No matter how you approach your sales training process, the goal remains the same: build a company culture of efficient self-management towards the company’s goals. Doing so requires conditioning your sales team in a consistent way that makes them confident they are being led to ever-increasing performance during their sales calls, and one thing that unites any sales team the most is the training they believe in. So far, traditional sales training systems are either overly focused on hard skills, thinking them easier to measure, or on soft skills in vague and subjective ways.
The results are either rigid methodologies that miss the right marks or sales team cultures a little high on character and low on direction. This is all changing with highly advanced team-building skills training platforms that put essential soft skills under scrutiny, keep the team dedicated to the same process, and are confident in their mutual progress. As digital sales coaching tools push the limits on communication skills training, it sheds new light on the most important question facing any sales department: how do you build a phenomenal sales culture that helps everyone on the team continually grow and succeed?
Key Answers to Crucial Questions Every Sales Department Must Ask
Invest some time elaborating on the kinds of qualities and characteristics required for a sales culture that is healthy, successful, high performing, and continually improving. What are some of those qualities that will encourage constant achievement and long tenures at your organization?
In our research into advanced behavioral analytics, we’ve found that the most successful sales team cultures are the result of early interventions by sales managers, coaches, and leading sales reps who took efforts to:
- Foster a healthy and collaborative air of competition
- Build trust through respectful, team-building communication
- Leverage the most effective skills development program to unite the team to a common goal
- Encourage attentiveness to problems as they emerge – to become self-correcting with minimal intervention
- Leverage accomplishments to motivate the team and continually hone training protocols
- Maintain accountability for sales performance and meeting training benchmarks
- Encourage individual goals that match the company’s overall vision
- Adopt an ambitious payscale that rewards significant achievements
- Take action to lower rep turnover
Ensuring your sales team embodies all of these qualities will weed out a mistrust, unhealthy or divisive selfishness, and poor motivation, which is extremely difficult to change once they set in.
That’s why it’s essential to build a powerful and effective sales culture from the beginning and bring every new key hire up to speed according to the culture you wish to set, even if it’s not the one you currently have. Doing so will require the best and most efficient coaching tools to empower employees to self-manage their skills development on demand and as much as possible.
Collaborative training efforts will be more fruitful as everyone has individualized action plans that they can help each other with – rather than endure the past’s open-ended, one-size-fits-all training methods.
Towards a Team With Mutually Self-Directed Skills Training
The entire sales department and its new hires must be on the same page regarding continual sales training. Seek a sales coaching resource that can:
- Keeps trainees continually improving and discovering as much as possible about their strengths and weaknesses
- Help them test themselves in a variety of scenarios as close to a live sales meeting as possible
- Even better, use actual sales meetings from top performers as content for sales training processes
Let these processes be continual, and keep a healthy pace that prevents anyone from being completely satisfied with their performance. Instead, there should be ample motivation to adopt the mindset that there is always room to improve. Organizations should select key sales leaders according to this mindset, and they should be equipped with the right tools for empowering their teams.
Today more than ever, sales training tools should be inherently unbiased and based on objective scientific research into which behaviors and interpersonal skills lead to more outstanding performance. There is much confusion over the difference between quantified and qualified data in modern times. Now more than ever, you should strive to adopt tools that elaborately quantify the soft skills sales departments need most.
This will enable your sales leaders to find the key differences between excellent and average reps quickly, then use those insights to ramp up each rep’s skills training efforts accordingly. Today, behavioral-science-based algorithms can provide individualized support that quickly helps sales reps find the shortest route to achieving performance benchmarks that matter most.
Greater Sales Manager Efficiency = Higher Sales
With self-directed skills training technologies, managers and sales coaches will save time and achieve greater efficiency, leading to more sales opportunities for the entire team. Traditional sales coaching tools require laborious hours subjectively reviewing previous sales calls that can hardly even be measured for effectiveness, then manually presenting role-playing scenarios fueled by speculation. Often, coaches and their reps must guess their true strengths and weaknesses, which is hard to do until new performance metrics come in. Then, they have difficulty correlating which specific skills resulted in better or worse performance.
At that point, the sales managers and coaches become even more strapped for time as they are leaned on to provide somewhat better guesses about their reps’ performance – but they are guesses all the same. Unless that is, they have a fully automated (and time-saving) system to automatically measure as many verbal and non-verbal communication behaviors as possible and calculate which behaviors elicit the most positive responses in the audience.
The question is, “Are data analytics and behavioral psychology yet at this level?” Because if it is, almost anything else would be a waste of time.
Leveraging the Most Advanced Behavioral Science Possible
Now, such computational models oriented to the needs of sales reps exist, and it’s the culmination of intensive interpersonal behavior analyses compiled throughout the 20th and early 21st century. Further, these platforms remove the lion’s share of managerial tasks, time expenditures, and interpersonal biases from the equation for an individualized training experience that can be accessed whenever and wherever the employee wants.
These individualized training programs conform to each sales rep’s needs according to objective analyses backed by lengthy historical data. Training protocols can be designed to account for any number of common and uncommon interpersonal difficulties by measuring innumerable communication nuances, such as:
- Eye contact
- Checking in
- Facial expressions
- Conversational pauses
Tools can now quantify even somewhat subjective qualities at a vastly larger scale than ever before – and when accessible from one’s cloud-networking device, it puts sales teams in charge of their success.
In practice, algorithm-generated prompts can accompany practice calls, actual recorded sales calls, or live calls with a partner for authentic experiential learning. Such systems can also measure predictive audience response and highlight signs of readiness for critical conversations. Almost immediately, scores across multiple skills and categories are compiled to show where improvements are in order.
Sales reps can receive feedback and on-demand assessments backed by the most advanced behavioral science research to date. Then, new practice sessions can be tailor-made for boosting lower-performing skills, after which the trainee can record once more, obtain near-instant feedback on their progress, and see how they’ve improved. They can continually measure their progress according to the most critical benchmarks that lead to actual conversions – without relying on manual analysis or more subjective feedback from their coaches, teammates, or managers.
Throughout the week, the trainee can also be given motivational notifications timed for maximum learning retention. Most reps enjoy the feeling of progress as they watch their scores go up (especially as they correlate it with actual improvements in their sales performance and commissions). Properly timed notifications in this way diminish the forgetting curve. It also creates individualized progress tracking with milestone motivators, contextual tips, and best practices.
In brief, it is like giving each rep a virtual coach, allowing them to automatically self-identify skills gaps and opportunities for improvement that most directly lead to higher conversions in the field.
How Individualized Training Modules Affect the Group
As with any good game, the sales team tends to become competitively supportive, immersed in raising their stats and outmatching their partners in a friendly spirit of play that directly translates to more significant sales.
Individual sales reps become more confident and secure in their ability to guide their developmental aspirations themselves without needing to lean as much on those with greater experience and talent. At the same time, collaboration improves because the whole team has unbiased benchmarks to work towards and a unified system keeping them on the same page. These factors breed common understanding amongst a sales team – when the platform shows substantial ROI, they will be tightly on that same page.
They will know that they are a part of something unique that helps each individual improve, but that is much bigger than any one rep since the entire training algorithm improves as it acquires more data. From here, the true collaborative magic happens.
Meetings become more self-directed as sales agents enthusiastically compare notes on what’s measurably, objectively working for them. The team can set up a training session on the fly as senior sales leaders help others make the most efficient use of the program. Rather than guess, a good training platform helps quantify why some people perform better than others, taking ego and subjective estimations out of the equation. The team thus develops greater trust in each other and a more profound commitment to their unified training habits. They become a part of something they believe in, particularly as it improves their bottom line and crucial life skills.
Which Training Platforms Put the Team First – Tools Second?
The key difference between a sales training platform that will improve company culture and one that won’t is whether or not it optimizes human connection. Some are simply technical overlays of relatively rigid processes or content-oriented methodologies, being locked into almost nothing but hard skills instead of the soft skills sales departments need most.
As much fun as sales team culture can be, it can become somewhat aimless without something worth continually studying and practicing. That practice is much more likely to happen if they all know:
- What exactly is each member doing right?
- What specifically are other members doing wrong?
Feedback amongst the group will naturally align with the training protocols rather than invite excessively subjective interpretations. The right training plan keeps feedback precision-focused on how audiences respond to specific behaviors, which can now be acutely calculated via accurate scoring systems illustrating key points of communication skills training. Teams can rally around a shared, clearer vision, helping each other as much as they might otherwise compete. You want the forward drive of their competition – but you want it to raise all ships simultaneously.
The crux of behavioral analytics for sales training is that it helps people become extremely clear about important matters that have eluded clarity in the sales industry: how are reps coming across, why, and what exactly can they do to adjust their approach accordingly? As soon as they see noticeable improvement, they will likely tap into their inner confidence and self-direction. Further, they can obtain immediate feedback calculated to keep them in alignment with the training takeaways that proved most successful in the past.
Think of how capable your key hires will be with these training tools in the palm of their hands right out of the gate. Experienced or not, most new sales hires lack crucial soft skills. Helping them level up their fundamental sales talents by empowering them with the most cutting-edge training technology will set them up for success. They will sense that your organization has invested in them, increasing their sense of value and enhancing your company culture one potent seed at a time.
Having unlimited practice and skill repetition with real-time coaching and feedback – all without continual oversight – will lead to lasting behavioral changes that begin right after a key hire’s initiation with the company. The company name becomes ubiquitous with career advancement, employee retention becomes high, and your team’s overall direction becomes equally sharper.
Integration With Other Company-Wide Systems
Rather than complicate your sales team’s already busy workload, these streamlined platforms are equally efficient in systems integration. The best ones are built for far-reaching gains beyond their primary function by accommodating a host of other standard company-wide systems, such as:
- SIP and VoIP communications networks
- Videoconference platforms
- Human Capital Management software
- Customer Relationship Management platforms
- Different Learning Management System environments
A training platform that adapts to the workflows and the tools employees already use ensures they remain focused on their tasks rather than becoming engrossed in their equipment. More than ever, sales departments must let the equipment do the work, lest they become bogged down in non-automated analytics tools.
Keeping Your Sales Team Motivated Together
When sales teams are given meaningful ownership of their skills development, sales leaders can better serve as the guides and motivational forces they were meant to be. The organization advances in lockstep with individual and team-level reports at everyone’s fingertips. Managers won’t be incorrectly leveraged as coaches, and sales reps will quickly start leading themselves to higher conversion rates with algorithmically powered skills-development training. Organizations must build a sales culture around working smarter and making more money.
This happens with scalable sales coaching platforms that leverage the most cutting-edge communications and behavioral science for measurable improvements in delivery, impact, and sales conversions. The entire team will support each other’s successes, creating a sales culture that feels they are equipped to handle anything.
Quantified’s training platform accomplishes all this while going incredibly deep into evaluating message content and audience perception at the highest level possible. The returns on investment are already well-established as entire sales cultures are being shifted in newer, more effective directions with advanced and objective tools at their disposal. Sign up for a free demo today, and see what the world’s largest human behavior and communication analytics database can do for your sales team.