Salespeople who have been around long enough have seen sales training in multiple forms. They are exposed to it when they begin their career and usually, anytime they switch companies or industries.
While these training programs are always important, you cannot simply set it and forget it or try to make your offerings one size fits all. For your people (especially your best people) to grow, you need to be sure that your sales training is nurturing your Superstars.
While development is important across the board, sales superstars' training is important to maximize their potential, retain top talent, and help them adapt to changes in the market.
Identify Your Superstars
To know who the superstars are, take a holistic approach that considers a range of factors. You need to focus on those with the skills, experience, attitude, and motivation to succeed in a sales role. Numbers play an important role in the identification as well, but to be classified as a sales superstar, they need to have several key characteristics.
- Skills and abilities: Skills and abilities that are critical to success in sales, including prospecting, relationship building, communication, negotiation, and closing.
- Sales performance: What is the salesperson's track record of success in meeting or exceeding sales goals? Do they consistently perform at a high level?
- Attitude and motivation: Do they have the attitude and motivation to succeed, including their willingness to learn, adapt, and take initiative?
- Personal characteristics: Superstar sellers display resilience, self-motivation, optimism, and empathy.
- Fit with company culture: Finally, superstar salespeople fit well with the culture of the organization, as well as the specific sales team they will be joining.
Define the Program Goals and Objectives
Not only do your superstars consistently grow your organization, but they are also important to the overall success of your team. You will want to design training that builds them up and contributes to long-term growth and commitment:
Maximize their Potential: Provide targeted training and development opportunities to help them reach their full potential and continue to excel. One way in which you can be sure to grow your people is to know where they want to go and what they feel they need to grow. To grow their talents, we need to be in tune with their current state. Growth Guides are a great way to take a climate check on your people and provide exactly what they need as an individual.
Retention: Sales superstars are valuable assets to any organization, and it's important to invest in their growth and development to keep them engaged and motivated. Providing them with training opportunities is a way to show that you value their contributions and are committed to helping them succeed. The most recent Media Sales Report mentions, “85% of salespeople agree that having access to learning and development opportunities is ‘important or very important’”. Additionally, managers identify that up to 40% of their team are superstars. Sales training is key to retaining that large number of high performers.
Adapting to Change: The sales landscape is constantly evolving, and it's important for sales superstars to stay up to date with the latest trends, technologies, and best practices. Providing them with training can help them adapt to changes in the market and continue to deliver exceptional results.
Reinforce the Learning
Reinforcing learning is essential to ensure that your superstars grow and develop in their roles. Here are some strategies that can be used to reinforce learning with high-performing employees:
Encourage self-directed learning: High-performing employees are often motivated by self-improvement. Encouraging self-directed learning can help them to take ownership of their development and reinforce their learning in areas that interest them the most. One of the principles in adult learning is self-direction; this can be defined as learning at one’s own pace in one’s own way. This type of learning is motivating and tends to be sticky, especially among those who are highly motivated.
Offer stretch assignments: Assigning projects or tasks that challenge superstars can help to reinforce their learning and provide new opportunities for growth. These assignments should be carefully designed to push their boundaries without overwhelming them.
Provide coaching and mentoring: Everyone, even your superstars, can benefit from coaching and mentoring to help them improve specific skills or overcome challenges. Be sure to schedule and keep your Individual Focus Meetings with your employees. These meetings are not just to “catch up” but to help them sharpen and hone skills and identify the areas they are looking to grow.
Recognize and reward progress: Recognizing and rewarding progress can reinforce learning and motivate high-performing employees to continue improving. This recognition goes beyond bonuses and spiffs but identifies employees who contribute to the overall success of the team and also embody the core values and mission of the organization.
Sales training is essential for the growth and development of salespeople, especially for superstars who are critical to the success of a sales team.
Identifying these superstars and designing training programs that meet their unique needs is essential for growth and retention. Providing opportunities that reinforce learning will be highly motivating to your high-performing employees.
By investing in the growth and development of your superstars, you can foster a culture of continuous improvement and achieve long-term success for your organization.