The Ingredients of a High-Performance Sales Culture
LEARNING and SKILLS MASTERY
As we have shared previously, we are doing a series of posts of what we have observed superior sales organizations do to shape a High-Performance Sales Culture. Each post will feature one ingredient, followed by a few questions to challenge your thinking.
The eighth ingredient of a High-Performance Sales Culture is Learning and Skills Mastery.
“Sixty-two percent of executives believe they will need to retrain or replace more than a quarter of their workforce between now and 2023 due to advancing automation and digitization.”
- 2018 McKinsey Global Institute Report
Education is the #1 intervention to communicate expectations, to stimulate growth and to build talent that differentiates. Superior sales organizations know that learning drives engagement. They see Learning and Skills Mastery as an important discipline vs just ‘training.’ They invest strongly in the development of sales and service skills and in the systems to support those skills. They look to learning not as an option, but as a fundamental process to promote improvement. They believe skill mastery is among the strongest investments they can make year-round.
Here are more descriptions of companies who have made LEARNING a fundamental part of their Sales Culture:
- Salespeople know their products cold – they are application and product knowledge experts.
- They promote creative curiosity and invest in building skills as a core discipline.
- There is an expectation for salespeople to become business advisors, and in turn develop business acumen.
- Deliberate and formal practice with a Coach or a colleague occurs every month throughout the year. They ritualize practice as they know what is practiced grows stronger.
- Salespeople are formally evaluated on how well they apply sales skills and the sales process. A written set of goals is agreed to, with specific commitments on where and how new learning will happen.
Questions to Consider:
- What are your specific expectations around continuous development and learning?
- What level of investment do you make yearly to improve learning?
- What are the most important skills you believe your salespeople should master?
- What do you expect of your coaches on how often they practice with their people?
Next Up: Sales Enablement