In a demanding sales environment, identifying the real problem behind low productivity is crucial. Uncovering performance gaps is often the first step to assess sales training needs. This process can help decision-makers to identify real factors that influence the performance of their sales team and fix them through high-quality training. In this article, we’ll help you understand how to identify and resolve performance gaps through training.
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Why Perform An Assessment?
A sales training assessment is a crucial step to improving the performance of any sales team. The Objective Management Group (OMG) provides some promising statistics on the use of assessments vs the lack of assessment:
61% Quota Attainment
Don’t Use Assessments
49% Quota Attainment
The comprehensive, science-based OMG assessment, which HireDNA uses in our evaluations, has proven to be even more successful. With the OMB assessment, organizations have achieved 88% Quota Attainment and only 8% Attrition. Learn more about HireDNA sales staff evaluations.
How To Find Performance Gaps In Your Sales Team
When laying the groundwork for your training program, there are several questions that need to be answered:
Does it do a satisfactory job of highlighting areas that need improvement?
Does it sufficiently address the performance issues that hinder employee productivity?
Proper analysis of training needs can unravel such answers, leaving you with precise data on how to proceed with your sales department. Here’s how to perform a sales training assessment to uncover these gaps and create a plan of action.
Conduct A Preliminary Analysis
Before you identify the barriers to your sales rep potential, you need to assess their current standing. You can then use that information to establish the desired outcomes of a sales training program.
In order to meet the organizational objectives, managers and supervisors must have a clear understanding of the current level of knowledge and skills their sales team possesses. The initial analysis also sheds light on the existing barriers to growth, which can be used to ascertain a realistic set of desired outcomes.
Determine Your Organizational Priorities
In order to come up with effective performance drivers, organizations need to prioritize their learning objectives. This provides insight into what actually matters for the organization and allows experts to prioritize goals/learning outcomes when designing the training regimen. For instance, if your priority is to improve your customer satisfaction scores, your training procedure should specifically include ways to deliver a better customer experience.
This step particularly requires the input of senior management and top-level executives, as they are typically responsible for determining the company’s priorities.
Identify Your Sales Growth Bottlenecks
Once you’ve laid the foundation for a sales training needs assessment, the next step is to identify key factors that are hindering your sales team’s performance. In order to bridge performance gaps, you first have to identify them.
HireDNA offers comprehensive sales staff evaluations and assessments to help you identify KPIs, uncover skill gaps, and discover opportunities for growth. Learn more.
Here are some ways you can assess and pinpoint areas that need improvement:
Analyze Periodic Reports
As far as your sales team is concerned, a glimpse of the monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual managerial evaluations can lend important insights into the performance of the sales department.
Was the team able to meet their monthly targets?
What was the most commonly cited problem among sales representatives?
Following up with team leaders can offer up a different perspective, while allowing you to understand performance issues from an inside perspective.
Closely Monitor Sales Representatives
One of the most effective methods of identifying performance gaps is by observing employees during their on-job hours. You can even go as far as formulating a task-based scenario or simulation and carve out the areas that exhibit inefficiency.
Live observations can reveal some real barriers faced by your sales representatives:
Is their unfamiliarity with the technology you are using leading to extended call times, and subsequently increasing call-drop rates?
Does conflict resolution continue to present an unsurmountable barrier to your sales department?
Observation is one of the most effective ways to extract actionable data that can help you to create a plan of action. The direct exposure to the problem helps experts create a sales training solution tailored to the exact scenario.
Conduct Employee Surveys
Surveys provide an excellent platform for employees to reveal performance issues that are hidden from management. From ineffective online training forums to company policies that are proving to be an obstacle, surveys can reveal what otherwise would not make it to the surface. There are several methods to try, including surveys, polls, focus groups, and live webinars.
This feedback is highly valuable, as it comes directly from the sales representatives that you’re trying to train to be more productive and efficient.
Tailor Your Training Strategy
Having assessed sales training needs, including current capabilities and the blockages that have hindered your sales potential, it’s time to formulate a training plan that can increase the performance of your sales team.
An effective training strategy revolves around the needs and performance issues of every individual sales representative, while also catering to the organization’s macro-goals. The key takeaway is for organizations to understand that every individual represents a different knowledge-base, a different skillset, and therefore, a unique challenge when required to train and improve.
Build Your Winning Sales Team
Time is money. Businesses cannot afford to train their salespeople for weeks. This is where the sales recruiting and training experts at HireDNA step in. Whether you need to assess and train an existing team or quickly ramp up a new hire, we offer a suite of innovative sales training tools and strategies to help turn your staff into a winning sales force.
Why Choose Us?
20 years of invaluable experience
Training time decreased by 50%
Our training enables organizations to leverage 33% more sales opportunities