Sales Skills Assessment – The Value of Measuring to Improve

Sales Skills Assessment – The Value of Measuring to Improve

We know that evolving with changing market systems and trends is vital for your sales team’s success and we also know that failing to keep up could have negative impacts on sales performance graphs. However, it is quite another matter to comprehend exactly what it is that needs alteration; which sales skill sets need changing to ensure success. This is where accurate assessment processes come into play. Assessment is a measurement technique which helps one to understand his or her target competencies tangibly.

Although several people argue as to how can specific competencies and skills be quantified or converted into numerical units, the main essence of assessments are not to convert skills into quantifiable, measurable units, but compare the degree to which one skill/ competency is present in a person as against the target population. This helps individuals understand where he or she stands compared to the population. Sales skills assessments have several valuable impacts and help identify areas that need improvements and alterations.

Here is what you need to make a note of before you start with the assessments:

What are the critical sales skills you seek in your sales team?
Firstly, you want to isolate the sales techniques and skills that you want to inculcate in your sales team- the critical skills that will generate the results you are looking for:

  1. Understanding the buyer-seller relationship to improve performance
  2. Proper planning of sales calls to reduce the failure rate and generate genuine leads.
  3. Knowing which questions to ask and answering questions skillfully to resolve problems and increase sales
  4. Having thorough product knowledge. Experience of using the product or service is highly beneficial since it allows the salesperson to understand user experience of a specific item.
  5. Having adequate knowledge of the market and its nuances, applying that knowledge spontaneously during sales pitching.
  6. The ability of persuasion and negotiation in acquiring new clientele
  7. Ethics in professional practice
  8. Effective sales techniques for presentation skills coupled with the ability to offer cogent and targeted solutions for customer needs
  9. Gaining commitment from a potential customer; making the successful transition from a ‘perhaps’ to a ‘definitely.’

Does your sales team have the skill set needed to generate sales?
Once you have identified the areas that need attention, you then want to evaluate your sales team’s existing skills accurately. This will help you understand the gaps, if any, between where you want your team to be and where they are present. Moreover, a pre-test helps in an easier comparison between the times before intervention and after an intervention. In the end, you want to know whether the sales generated by your team are a result of the training that they receive and whether the budgetary expenditure on those training processes is even worth the outlay. This systematic approach also helps you make a statistical analysis of performance levels which are easier to read and preserve for documentation.

To this end, you must quantify your return on investment for sales techniques & training expenditures. Establishing a baseline is a good first step – identity how much your organisation is currently spending on training (whether in-house or outsourced), then gather revenue data to identify sales patterns, revenue numbers and the sales persons who are generating /delivering the most sales.
Next, you want to assess current skill/ knowledge level. You can achieve this objective with the help of:
1. Pre-training assessments to know what areas the training should focus on
2. Post-training assessments to identify gains made and skills obtained
3. Training content application to assess how effectively skills are applied
4. Training content retention to see how well and how long skills are retained
5. Sales-revenue correlation to determine how cost-effective the entire exercise was

If you follow the above process you will be able to see a marked difference in the outcome of your training and improvement in the performance of your teams. All this will be achieved with a very good ROI.

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