L&D gurus, expert articles, and opinion pieces speak the same language, the urgent need for skilling at the workplace. In the aftermath of the global pandemic, a concentrated effort to drive sales and secure the business has been making the rounds. Most organizations are aboard the skilling process and are taking significant measures to strengthen organizational growth.
However, the focus has been on improving skills for technical roles, administrative roles, and leadership positions. But, what about the sales team or the sales force? What about a specific and specialized mission to upskill and reskill sales team members? The sales team members have faced the wrath of the social-distancing phenomenon, much greater than other teams. These are employees that have constantly interacted with people face-to-face, cracked doors, built relationships, and have been responsible to drive sales by meeting prospects and customers. And now, their entire approach to business has been flipped over, yet have been expected to work harder with the economic slowdown. Doesn’t this call for an urgent need to address their challenges? To skill, does not mean in relation only to technical expertise or multi-tasking/multi-functioning capabilities, it also means to identify challenges that hinder progress and training employees to overcome such barriers to perform at an optimum level. This blog will detail out such burning issues – the criticality of upskilling and reskilling the sales team, delivering specific skills to cope with business needs. We will also ascertain the merits of targeted training for employees and the extended enterprise to drive sales.
However, this blog is not focused only on the effects of the pandemic. A conscious global decision has been brewing for the last year and beyond.
It is evident from the highlighted studies and many more papers that remote, or hybrid work and virtual business transactions are here to stay. In the following sections, let us go back to the issue at hand – upskilling and reskilling the sales team specifically.
Many “normal” sales activities have been redesigned to cater to the new needs. Let us take a quick recce of some of the most familiar ones.
From just a few of these examples, we can identify the array of activities performed by sales team members and the specific skills that each of the team members needs. It is also evident that each sales team member performs unique tasks that need to cohesively come together to achieve departmental goals and business objectives. In such an environment, what are the efforts that organizations can undertake to upskill and reskill the sales effectively?
Will generalization or common training for the entire sales force work? Yes, and no. Allow us to elaborate.
From the above, it is clear of the specific learning outcomes that can be derived from such training and skilling efforts. Success in achieving business objectives is greater too. While improved performance and metrics are evident in the short run, the long-term benefits are far more significant for the health of the team and organization. Goodwill, and brand loyalty are just some of the intangible benefits to reign supreme.
This video further illustrates how a reputed organization provided targeted training to drive product adoption, nurtured employees’ passion and skills, and saved USD 2.9 million.