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Developing the skills of salespeople? OK! But which?


As manager, your role is to support your salespeople and help them develop innovative and efficient practices. Which skills should you develop in your employees?

As sales manager, you regularly assess the results of your teams and determine priority improvements. Such improvements are only possible if you know your team perfectly, as well as the abilities of each employee.

Assess the issues to be improved

Improving the skills of your salespeople involves assessment of the issues to be improved. To do this, you have various tools: follow-up of indicators, enabling you to know whether your salespeople are good at presenting, identifying needs, closing deals or consulting. Are these indicators known and shared?

Customer satisfaction questionnaires will also allow you to assess the skills of your salespeople and envisage the issues to be improved.

Also, you can develop employee self-assessment, thus showing them that you trust them. For instance, ask them to put down regularly their strengths and their issues to be improved. Encourage them to take a step back and reflect with you on improving their abilities.

For you, the purpose of this assessment is to know your team as best as possible, its strengths and issues to be improved. You must determine the skills profile of each employee: own skills, knowledge, but also the seniority and personality level, in order to understand the issues to be improved as part of training and coaching plans.

Bear in mind that an employee who feels that s/he is supported and understood will give his/her best. If you pay attention to your team, you will fuel its performances. The better you know your team, the more you will be able to help them progress and to stimulate their motivation.

Nowadays, the ideal salesperson must develop three major skills:

– Knowing the company

An efficient salesperson knows the company and the way it works perfectly. This aspect must be improved regularly; encourage meetings, develop cross-relations, internal communication and meetings of several departments.

– Expertise

In order to be credible before the customer, the salesperson must prove s/he is an expert in the field. Do not rely on guesswork, train your employees to become real references in their field. Encourage them to stay alert and look for innovative practices.

– Solution finders

Your salespeople will gain strength by facing challenges that appeal to their creativity. They must be able to propose customised solutions with high added value. Support them, be there for them and encourage them to invent innovative solutions. Again, knowing the company will boost their confidence and courage to propose completely new approaches. This way, they will have a privileged relation with the customers, who will have a pleasant feeling that they are unique.

Yes, an efficient salesperson must know his/her company and his/her abilities perfectly. S/he must be an expert in the field and be familiar with the sector and its practices. This will give him/her courage and s/he will be ready to develop customised solutions to boost the company and to create high-quality relations with the customers. According to their profile, it is up to you to help them achieve this goal.

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