What Are Soft Skills?
It is common for sales leaders to underestimate certain, less obvious abilities. Soft skills may be among them, mainly because managers, while they understand their critical importance, believe they can’t measure them adequately. In reality, new advances in behavioral science and conversation intelligence make these skills as measurable as technical product knowledge. n Read on, so you never underestimate soft skills training for your sales team again.
The term “soft skills” refers to non-technical competencies relevant to the way people work. “Soft skills include the personal attributes, personality traits, and communication abilities needed for success on the job. Soft skills characterize how a person interacts in their relationships with others.”
Why Are Soft Skills Training For Sales Teams Important?
Soft skill talents include interpersonal interaction, communication, listening, time management, and empathy. As a result, well-developed soft skills make individuals more successful in the workplace, and they complement technical and job-specific skills well.
Sales teams often overlook these characteristics. Communication, self-awareness, and teamwork are all critical leadership qualities that diminish when referred to as “soft.” Sales managers dismiss these abilities as subjective and hard to quantify, but in reality, they are among the essential qualities that differentiate a great salesperson from an average one.
Success stories throughout the corporate world illustrate the crucial role effective communication plays in ensuring a speaker can engage their audience and get them to respond positively. Leaders will ultimately be ineffective even with the most robust credentials if they lack the essential skills necessary to inspire confidence, dedication, and commitment in others. This holds true for the sales world as well.
Incorporating soft skills training and coaching for sales teams is a wise decision if you want your sales professionals to excel and your sales metrics to skyrocket. As a result of technology advancements and machine learning, leading companies are adding soft skills training for sales teams. With this breakthrough, leaders can better understand each sales person’s current performance, where they can improve, and how the entire team can learn from each other.
Related: 3 Ways Inclusive Leaders Communicate
The Case for Measuring Soft Skills in Sales
When considering soft skills training for sales teams, managers often get stuck thinking about how they can effectively keep track of them – what’s working and what isn’t. It is complicated to score someone’s level of empathy, curiosity, confidence, self-control, relationship building, or emotional intelligence. Yet, experts deem these as some of the most desired soft skills for sales professionals.
Historically, there have been no clear benchmarks or standardized assessments for salesperson communication skills or connection capabilities. Of course, you can rely on online feedback tools that may help you understand how to improve certain employees’ soft skills. Unfortunately, most of these approaches are not objective, and you may still have no way of understanding what really matters and exactly what progress your team members are making.
In order to address this challenge, enterprises require an intelligent objective and scalable tool capable of creating quantifiable goals and action plans. This platform can help sales teams develop soft skills efficiently and sustainably.
True industry leaders designed a way to incorporate soft skills training for sales teams in a platform that can continually assess these talents. In addition to being objective, their approach is science-driven, allows for precise progress tracking per individual, highlights adjustment to the training plan, and places a clear focus on achieving goals.
How Can You Ultimately Measure Soft Skills and Train Sales Teams?
The importance of soft skills for sales teams is backed up by recent research that shows soft skills training is one of the most significant trends in the labor market. Overall, 80% of respondents believe employees’ soft skills are important to a company’s success, and 92% consider them as at least as important as hard skills.
Nevertheless, as reviewed above, most organizations still use informal and instinct-driven approaches to assess and develop team members’ soft skills. These more common tools have questions that usually focus on situational or behavioral topics. Responses could give you some sense of a person’s soft skills but may be based on rehearsed and biased answers.
Let’s see how the following three simple steps can help you keep track of these capabilities and design an effective strategy for soft skills training for your sales teams.
Determine which skills you need
Knowing the soft skills your organization needs the most is crucial to addressing your challenge in this particular case.
Defining the essential soft skills that will help your company grow enables you to build a system to find and retain salespeople with those skills. It can also help existing team members develop their own abilities. The idea is to make a company-specific soft skills training for your sales team based on the link between behaviors and selling outcomes.
Include AI in your assessments
As emphasized above, traditional methods for assessing soft skills tend to be subjective, highly variable, and are not very useful on their own. Instead, you could employ a variety of approaches, including questionnaires, seminars, and virtual training.
A mixed strategy allows you to conduct rigorous research on which candidates and current sales team members have the soft skills you are looking for.
You can additionally enhance it all with the best AI-powered assessment platform. When you work with the right partner, you are able to evaluate your sales team in an objective, science-driven manner, far more accurately than a subjective evaluation.
Today, thanks to technology, the software can accurately measure behavior and predict what impact a professional will have on their audience. AI is capable of identifying and quantifying soft skills variables via speech recognition, voice analysis, and facial detection.
With this tool, you can determine how trustworthy, inclusive, open-minded, and confident a customer will be. You can determine whether the salesperson has the communication skills the organization is looking for, if their behavior and culture match the company and if they can be trained to get their soft skills where they need to be.
Also, with behavioral analytics, you can accurately know your team’s soft skills and potential compared with the top sales representatives within your organization. With the right technology, you can design essential soft skills training for your sales team that is more accurate, effective and efficient.
Design your soft skills training based on science
Engaging and developing employees are crucial aspects of organizational growth. Assessments powered by AI are an ideal foundation for this type of growth. Academic research and feedback from leading communication experts enable cutting-edge solutions to provide personalized improvement plans based on initial individual evaluations.
There are existing platforms that provide you with specific feedback and actionable recommendations to improve in critical areas tailored to the sales individual’s needs and your organization’s long-term development objectives. Sales managers and other leaders within your company can use this tool to measure and improve salespeople’s soft skills objectively, accurately, and at scale.
This solution already exists, and it is called Quantified. We enable organizations and their leaders to eliminate the guesswork and measure critical sales performance predictors by implementing innovative AI-powered technologies. For more information about how Quantified can help your organization assess and improve soft skills within your sales team, request a demo.