, some require extensive years of study and academia, where others favour a healthy stack of work experience and real-life know-how.
That said, when it comes to sales, the Harvard Business Review highlights some staggering figures with regard to ‘sales’ falling short of a major mention in many a business programme - shocking news, when scores of enterprises rely on sales for their turnover and survival! This, coupled with the fact that consumers are always buying something or another that’s for sale, makes it almost unfathomable that business graduates are not being taught ‘the art of sales,’ or that ‘selling’ isn’t deemed worthy of a teaching module or two. In fact, the US story has it that:
Let’s be honest, before an operation, we probably wouldn’t place much trust in a surgeon who instructed us not to worry that although they’d never studied medicine, they had indeed picked up plenty tips along the way – somehow logic tells us that we need a little more assurance! However, that’s not to say that certain professionals are undeserving of their titles and success after years of dedicated hard work and learning. What’s to say that graduating with top marks in ‘sales’ necessarily means you’ll be an amazing salesperson? Theory must always be put into practice. In fact, Roy T. Bennett once said:
Any background is the past – work on training present staff for future productivity…
Regardless of workforce composition and professional backgrounds, be they academic or vocational, each and every company possesses the tools and insight to train their teams accordingly. Knowledge filters through an organisation in many directions – from leaders teaching staff, to staff enlightening leaders. Training can be more than a two-way street, but moreover an interactive web of knowledge exchange.
Nevertheless, company traffic and ‘too many cooks spoiling the broth’ can often lead to misguided tuition and expectations. Those in the driving seat to impart specialised training should be well informed of company goals and strategy, as well as boasting esteemed communication skills – an inspirational flair also wouldn’t go amiss either.
How can I keep my sales teams up to date with training?
When it comes to training, revamping or introducing new material, many tired manuals and study guides line office drawers and overload computer files (last updated goodness knows when…) But nowadays, a virtual approach is often favourable. The simplicity of a video broadcast (see BROADCASTING blog) to coach employees through standalone new ideas, or the integration of an E-learning feature reaches extended teams, wherever in the world they’re located (see E-LEARNING blog).
Companies with their finger on the pulse of innovative software, are opting for integrated apps which allow them to design and create their own instructive material. With a platform providing E-learning creation tools, managers are in control and able to deliver courses with their desired pitch, level and content in mind. Documentation can even be supplemented by video uploads and motivating quizzes to test understanding.
A select audience or indeed the entire firm can access this educational tool from the palm of their hand, on any device. Engaging campaigns and an agreeable interface also take the burden away from studying – learning becomes a joyous, unlaborious task, with only positive benefits to follow. Progress can even be tracked, thanks to the compilation of performance data offering invaluable insights around the clock.
What’s the best way to ensure transparency and clear navigation across our organisation?
Let’s hook back to the opening notion that one can be lost in a dizzy whirlwind of everyday work life, without clear guidance on who or what to consult when seeking help, advice or insights. There is clearly a supreme need for unmistakable clarity in an organisation, with crystal clear communication and productive learning opportunities.
Nothing makes transparency and fluid operations easier than working from the same platform throughout the company. Collating all requirements and discarding former software and outmoded methods, makes way for a fresh new approach and implementation of newer systems. Presenting employees with a user-friendly app which does what it’s supposed to (and more), and is 100% reliable (even offline)AND available on desktop, mobile or tablet, really is the winning ticket. New courses will pop up as and when appropriate, offering inclusivity and value-added opportunities to take part and improve.
It’s an exciting time when leaders of sales performance management companies can select and nurture staff to reach their full potential – and keep on learning. The void between academia and other forms of business instruction is clearly a topical issue at present. Where it’s reassuring that many advocate for listing sales high on the priority list for its inclusion in courses, it’s also great that plenty companies provide apprenticeships and on-the-job training opportunities.
What’s even more encouraging is that many businesses have opened their eyes to versatile software, capable of providing spontaneous or periodic training opportunities and analytical aids. In actual fact, E-learning features are party to a wide array of tools which facilitate user-friendliness and company collaboration. Shared platforms keep everyone in the loop, extending visibility and inspiring prospective progress across the board. This progress can be strategically tracked to monitor how training and communication impact sales performance – the real test, when it comes to sales (despite what the textbook may say!)