By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

COVID-19 has changed everything – including how sales happen and how buyers make purchases. 

The job of enterprise Sales Managers has become tougher during the pandemic. With travel restrictions and strict lockdown norms, they are unable to meet their prospects and customers in person. The rules of customer engagement and client interactions have gone through a phenomenal change. 

It is apparent that the skills and drive the sales teams will need in the future are fundamentally different.

Therefore, it will be the organizations’ responsibility to provide mentoring and coaching to their sales teams to help them navigate these tough times. Organizations will need to foster trust, honesty, drive, enthusiasm, empathy, creativity, and positivity in the team. 

Studies have shown that companies with dynamic sales coaching programs achieve 28% higher win rates. Effective sales coaching programs can improve sales reps’ performance by up to 20%. And firms that provide an optimal amount of coaching see an approximately 17% increase in their annual revenues. 

Undoubtedly, coaching and mentoring can help sales teams hit or exceed their quota and create a positive impact on business growth. 

Unlike sales training sessions, which happen periodically and are many a time standard for all sales team members, the one-size-fits-all approach does not work for mentoring and coaching. 

Since each sales rep has different skills, motivations, abilities, and qualities, it makes sense to make the coaching programs highly personalized. Only then can they be useful for the sales reps and help them succeed and reach their sales goals. 

Let’s look at the key characteristics of highly successful coaching and mentoring interactions – 

Highly Contextual

Many organizations spend a lot of time in sales enablement without thinking about incorporating context. Even if the content is good, without the context, it is of little use. To create value, for every situation, sales coaches need to understand the complete context from their sales reps such as buyer persona, use cases, priorities, sales stage, interest in product, competitive landscape, the experience of the sales pro of working in a similar situation, etc. Without such information, it is hard for the sales coaches to offer actionable insights and guidance. 

Power Skill Development 

In today’s uncertain world, power skills have become extremely important because salespeople today need to change their sales approach and tilt it more towards relationship development. These include skills such as empathy, emotional intelligence to understand what others are feeling and adapt accordingly, active listening, confidence, flexibility, optimism, and integrity. Obviously, the power skills cannot be attained in one day or through one training session. Sales coaching is an effective way to help sales reps develop new skills and help them meaningfully engage with the customers. Coaching programs that enable the development of power skills can create a more long-lasting impact. 

Continuous Motivation and Appreciation 

Unlike training, coaching and mentoring interactions are not about feeding chunks of information to the sales reps. The coaches should also provide them with the much-needed motivation to succeed. There should be an appreciation and motivation model in place while mentoring each member of the team, where they will be appreciated for every little progress they make and motivated to achieve larger goals. It needs to be an ongoing process to ensure maximum efficiency in closing big deals and developing a better relationship with the customers. 

Rapport Development with Team Members and Managers 

Sales happens through teamwork and is not an individual process. Every sales rep should have a good rapport with his/her fellow team members and managers to increase team efficiency and productivity. The coaches need to understand that each salesperson will have a different personality, management style, and coaching preferences. By considering every individual’s selling style, strengths, and weaknesses, coaches can define a unique strategy to help the team members foster transparency, increase collaboration, build mutual trust among team members, manage interpersonal differences, and pave the way for team success.

Also Read: Are You Coaching Your Sales Managers to be the Sales Leaders?

Consultative Approach to Selling 

Cold selling is a thing of the past.  90% of decision-makers “never” respond to cold calls!

Clearly, times have changed. The traditional ways of making the sales pitch and selling have undergone fundamental changes. While interacting with the sales teams, today’s informed, hyper-connected customers are looking for expert advice and solutions to their problems. They are looking for options to improve their business, finding answers to their questions, and seeking out advice before making the final decision. They are not interested in listening to “sales pitches”.

Sales coaching interactions need to help sales reps in doing a proper analysis, strategic planning and by defining personalized approaches to hold meaningful and relevant conversations with potential customers and earn their trust. 

Wrapping it up

The need for strategic leadership and coaching has never been more critical. 

But the age-old sales training and coaching methods can no longer be effective. Today, organizations need to leverage the power of AL and ML and take a more skills data-driven approach to sales coaching. 

NumlyEngage™ offers a skills data-driven model, leveraged by AI & ML, to help organizations kick start their sales coaching initiatives in a matter of a few days. It captures the many nuances of sales coaching to help sales teams sell fast and win big!

Get a demo today! 

By Madhukar Govindaraju, Founder & CEO

COVID-19 has been a challenging time for salespeople. The social distancing norms have compelled the teams to stay at home and interact with prospects online instead of having a face-to-face conversation. This makes it more difficult for them to close deals. Challenges in closing deals are not exactly new for salespeople. However, given the current situation, it could add a real strain to the spirits of the team. 

In times like these, sales coaching comes to rescue.

It helps to boost the team’s morale and keep them engaged. 

Unlike sales training programs where the teams are trained on how to sell a product or service, sales coaching takes a more personalized approach towards a holistic development. 

Through sales coaching, organizations can identify the gaps in each salesperson and try to provide a custom-made solution to fix it and help them grow. Think of it as a mentor-mentee relation where the end goal is to nurture the person and not necessarily only sell more products.

So, what can companies do to keep the teams motivated and engaged?

Assess the team’s strength and weakness

Every salesperson is different. Some may be extremely confident; some may be anxious while pitching. A one-size-fits-all approach would not work in such cases. The sales coach has to assess each person individually to find their strength and weakness. To remove prejudices or assumptions during an evaluation, coaches can use AI-based tools to measure the team’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Numly™, for instance, provides a 16-personality factor self-evaluation that measures the strengths and weaknesses of a person’s personality traits. It offers accurate insights that help the coach find areas of improvement for each salesperson and coach them accordingly.

Provide personalized feedback

Based on the assessment, the coach can formulate a detailed and personalized feedback to guide the salesperson effectively. Giving feedback cannot be a one-off activity. It is a continuous process that leads to a journey of holistic development. 

Coaches can leverage tools to make this a productive process. For example, Numly offers organizations with custom engagement tools that identify skills gaps in each salesperson and pairs them internally with a coach. The coach helps the salesperson to meet their goals using various methods such as self-scoring, peer-rating, and continuous feedback.  

Develop new skills

The modern-day customer is well-informed. A cold call or aggressive sales pitch can no longer persuade them to buy a product. They have to be educated, informed, and provided with relevant content so that they can trust the company. 

Salespeople cannot just pick the phone and start pitching. They must develop a different approach to build a long-term relationship with the customer. It has become even more critical now, as COVID-19 has led to an economic meltdown across the globe. Salespeople will have to become more empathetic instead of pushy to gain the prospect’s trust. Such skills cannot be attained overnight. Only a sales coach can help the team to develop new skills, and catch up with customer needs, and their way of engaging with the company. A personalized sales coaching program will eventually help the sales team to do their job better. 

Change the behavior

Behavior, like new skills, cannot be improved in a day. It is an ongoing effort, wherein, the sales coach identifies a positive behavior and reinforces it to bring in a change within the person. So, it could be encouraging an introvert to open up and communicate more with the customers or coaching someone to listen more and talk less. A positive change will help the sales team to perform better and deliver better results. 

Build a strong relationship

Sales is all about building a strong relationship – not just with the customer, but also with other stakeholders such as the marketing team, the product team, etc. To create a positive and harmonious relationship, the sales team can take guidance from sales coaches. They can learn how to develop a relationship with internal and external stakeholders and use it to build goodwill for the company and themselves. A good sales team knows how to keep everyone happy and achieve their goals. 

Conclusion 

Sales is less about selling a product, and more about the process of doing it. A successful salesperson possesses the right power skills. They don’t sell; they build relationships. 

Power skills are a combination of science and arts. With the right tools and accurate data, companies can help their sales teams to improve these skills and build a roadmap to a successful sales career. 

By Madhukar Govindaraju, Founder & CEO

“Crisis does not build character. It reveals it”.

The strength of a true leader is revealed when it comes under fire. And it can be safe to say that the past few months have been an extremely testing period for leaders across organizations. 

As the lockdowns are gradually being lifted across the world, we are just about realizing what our new normal is going to be like. The term, ‘responsible leadership’ takes on a deeper meaning as employees and customers try to settle into the new rhythm of things. 

The global environment that was already fast-moving now has become unfamiliar as well. Virtually all organizations are identifying how to get back to ‘normal,’ but speed is also of the essence. 

Leadership has to work quickly to redistribute disrupted supply chains, they need to safeguard employees, have to enable a remote workforce with no time in hand to ease people into it, and also have to be the bearers of bad news. All of this, while maintaining their own energy so that they can inspire confidence and continue to motivate their employees.

The thing with leadership is that it has leaders, even the highly successful ones, to be in a mode of continuous improvement. They have to look at ways to reinvent themselves to stay relevant and have to embrace change faster or run the risk of being outrun. 

Irrespective of their effectiveness, yesterday, today and tomorrow will make new demands on the leaders. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that clearly. And there is no playbook to refer to what to do and how to change leadership styles in the face of a 21st-century pandemic. 

While there might not be any silver bullet suggestions on how to navigate the challenges of the new reality, it is clear that leadership has to become more accommodating than ever before.

‘Building Trust’ was important before – it is essential now

The definition of a good leader has always included an element of trust. A leader can only be considered a good one when the workforce expresses trust in them. With COVID-19, this has assumed deeper importance. The workforce is looking to trust its leaders, and this trust can now be inspired only with clear and focused actions.

The actions of the leaders have to show their employees that they care for each individual. They are not mere cogs in the wheel. Along with caring, leadership has to become more transparent about their plans, how they plan to navigate the treacherous business landscape and communicate clearly with their employees. Establishing strong communication and governance principles, and the tone becomes important to build trust.

Increase focus on shared purpose

Leaders also work on building ‘shared purpose’ with their employees now. With teams operating remotely and with uncertainty looming large, employees need an anchor to get a sense of connection and belonging.

Once President John F. Kennedy visited a NASA space center. He met a janitor and asked him, “what are you doing”. He replied, “Well, Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon.” When people are connected to their work, when they have a sense of shared purpose, they become more committed to their work.

Given the upheaval that COVID-19 has had on people, how it has impacted them at a professional and personal level, how it has changed the world of work, how isolated the entire experience has been, leadership has a lot of work to do. They have to help employees reconnect with their work, find a sense of purpose and excitement in their roles and relearn how it ties back to the business goals. Irrespective of how big or small their role is, leadership has to work on helping employees understand how they are contributing to the larger picture.

Also Read: Engaged Employees Are Driven by Shared Values and Vision

Over Communication – there’s no such word anymore

There is no such word as ‘over-communication’ in the vocabulary of the leadership anymore. Establishing new guidelines as the world of work hobbles back to its older pace and with uncertainty looming large, the focus falls heavily on leadership communication skills to keep their teams connected.

While leadership had to always maintain clear communication, today this communication needs to be more detailed, transparent, emphatic, and continuous. Ambiguity is overwhelming in the minds of the employees. It becomes the task of the leadership to rally around clear and consistent communication. Leadership across the organization also has to also be in sync with each other, and thus establishing strong communication guidelines and protocols are now even more essential.

Leadership has to step down from its altar and get down into the trenches. This means becoming more visible in even standard meetings (think everyday sprint sessions or client calls) to establish their presence and make the workforce feel like they are a part of the crowd.

Take tough decisions

When the pandemic hit the world with all its force, leaders across the globe were compelled to act urgently to enable remote working. Many organizations in the pre-pandemic time were already aware that they would have to enable some form of remote working. The pandemic just shows us that we need to accelerate human and machine collaboration to support people to adopt a more digital way of working.

Those in leadership roles have to now take many such tough decisions. Whether it is to restructure and realign the workforce, identify new revenue streams, refocus the business, or include more automation, the road ahead involves taking several new and tough  decisions. These have to be taken with integrity, intention, and without guilt.

Increase flexibility, agility, and empathy

Flexibility, agility, and empathy – these are venerable traits in the new world. If leaders are not already working with cross-functional, agile teams, the time to do so would be now. There is no place for functional silos anymore.

The world is only going to become more VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous). As leaders face this new world, past experiences might not be enough to navigate through the current scenarios. Leadership development has already been focused on increasing the capacity of leaders to deal with VUCA. 

For this, developing traits of flexibility to accept challenges, agility to deal with such challenges easily, and empathy to help others to overcome rapidly changing realities become essential arsenal in the leadership kitty.

Also Read: The 3 Most In-Demand Power Skills for Managers Today

Learning intelligence and growth mindset

Leadership also has to now take a deeper dive into the growth mindset. They have to actively invite and objectively evaluate information and ideas not only from within their own organization but also from peers and colleagues in other organizations.

Leadership has to believe in ‘learning intelligence’. They have to develop the ability to look for help and learn and leverage others’ expertise and experiences to increase their ability to make better and well-informed decisions.  

It is time for leadership to gear up and increase their stamina and build resilience for the long haul now. Given the way the world is shaping up, it is clear that they need to build their capacity to run a grueling marathon over a sprint.

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

Every company envisions to be a fast-growing company that has the pulse on its customers changing needs and follows an agile approach to meet those needs before the competitor does. A fast-growing company requires its employees to adopt a growth mindset. It especially looks for leaders who can drive growth and make the company nimble-footed. 

Here are a few skills that a company looks for in its top leaders. 

Leadership

Employees always look for mentors and coaches in their leaders. They prefer to work with leaders who demonstrate the same level of commitment and diligence as they do. Fast-growing companies look for leaders who can inspire and lead by example and maintain transparency while interacting with employees. They also look for leaders who possess high emotional intelligence and create an environment where people are respected irrespective of their diverse background, and where passion towards work is considered more significant.

Also Read: Critical Leadership Skills that High-Potential Women Leaders Should Be Groomed On

Problem-Solving

Failures are inevitable when companies innovate and grow. The key factor is to learn from the failures and challenges and move ahead. A growth-focused company looks for leaders who don’t shift the blame on to anybody but instead take a solution-based approach to solve the business challenges. These leaders give importance to customer-centricity and work towards building trust within and outside the company. A good leader will take the onus of the mistakes and take ownership to solve them.

Also Read: The 3 Most In-Demand Power Skills for Managers Today

Open Communication

Running a fast-growing company is not a one-person activity. It requires several people with specialized skills to manage it smoothly. For a business to run smoothly, leaders have to be able to communicate their vision and ideas to their employees and other stakeholders with laser-sharp clarity. 

As Susan Tardanico, founder and CEO of the Authentic Leadership Alliance, said, “Forget about eloquence — worry about being real.” 

Leaders should be clear about what they expect to achieve and what they expect people to do to achieve it. Communication is also a two-way street. So, companies prefer to work with leaders who are open to new ideas and are willing to listen to other people’s perspectives while making business decisions. A democratic way of functioning is always preferred.

Consistent Execution and Results

Companies like to work with leaders who act decisively and make crucial business decisions based on evidence and not emotions or gut feelings. They like to work with leaders who have the ability to drive growth and deliver results consistently. It is also important that leaders have the ability to challenge the status quo. It helps companies to drive innovation and grow faster than their competitors. 

Take Dell, for instance. Michael Dell could foresee changes that were to occur in the future and bring in rapid changes to get to the market before his competitors. He did everything to foster innovation within the enterprise. If a company has to deliver consistent results and stay ahead, it has to innovate constantly. That’s possible only when the leader makes bold decisions in the interest of the company and people.

Also Read: When the Threat of Disruption Is the New Normal, How Are Enterprises Fostering Innovation?

Innovation with agility

In the early 1900s, Henry Ford had captured 60% of the automobile market share worldwide. His secret sauce was combining agility with innovation. In a fast-paced environment, agility and innovation is the key to a company’s success. Fast-growing companies often look for leaders who have an agile mindset and are innovative at the same time. They need leaders who are willing to take intelligent risks and accept failure. They should be able to inspire others to adopt agility in their business processes as well. This type of culture can help companies to stay at the top of their game consistently.

Tight Collaboration 

Companies grow and achieve more when disparate teams share common goals. Alignment between sales and marketing, for instance, can help companies achieve 27% faster three-year growth. 

Collaboration leads to faster decision-making, more productivity, and revenue growth. However, collaboration can happen only when leaders encourage it. Leaders must break the silos, engage with all the teams, and unify them to deliver as a single unit. They should also be capable of building trust among team members and resolving differences between the teams to avoid derailment of work.

Self-Management

A leader can manage a team only when they can manage themselves. Fast-growing companies need leaders who have established personal credibility throughout their careers and are constantly yearning to learn and grow in their personal and professional areas of life.

These skills may or may not be innate within an individual. They are cultivated and honed throughout their career. While leaders may come with their set of skills, companies also have an equal role to play in the development of leaders. 

AI-based learning platforms such as NumlyEngage™ help companies identify the skill gaps in leaders and help them nurture and develop those skills. Get a demo today

 

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

“Sales is an easy job. Managing a sales team is a piece of cake”, said no one ever. 

Sales is a stressful job. What makes it even more complex is the fact that the sales process is going through a dramatic change. In the age where the focus rests heavily on ‘customer experience’, the proverbial sales pitch is losing its value. Sales wins are becoming so heavily intertwined with customer satisfaction as it has become the primary measure of sales success. 

Along with this, we are amid a global shake-up. The COVID-19 pandemic has completely disrupted the enterprise. As lockdowns across the globe slowly ease off and economic activity restarts gradually, sales leaders have to ramp up their sales strategies and adjust them to meet the dynamics of the new world of work. 

With markets becoming more dynamic and challenging and competitiveness increasing at breakneck speed, organizations will now have to look at creating high-performing sales teams…teams that are programmed to sell fast and win big. But how do organizations go about building such teams?

How can you sell fast?

A tough sales culture is one that pushes the team to sell fast. But this culture often becomes toxic as most salespeople are unclear about ‘how’ to sell fast. Here are a few points that teams should focus on to increase their capacity to sell fast.

Planning smart

Sales teams are obsessed with capacity planning. In plain speak, capacity planning roughly translates to matching the supply to the demand. In sales, it is used to quantify individual sales performance, developing sales goals based on production capacity (i.e., the bookings) made by the sales representatives and then increasing this capacity via sales enablement or hiring.

This is where the problem starts. With a capacity planning focus, the sales team often hits the gas too early and ends up either with more salespeople than needed or increasing their sales goals before the market is ready. They are also often unable to expand sales capacity to meet demand.

Instead, sales leaders should have their sales teams focus on understanding their target audience and the market first. With robust targeting and segmentation in place, sales teams get more clarity on who to sell to, how to sell, where to sell, and how much can be sold. This makes for correct projections and faster sales closures.

Quality over quantity 

Sales is changing. Even some time back, a typical day in the life of a salesperson would involve a plethora of cold calls and meetings. Some of these translated into sales. Most didn’t. Today, things are different. The days of the cold calls and walk-in meetings are far behind us. 

While we are not writing off the above, salespeople have to ensure that they focus on creating high-quality touches to make sure that they generate viable sales leads. This becomes even more essential as customers today are becoming immune to traditional advertising and marketing strategies as they conduct more individual research. To sell fast, salespeople also need to qualify a lead as “sales-ready”. Qualifying a lead as ‘sales-ready’ needs a lot of customer information, which can take a multitude of ‘touches’. As such, this team needs to ensure that the quality of these ‘touches’ is high to accelerate the prospecting and lead generation process.

Along with this, salespeople need to learn the subtle nuances of inbound and outbound prospecting to make sure that your team can provide value to the prospect immediately.

Improve customer management skills

“It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and seconds to lose it” – Closing a sale is one thing. Ensuring you have a customer for life is something else. 

Today many new business models ensure recurring revenue. However, for that, the salespeople must make sure that their customer management skills are also on point. For this, sales teams have to improve their customer management skills by ensuring that their CRM sales data management is accurate, opportunity pipeline management is mapped, and CSAT scores are complete. 

Clearly defined sales processes 

Companies that have a well-defined sales process are 33% more likely to become high-performers. The win rates of organizations with well-defined sales processes exceeds 50%. But almost half of all sales teams have no playbook in place. They do not have a clear set of processes that act as a guide and anchor.

To develop sales teams that can sell fast, organizations need to look closely at the sales systems they have in place. They also need to gauge the quality of their sales processes such as lead status qualification and SDR sales dev rep benchmarking to help the sales representatives better manage their sales pipelines. Sales leaders have to pay close attention to ensure that their sales process communication is also effective so that their teams can optimally utilize their time. 

Read: Are You Coaching Your Sales Managers to be the Sales Leaders?

Know your customer 

Know your customer – Not only when and after you contact them, but before that. To make a fast sale, sales teams need to increase their knowledge about the customer. Salespeople need to conduct elaborate pre-contact research to gain a clear idea of the customer or enterprise’s business, the pain points they are experiencing, how the product/solution fits in to alleviate their explicit needs, and their implied needs.

What it takes to win big 

Winning big does not translate to closing a big sale. It is about when you make that big sale and keep a customer for life. It is only when you can retain customers that organizations can accelerate profitable growth. It is also a lot less expensive to keep an existing customer than to acquire one. For sales leaders, this means creating a high-powered sales team that ensures that every customer becomes a long-haul partner. This can be achieved by focusing on:

Relationship management

Relationship management is now critical, especially as we are moving deeper into the subscription economy. For this, it is important to have clear post-sales strategies as well. It also involves being empathetic to the customer problems, being proactive in solving post-sales issues, providing support, and identifying opportunities to cross-sell and upsell.

Employ a consultative selling approach 

Having a great product cannot ensure big wins. However, when the sales team learns to assess customer problems and pain points with great clarity and understand the customer’s business completely, they can help the customer understand ‘why’ and ‘how’ the product/service will help their business. In the age of hyper-personalization, the process of sales has to become consultative, something that helps customers and solves their problem. Sales now is about the customer. It is not about what the organization has to sell. 

Tailored solutions 

The days of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach are well behind us. In the age when everything is personalized and customized, sales pitches have to be leaning towards providing tailored solutions. Context is everything for the customer. So, evaluating how the product/solution fits into the customer’s context and how it can be tailored to their personalised needs is the need of the hour for salespeople. 

Day-long sales programs and training might help salespeople get an idea of how sales has changed or give them more in-depth product information. But high-performing sales teams need power skills such as strategic and critical thinking, empathy to understand customer pain points, perseverance, and intuitiveness to assess problems that are implied and explicit. They also need consultative selling skills and skills to develop strong relationships. 

Since these skills are behavioral, these need to be nurtured and developed over a period of time. Sales leaders have to tweak their learning and development and sales training initiatives and incorporate an element of coaching and mentoring. Connecting each member with the right mentor will help them develop their team’s power skills, and a superstar sales team will be an organic consequence of this action.

Don’t be stuck with the age-old sales training and coaching methods. Leverage the power of AL and ML and take a more skills data-driven approach to sales coaching. Want to know how? Get a demo

By Madhukar Govindaraju, Founder & CEO

“Success is never owned. It is rented. And the rent is due every day”.  

Perhaps no other department in today’s enterprise has to live this quote like the 

 sales department. With the key responsibility of getting the money rolling and driving the business, the sales team has to revise, revamp, and relook at their sales strategies to remain agile in the face of constant change. 

But growing a high-powered sales team today is a challenging exercise for most organizations. With the age-old sales formulas dying out and the consumer becoming more enabled and empowered than ever before, the sales teams are feeling the pressure to up their game. 

Today, the customer is 57% into the purchasing decision before they even engage with a sales team. This shows that the time of the proverbial ‘sales pitch’ is over. What the customer is looking for when they engage with your sales team is knowledge, and an access to a trustworthy expert who can confirm their buying decision by logically clarifying their doubts while giving them the best possible buying experience. The focus of the customer is now on ‘value’ more than on ‘pitches’. 

Thus, building a strong sales team to grow a business is the smartest thing to do. It is also one of the hardest things to do. 

Here are a few things that organizations can do to grow high-powered and strong sales teams.

Talent matters – make sure to get the right fit 

The desire to build a strong sales team is great, but are you relying solely on your gut feeling to drive the hiring process? Organizations leveraging the proverbial gut feel to make hiring decisions often falter in their intention because of a few reasons. A gut feeling cannot be quantified and, hence, it is not scalable so, as a process, this fails. Secondly, not everyone might have the same feeling. So how will you make a hiring decision if the collective instinct does not comply? 

Since sales is both a collaborative and an individual job role, it demands a certain kind of hire – one who can work with a team but can also contribute independently. Drawing up a list of criteria that can correlate with the success in the sales role then serves to be a much more quantifiable and scalable process. This makes sure that the salesperson the organization hires is the closest fit to these characteristics that are correlated to sales success. 

Elements such as prior success rates, coachability, intelligence, work ethics, drive, and motivation can fit into this list and can make sure that each individual is the right fit for your organization. 

Power skills lead the way

Selling is no longer all about cold calls and emails. And it has gone beyond slick smooth-talking. Today a successful salesperson is one who can capably amalgamate product knowledge with a high plethora of power skills to crack a deal.

When building a sales team, it is essential to look for people with power skills. Skills such as communication, teamwork, empathy, positivity, trust, and honesty are essential to developing in all salespeople to grow a strong sales team. 

Equally important is a high EQ (emotional quotient), the instinctive capability to feel and understand a customer pain point and give the best possible solution for it. This job also needs people to be highly driven and adaptable, creative, and great collaborators so that complex problems can be solved easily. This approach of being solution-driven helps to solve customer challenges and problems with confidence and ease and, consequently, drives up the revenue.  

Motivation matters 

“Success lies in walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

Sales is a challenging job role. For every success, there is a herculean amount of effort. The assault on patience is relentless. Failure is a very real possibility until the final sign on the dotted line. Dejection and disappointments are an integral part of the life of any salesperson. But what makes a successful sales team stand out is how motivated is the team through this journey of highs and lows. 

To build a strong sales team, organizations have to ensure that their salespeople never lose focus and can constantly stay self-motivated. This comes from becoming more self-aware, knowing their strengths and weaknesses, and what they need to do to grow in their roles. Giving them access to behavioral skills analysis tests or 16 personality factor assessments is a good way to give them clarity on their improvement areas, appreciate the skills they have, and help them excel in their job roles. 

Deep product knowledge 

Having clear, precise, in-depth, and detailed product knowledge is essential for every sales team. Having clarity around product differentiations, updated product knowledge, and a clear idea of how the product can solve different challenges in the context of the customer are essential skills to have. 

For developing a strong sales team, organizations have to work in a focused manner to increase and improve the knowledge repository of all their salespeople. Having an online information repository to enable self-service, detailed product onboarding plans, and regular training and development sessions on product information, contribute to the success of this process. 

Provide strategic leadership and coaching 

One of the most important pieces in the jigsaw of a powerful sales team is that of strategic leadership and coaching. While individual ambition is essential for closing a sale, the focus of the sales team has to be for the business to grow. It also involves having highly focused sales managers who not only keep an eye on the sales figures but also on the developmental health of their sales team. 

Identifying the high-potential salespeople, charting out their career path, and helping them connect with the right mentors all contribute to developing strong salespeople who go on to first fill the sales pipeline and then consequently fill the leadership pipeline. 

Mentoring and coaching play a big role in developing strong sales teams. This is primarily because 

  • Sales success not only depends on knowing the product but involves the use of certain power skills to map implied and explicit needs of the potential client. 
  • It involves determining how business needs will evolve and grow. 
  • It is about becoming more intuitive towards identifying needs and possible avenues for sales. 

All these traits and many others are the trademarks of great salespeople. They  are essentially power skills – skills that take time to develop as they need constant reaffirming. So, what are you doing to help your salespeople become your sales superstars? 

NumlyEngage™ offers a skills data-driven model, leveraged by AI & ML, to help organizations kick start their sales coaching initiatives in a matter of a few days. It captures the many nuances of sales coaching to help sales teams sell fast and win big! Get a demo today