How to Design a Successful Employee Development Strategy for Sales Teams

Business organizations are investing more and more in employee development. In fact, a Bersin study found that spending on staff development initiatives among UK companies increased by 11% between 2014 and 2015. Monika Gotzmann, EMEA Marketing Director at Miller Heiman Group is exploring ways to design solutions. employee development strategies to achieve the best possible business results.

Human Capital Management (HCM) Suites for High Growth Companies: The Ultimate Guide [Buyers Guide]

Your HCM system controls the trinity of talent acquisition, management and optimization – and, ultimately, multiple critical performance outcomes. Choosing the right solution for your organization …

To download

That being said, investing does not guarantee success and designing an effective strategy to develop new hires and continue to develop the skills of existing staff is easier said than done. Here, we take a look at the ways you can improve the design of your development strategy, to achieve the best possible business results.

1. Perform skills assessments

One of the best ways to start the process of designing a workforce development strategy is to conduct skills assessments of your existing team. In doing so, you should be able to get a better idea of ​​the areas where improvement is needed, but also the skills and qualities you need from new hires.

“Competency assessments are the perfect place to start … because they allow companies to identify specific strengths and weaknesses,” says Richard Hilton, Managing Director EMEA at Miller Heiman Group. “[This] allows companies to target their efforts where it is most needed. “

2. Invest time in sales coaching

Many business managers make the mistake of thinking that employee development is just about providing high quality training, but in reality the knowledge and skills gained through training need to be enhanced. In addition, each salesperson requires individual attention. This is why it is so important to devote time to coaching.

Despite this, a recent CSO Insights report, titled Sales managers: overwhelmed and underdeveloped, found that the majority of sales managers spend less than an hour each week coaching the skills and behaviors of their staff, while almost half of sales managers spend 30 minutes or less on this activity. To be successful, coaching must be formalized and time must be invested each week. To speed up the process and help you master the sales game, delving into some of these 37 Best Selling Books will surely help you.

3. Use a mix of training methods

While training is a crucial part of the workforce development process, successful strategies take into account that different people learn and develop in different ways. It is therefore advantageous to use a mixture of different training methods, formal sales training courses role plays and group exercises, to develop new skills.

“Formal classroom training or online courses are just one way to help your team,” says Jeff Miller, writing for Insperity. “Most learners need a commitment to acquire a new skill in depth or acquire knowledge. This is why other types of development can be even better than a course. “

4. Don’t neglect sales managers

One of the most interesting findings from the aforementioned CSO Insights Sales Managers report is the fact that 18.6% of companies make no investment in training once sales managers are actually in place. To put this in perspective, this means that sales managers are more than three times more likely to be overlooked in this way than regular salespeople, despite having greater influence over the entire team.

This is a mistake, as business managers have a key role in any workforce development strategy as they are generally responsible for coaching and strengthening. Additionally, sales managers are often promoted from regular sales roles, but end up being quite ill-equipped to perform their new job as their development stops early.

5. Prioritize your business integration

Finally, it’s important to give the right level of attention to your onboarding process, as a solid strategy will minimize the time it takes for new hires to reach their full capacity to work. This means investing in professional training, instilling product knowledge and immersing them in the corporate culture.

The recent CSO Insights 2016 Sales Activation Optimization Study found that over 60% of businesses have average scale-up times of seven months or more and that these times have increased over the past 13 years. . A successful development strategy must aim to improve this and upgrade staff more quickly.