Upskilling is a term referring to additional training for your staff, which is used to transform their capabilities, improve their performance, and hone their existing skills.
For sales staff, providing certain avenues such as one-on-one coaching and collaboration exercises are a few of the most effective ways to boost numbers and efficiency. Due to the technological innovations of today and growing competition across all avenues, it’s becoming more and more difficult to source top quality talent. Often, there remains a perceivable gap between someone’s skill set and what is required to keep up with the competition.
Therefore, upskilling your workforce is a necessity for all organizations that need to adapt to market disruptions and constant shifts in the digital world.
Upskilling provides your team with a clear career trajectory
According to an article by Forbes, a recent survey conducted on all genders and generations of the workforce shows that they all want one thing: higher pay. Surely, this comes as no surprise. However, a higher salary isn’t everything.
Nearly 90 percent of US workers value other benefits, including challenging work, opportunities to grow and develop, personalized assessments, coaching, and mentorship. Above all, workers like knowing where they stand, what they can eventually become, and what they can do to get there.
To help them stay motivated and make them feel valued, enabling workers to upskill while on the clock through free training, online courses and fostering a “culture of learnability” will give your employees the necessary knowledge and confidence they need to
climb up that ladder.
Ensuring that your team is properly trained doesn’t just mean success for them and better sales for the business, it’s also setting yourself up for success in the future. Maryville University’s discussion on organizational leadership emphasizes the growing demand for leaders knowledgeable in tech-driven employee training methods who are able to create structures to manage different types of workforces. This is because these methods will help successfully upskill any type of employee – whether they are outsourced or in-house – and are a great way to demonstrate your own managerial expertise. You’ll also have a more strategically-oriented team with clear goals, objectives, and priorities.
Finally, in the event that a key member of your sales team departs, providing potential successors with the knowledge, experience, and training that they need enables them to step into vacant leadership roles. Without the process of upskilling, leaving this position up for grabs or even worse, having an unqualified candidate attempt to take their place could seriously threaten your company's day-to-day operations.
Lastly, another area to focus on regarding the upskilling of your sales staff is to continually update them regarding advancements in the digital world. According to People Matters Global, “tech-powered sales enablement strategies are redefining the seller’s journey”, so “they require familiarity with the latest tools for remaining relevant.” Cutting-edge tools are being adopted by major players in the market, such as database systems powered by AI technology. This enables them to identify potential customers and lead to deeper market penetration.
Furthermore, predictive modeling and data analytics are becoming key methods in targeting buyers. It’s also important to note that automation isn’t taking away sales jobs, but rather optimizing and revolutionizing the sales process as a whole. As a result, ensuring that they’re familiar with these digital tools and providing consistent coaching is vital to further your organization’s future growth.
Before training your staff, it’s important to decide on the right approach for their development. Conduct an analysis of the business’s functions and then identify skill gaps and potential weaknesses that will help you decide on the type of training you need.
For instance, factors such as duration, location, and medium are dependent on what skills they need to work on as well as your overall budget. Next, you should attempt to establish a training structure that aligns with your organization’s mission and objectives. After the first batch of sales staff concludes their training, assessing and evaluating the training program is crucial to making any improvements that may be required.
Constantly updating this training program should be enough to sustain workforce development over the long-term.
There are a multitude of ways you can upskill your sales staff.
Firstly, microlearning is particularly convenient because it provides swift and highly-targeted results. It involves quick modules of learning related to specific skills, enabling you to address areas of concern and providing flexibility.
On the other hand, if you're planning to introduce a new type of sales-related technology, retraining may be necessary. Your staff may be talented but require skill-specific training to address certain gaps in their knowledge. This also helps maintain a level of loyalty within your team with employees who are already integrated into the culture of your workplace. It's important not to only target your most digitally-savvy sales leaders, but also those with less exposure. This ensures that your sales staff has a good balance of skill levels.
Lastly, offering new career paths for skill development, after existing ones dry up enables you to retain sales staff as you adapt to this period of technological change.
Ultimately, the many benefits of upskilling your sales staff are undeniable. As new jobs are created, there is an increased temptation for employees to go seek greener pastures elsewhere. However, if you provide them with opportunities to further develop their knowledge and skills within your company, thus enticing them to stay, you can avoid spending more on recruiting and onboarding costs.
By decisively bringing their sales performance to even greater heights, creating ambitious sales leaders, and preparing them for developments in the digital age, upskilling can help your business meet and exceed the growing demands of the future. If you need more help figuring out how to upskill your sales staff, check out these 5 tips for training your sales team for success:
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