The quality of a selling experience is largely anchored in the skills and knowledge of the people involved in the process. If personnel aren't able to carry a conversation, effectively inform a client regarding a product or service, form a relationship or present a reasonable argument for a sale, it's less likely that organizations will be successful or best out the competition.
It's important therefore to focus on sales coaching, taking the lessons and feedback from talent management solutions and providing tips and tricks on how to enhance future experiences. Sales professionals engage with many customers over the course of their careers, so constantly checking in with personnel and ensuring their skills are always at the top of their game is essential for enterprise success.
Some experiences and interactions can be more expansive in terms of take-aways and quality of engagement. Focusing on the skills and talents that can make salespeople more effective in these scenarios can give businesses a leg up against the competition, as well as helping to empower workforce.
Here are the four skills that sales coaching should be focusing on:
- Flexibility – The ability to easily conform to meet current client needs is an indispensable talent for sales personnel. It requires an in-depth knowledge of what a staff member is capable of doing for the client, as well as the presence of mind and assertiveness to push for an adjustment or addendum to current corporate offerings.
Sales coaching in this area needs to focus on compromises. As Entrepreneur's Heather R. Huhman wrote, a one-size-fits-all approach to business sales is likely to generate a lot of friction when desired outcomes don't fit the mold. Avoiding this kind of friction requires remaining flexible and communicative, working with a shopper to meet his or her needs in a way that benefits both the individual and the organization.
- Communication – Sometimes, the only thing that matters between two people are the things they say. This makes sales coaching a critical aspect of making sure that employees always generate the best interactions with their clients, striving for positive interactions with each shopper that fosters relationships and deal closing.
In the realm of sales coaching and communications though, leaders should try and focus on the overall impression a person makes. As Cheryl Connor wrote for Forbes, it's not intuitive to every individual how to speak on a one-to-one basis or how to conduct the conversation in a room full of strangers. These are critical talents when confronting sales issues, so it's essential that employees in these roles know how to handle the most empathetic, positive and proactive communication options in the selling environment.
- Technical prowess – The presence of technology in the modern workforce helps link employees together, as well as granting them better access to shoppers both in-store and from home or office. Heather R. Huhman of Entrepreneur stated that the amount of IT making its way into regular corporate practices is going to hit an all-time high by 2016, with about 34 million Americans comprising roughly one-third of present-day workforce all operating remotely through telepresence and work-from-home options.
This new capacity means that sales coaching will have to take on a mobile and remote capability, both in terms of showing personnel how to relate to their remote experiences and delivering these lessons through the same media. On top of that, the kinds of technology in the modern business landscape are changing all the time, so sales coaching needs to show people how to be flexible not just in talking with customers, but also for mastering the ability to use various kinds of sales tools.
- Business insights – If employees aren't aware of what a company sells or the services it offers, there's no way these individuals can be helpful to clients looking for more information about corporate solutions. What's more, it's likely that workforce will come across as incompetent or disinterested in clients, as they won't be able to effectively help customers with inquiries or purchases.â€‹
InformationWeek's Dave Wakeman stated that knowing about corporate practices and products is one of the major skills upon which sales coaching should focus. This extends to the project management sphere and into other realms of internal operations as well. Wakeman stressed that understanding team structures, escalation practices and how to drive sales through targeted questions are all measures of business insight that salesforce should gain.