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Developing a Professional Development Plan for Salespeople

Professional Development Plan for Salespeople

The employees you want – those who are driven, hardworking and diligent – are usually ambitious and want career growth. If you want to keep these great salespeople in your team and giving you 100%, then you need to offer them a clear roadmap to career growth.  

This could take many guises depending on their personal goals and targets. For example, it could be a development plan towards a larger account or territory, towards a management role, or towards a different type of role with the sales team. Developing the right professional development plan for the members of your sales team is vital if you want their loyalty and passion working for your business. Here’s how to develop the right professional development plan for your salespeople.

Assess Organisational Needs

Although it’s imperative that each salesperson’s professional development plan puts them on the right track to achieve their goals, their development also needs to be aligned with your company’s goals and needs. Always keep an eye on the big picture. The right training and development can invigorate your sales team and boost your bottom line. As you look at developing professional development plans, have your company’s strategic plan in front of you so that you can consider how well the two work together and where development budgets and resources are best invested.

Understand Employee Goals

Talk to your salespeople. Where do they want to be in five years time, both professionally and personally? What aspects of their career get them most excited? In which areas to they most excel? As a sales manager, it’s your job to guide them and help them frame professional targets that fit in with their skill set and personal attributes. When they express professional goals, make sure they have an understanding of the steps required to achieve it. While it’s not your responsibility to lay it all out for them in fine detail, if it’s clear that they don’t have realistic expectations, it is your job to encourage them to do further research and point them in the right direction.

Long Range Professional Development Plan

A salesperson’s professional development plan needs both long range and short range goals and plans to achieve them. If their goal is to be sitting in your seat in a few years, look at where they are now and what it will take to bridge that gap. What steps do they need to take? What experience do they need under their belt? What professional training will they require? Together, use a planning tool to put together a long-range professional development plan that will break down their long-range goals into measurable and attainable steps.

Short Range Professional Development Plan

Their short range professional development plan should look more at the immediate steps they need to take to fill their skills gap and turn their weaknesses into strengths. The short range goals you set for your sales team should be closely aligned with business needs. Whatever their personal goals, if your organisationl has a need to bring in more recurring business, you should give them short-term targets on increasing their recurring revenue numbers. To support them you can look at coaching, webinars, and training.

Continuous Development and Feedback

Whatever their goals and professional development plan, your salespeople won’t achieve them if they aren’t kept on track. Continuous professional development requires regular feedback so a salesperson’s professional development plan must include regular meetings and updates. To be successful, your salespeople need to be living their professional development plan on a daily basis – continuous communication between your reps will ensure this is a reality.

Summary:. If you want to keep these great salespeople in your team and giving you 100%, then you need to offer them a clear roadmap to career growth.  This could take many guises depending on their personal goals and targets. Developing the right professional development plan for the members of your sales team is vital if you want their loyalty and passion working for your business. Here’s how to develop the right professional development plan for your salespeople.

Meta: Developing the right professional development plan for the members of your sales team is vital if you want their loyalty and passion working for your business. Here’s how…

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