Hiring top sales talent is a strategy that many company managers consider in their marketing plans. They do this to get the best services possible, but, in some cases, even the most experienced market leaders know they can’t always get highly-rated talents. In fact, in every set of 10 employees, there are at least one or two underperformers. Similarly, one or two people fall on the opposite end of the spectrum because they tend to overachieve regularly.
Given this information, you can see a huge gap between the two groups of salespeople. This skill gap is also evident in the rest of the employees—usually regarded as the core performers. Even as you embrace the idea that you can’t always hire high achievers in your company, it’s essential to come up with ways to lift the rest of the group and help them bring in as many sales as possible.
Of course, the option of employing a new sales team is quite expensive and impractical. Hence, the best way to solve this skills gap is to find solutions to close it. If you’re wondering how that’s possible, then read on to learn more!
Identify and assess the existing skill gaps
The first step in your strategy should be identifying the skill gaps within your sales team. To successfully enhance the performance of every individual, you’ll need to understand what’s missing. This way, you’ll know which solutions can work best for you. This information will help you develop a robust training program that will significantly impact your overall strategy.
Once you’ve assessed every individual, list all the skills missing in each employee’s performance. It’d also be wise to score each skill-based on urgency so that you’ll know which ones should be prioritized. With everything in place, you can now get to work and employ the solutions discussed below.
Leverage the power of technology
The tech world has seen tremendous growth over the past few years, and businesses are among the main beneficiaries. Many applications are designed today to transform operations in every department of a typical company. If you’re looking to enhance the performance of your sales team, then inside sales software programs are your best bet.
Inside sales, as the name suggests, are sales closed through phone calls, emails, or other remote communication channels. With most sales agents working remotely today, investing in a program that helps them generate, manage, and organize sales should be your priority. Since everything is recorded, you can easily track the performance of every employee and see where they’re struggling to meet quotas.
This recorded content isn’t only useful in assessing and coaching the current sales agents and in the onboarding process. When bringing in new employees, it’ll be prudent to have resources that you’ll use to teach them proper operation skills. In addition, the recorded sales calls will play an important role here because they give practical experience of the dos and don’ts that every salesperson should remember.
Encourage knowledge and skill sharing
The main reason you see a gap in the performance levels within your team is because every employee is skilled differently. Of course, during the hiring process, you probably made sure that you picked the best candidates. However, not everyone has the same skills, especially in sales and marketing.
Some are skilled in inside sales, while others perform better during one-on-one marketing. The best way to handle this is to encourage those who command mastery over specific skills to share the knowledge with their colleagues. Apart from this, let everyone understand that they have a role to play in the overall success of the sales department.
Sharing knowledge and skills will ensure that the sales tools are used evenly across the board. For instance, someone with high social selling skills can easily attract new customers over the internet. If the underperformers are taught these and more skills, then you’ll start enjoying the full benefits of your sales tools and effectively promote your growing business
Conduct regular skill training
Encouraging your employees to share their knowledge is essential, but that’s not enough to close the skills gap. As you use the inside sales software to record and assess your sales agents, it’s vital that you also come up with a strategy for enhancing the performance of each employee.
It’s worth noting that business operations are constantly changing as companies try to meet the current consumer demands. As these changes take place, one department that should always be ready is the sales team. No matter how much you invest in the sales tools, not everyone will be able to adapt to the new adjustments quickly. This can widen the existing gaps, making it even more challenging to lift the performance of the low achievers.
In order to avoid this, it’d be wise to conduct skills training monthly or quarterly. This training should focus on the current trends in consumer demands and behaviors. Moreover, every sales agent must be able to market and sell your products based on your prospective customers’ needs.
The training sessions should also focus on the performance of every individual. The recorded sales calls and messages in the inside sales software should give you an idea of what to emphasize while coaching every individual.
The performance of your sales team may vary mainly because of some existing skills gaps. Not every employee will be a high achiever immediately after hiring them, but there are steps you can take to ensure that their performance is gradually enhanced. This way, they can catch up with the top performers in your company.
As a sales leader, you should assess your team and list the areas that need attention so you’ll know which one to focus on first. Once that’s done, you can invest in modern technology and use it to coach your sales team regularly. Similarly, use the same resources when onboarding new members to the team. This way, you’ll be able to reduce the skill gaps by a significant margin.