Why Every Salesperson Should Commit to Continuous Training
What makes someone successful? Why are they the best?
If you look at some of the most successful people in the world, there’s one common belief they all share: They believe in continuous learning and ongoing development.
Bill Gates. Warren Buffett. Oprah Winfrey.
These are just a few examples of the many prosperous people who are committed to lifelong learning and education.
But for most people, your professional day is measured by how much you get done, not by how much you’ve learned.
Focusing on getting things done so you can check it off your to-do list without truly thinking about the outcomes and understanding the value of your activities is a sure-fire way to remain the same and never grow.
This is why the best of the best continue learning. They don’t just take a ‘get it done’ mentality, they focus on understanding the how and why of things. They focus on learning what’s working and what’s not working and then adapt their approach based on these findings. They are constantly seeking new information and new perspectives to make them better at what they do.
So, before we dive into why you should commit to continuous training, let’s look at a quick example:
What does a learning mindset look like?
Many sales professionals do a little research before a call, have the call, take notes, and then move on.
With a learning focus and mindset, you would instead think through which skill to practice on the call, practice it on the call, and then reflect on the lessons learned. If you really wanted an extra level of learning, you would invite a colleague on the call and have the colleague provide honest feedback afterward.
Embracing a learning lifestyle means that every time you make a sales call, you get better at it. Focusing on learning un-automates our behaviors so we can keep improving them rather than plateauing or remaining with the status quo. Every sales event or activity is an opportunity to improve.
By focusing on learning as a lifestyle, we get so much more done over the long term.
Whether you’re a manager wondering if you should keep training the top players on your team, or if you are the best salesperson at your company, then consider these reasons why you should never stop learning or training.
You'll Be Increasingly More Effective and Efficient
If you’re constantly engaged in training and you’re practicing a skill or trying to learn a new one, you’re training yourself to become more effective and efficient.
You’re more effective because you’re spending time honing in on particular skills and working to refine them. And you’re more efficient because you understand what’s working and why you’re seeing results, then focusing on replicating those things that are making a positive impact.
For instance, let’s say you want to improve your prospecting results. Prospecting is a combination of knowing who to call, what to say, and how to reach them. There’s a lot of skills packed into this: research, preparation, asking questions, listening, and writing. Prospecting is a process. It needs to be practiced and optimized. Because if you’re doing the same things you’ve always done, then you’ll keep getting the same results. Training helps you identify what you need to change, add, or improve.
You'll Easily Adapt to New Tools and Technologies
Change is hard. But what makes it easier is when you’re consistently learning new things and trying new tools or technologies. Yes, it can be frustrating, but it’s also extremely satisfying. Growth only happens when you get out of your comfort zone, and that’s what training helps you do.
According to LinkedIn's State of Sales 2016 report, the tools a salesperson relies on are highly correlated to their sales performance. The report notes that "top salespeople are 24% more likely to attribute their success to sales technology.”
High performers complement their skill set and experience with data and automation. Equip yourself with the tools and technology you need to excel and you’ll see your results skyrocket.
You’ll Produce More Revenue
Confidence sells. Salespeople who don’t believe in their product or who aren’t confident in their abilities won’t perform well. If you’re not confident, your hesitation will be noticed in sales meetings and will lead to lost opportunities.
That’s where training comes in. Training creates confidence. It teaches process and perspective, which encourages the use of a common sales process and shared language.
When you have a common sales process and shared language, both the sales team and the organization as a whole benefit because everyone has a framework to hold each other accountable.
When each person on the team knows exactly what they are responsible for and takes ownership of their sales pipeline, it creates a level playing field where everyone can aid and encourage one another and also eliminates ambiguity. Everyone knows and understands what’s expected of them and can be focused on it, which in turn increases productivity and produces more revenue.
You’ll Get a Knowledge Refresher or Learn Something New
Even best-in-breed salespeople need a refresher or reinforcement every once in a while. This is especially true in today’s evolving digital marketing and sales landscape, everything is changing. What you did last year may not even be applicable to your buyer’s purchase journey or buying behaviors.
As a sales professional, you now need a more comprehensive understanding of digital marketing, sales enablement, customer success, the overall business landscape, and the list goes on.
Staying up-to-date and gaining a more holistic view of all of the components of sales and marketing is absolutely critical. It will make you a better sales professional as well as a better teammate.
You’ll Feel More Motivated, Inspired and Creative
Sales is a high-pressure job with a lot of rejection. It can lead to frustration and lack of motivation. Sales training gives you the opportunity to keep yourself and your sales team motivated through team-building activities and morale-boosting workshops. It encourages information sharing and meaningful discussions among the team.
Training also helps inspire new ideas and spark creativity. It helps introduce new way of thinking about old problems, or how to apply new ideas to a unique sales opportunity or as a way to adapt your current sales process.
These reasons are just the beginning of the positive impact training has for even the most seasoned salespeople. We all need practice and ongoing training to avoid falling into bad habits or lazy ways. Regardless of your business or industry, training is an investment that will pay high returns, happier customers, more productive employees, and increased sales.
Still not sure about training? Check out our eBook on the 3 most important questions you should ask before investing in training.
About Molly D Protosow
Molly Protosow is the COO and Training Strategist for DMTraining. She manages the day-to-day business and training operations while helping research and develop new training programs as well as refreshing signature programs to reflect the newest sales trends, technology, and best practices. Molly utilizes her wide-range of skills to create sales and marketing assets focused on delivering value to DMT’s clients. Molly has a passion for learning and leveraging new knowledge and experiences. Outside of DMTraining, Molly is a hard core Pittsburgh sports fan, enjoys staying active by running and golfing, and unwinds by reading and playing the piano.