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How and Why HR Should Lead Sales Training Efforts

HR and Sales

HR and Sales: Who Owns Training of Customer-Focused Employees?

When it comes to achieving your business goals, together really is better. Although some might consider it solely the responsibility of the sales department that targets are met, in fact, HR can, and should, play a big role in ensuring a company’s revenue grows. Sales training is key to ensuring that reps continue to upgrade their skills and improve their performance.

In a fast-paced, high-pressure environment, it can be easy for reps and their managers to let training and development take back seat. But neglecting sales training comes at a high cost; a skills gap exists in sales pros and without training, they will find it increasingly difficult to keep up with changing markets, territories, technology and trends. Additionally, sales pros may become frustrated if they feel they aren’t being given the opportunity to build skills and advance their careers. It’s up to the HR department to lead sales training efforts to ensure that these needs are met. Here’s how HR should lead sales training efforts.

  1. Discover Where Your Weak Spots Are

By being so focused on targets and revenue, sales managers can have a degree of tunnel vision when it comes to what their rep’s weak spots are and where there’s a need for sales training.  HR should take a more holistic approach so your company can discover the bigger picture about sales training needs. Your business only has one chance to make a great first impression. It’s not just about closing a deal, when your sales reps are interacting with prospects and customers they are your brand ambassadors out their in the wider world. Customer feedback can give you great insights about areas where sales training is needed. A short online survey is an easy method to gather feeback about customer experience. But importantly, make sure you survey sales reps themselves – they’re your best source of intel about what’s working and what’s not.

  1. Align Training with Business Goals

Once you have gathered feedback, look to your company’s overall business goals to ascertain what sales training is needed right now. For training to be truly effective, it needs to be targeted and specific. By using both the feedback and your company goals, you can start to shape the type of sales training your business needs. For example, if your company is looking to expand to new territories, advanced prospecting sales training might be needed. If feedback suggests that your reps don’t have time to follow-up on new leads in a timely manner, then time-management sales training might be necessary.  Look to training experts to guide you in providing proven sales training so that you can ensure your investment in training will bring measurable results.

  1. Make Training a Part of Your Company’s Culture

We know that sales training is effective, but we also know that it’s not always high on the list of your sales teams’s priorities when faced with the immediate need to make quota. HR can lead sales training efforts making it a part of your company’s culture. Market your training as if it were for customers – make sure you promote the training widely and demonstrate the benefits.

Make it clear that your company values training. Make it clear that completing training will play a role in decisions about promotions. Ensure you publicly celebrate achievements and successes: when someone complete’s a training program or earns a designation, make sure everyone in the company knows what it means to their growth and career opportunities.

Summary: When it comes to achieving your business goals, together really is better. Although some might consider it solely the responsibility of the sales department that targets are met, in fact, HR can, and should, play a big role in ensuring a company’s revenue grows. Sales training is key to ensuring that reps continue to upgrade their skills and improve their performance.

Meta: It’s up to the HR department to lead sales training efforts to ensure that your company’s business needs are met. Here’s how HR should lead sales training efforts.

Keyword: sales training

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