Why do you want to be better at sales? Why do you want to learn about being better at sales?

Unless you can answer the above, I suggest you stop here because investing the time and money in learning, without purpose is not only pointless but is most likely going to fail.

If you want to genuinely learn how you can be better at sales, then there are a number of ways you can do that. While the outcomes are similar, the path that gets you there can be wildly different.

You can self-learn

Get yourself a coach

Enroll yourself in sales training

Find yourself a mentor

Get a consultant to come and tell you

In the pursuit of knowledge.

Australia is fast becoming a country of learners and according to ABS data Australian’s are pursuing tertiary qualifications at a growing rate. Between the 2011 and 2016 census’, 46 per cent of Australians, had or were, engaged in post graduate studies. 31.4 per cent of employed Australians hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and over half of the population above the age of 15 hold a qualification beyond school.

Learning is an essential part of our lives and it typically underpins our careers and career progression.

What’s the best way to learn more?

Reading books and articles, attending courses or seminars; it is easier than ever before to gain access to learning opportunities.

However, the challenge has evolved from gaining access to learning opportunities to ensuring that the quality and content of the learning is right for us.

We all have learning preferences, styles and paces. We like to acquire knowledge and skills in our own way.  So do we; 

  • Download another ‘how-to’ guide and self-learn?
  • Engage a coach or attend training?
  • Hire a consultant to find out what’s the best way for you?
  • Self-learning is easy, yet slow. It can be as simple as downloading a how-to-guide, listening to a podcast or reading a book.
  • Coaching is fast but requires of you a willingness to invest your time and money. Additionally, it works best if you are coachable – open to change and frank with yourself.
  • Training is only as effective as the topic is relevant to your situation and your willingness to learn.
  • Consulting will get you answers but won’t necessarily give you the means upon which to expand those answers.

Do you actually need to acquire any more skills or knowledge?

Why bother with training, coaching, consulting or self-learning?

Why are you here and why are you reading this?

You probably don’t remember it …

Now without looking – no cheating – what is the first statistic quoted near the top of this page? Don’t worry about it too much because 50 per cent of you forgot it straight away. By this time tomorrow 70 per cent of you will struggle to remember even reading this article let alone the statistic quoted. Why?

Because information is hard to retain, especially when it isn’t connected back to you, the learner.

By encouraging you to recall the information, and by you going back to see what it was, you are now more likely to retain the information. If that information had been useful to you your recall would have been higher and that tells us that it isn’t so much about the information but rather it’s in the connection or the relevance of that information for or to you.

Information needs to first be acquired, then understood and then it needs to be connected back to the learner with relevance in order for it to be retained.

What’s sales coaching?

The emphasis of sales coaching is on helping you develop to your full potential. Enhancing or amplifying your performance and your behaviours, which is at times quite transformational, in order to help you establish the best way to make a success of your situation, your abilities, your actions and your opportunities.

The best coaching is highly customized or individualized as it is about amplifying what you’re good at while minimizing away the impact of what you’re not good at!

Key characteristics of coaching:

  • Customized;
  • Focused on development and progress;
  • Stimulates thinking and encourages decision making;
  • One on one or small team;
  • Designed to suit your needs as opposed to being a rigorously structured program;
  • Used to enhance performance and behaviours; and
  • The tips, the tricks and the little secrets that get you there faster.

It’s a big step to hire a coach. It isn’t cheap and if you’re not willing to adapt and change it is not only a waste of money but time. Our first step is to first establish whether or not you are “coachable” and in some instances we may not be willing to work with you.

For many salespeople, seeking out a coach is a personal investment in making sure that they are getting the most out of what is often a very challenging career. Coaching helps to see whether or not you are on track or off track, by how much, and how it will be possible to enhance, correct of shift your course of action to improve your situation and the success that results.

Why would you need a coach?

  • Amplify your potential – identify what you are good at and help you work out how to extend or leverage those qualities.
  • Discover what’s hindering your progress – find out where could, where should and where you need to improve.
  • Faster – speedily identify where you are, where you are going, make any course adjustments quickly and get you there faster.
  • Motivate, support and challenge – confidential advice you can turn to when you are unsure, confused or discouraged so you can propel yourself forward and get back to what you are best at.
  • Alternative perspective – see through your blind spots, biases and flaws to reflect back an accurate version or validation of you along with the strengths and shortcomings of your ideas and initiatives.
  • Push through and overcome – achieve far more than you thought was possible by seeing where and how you can improve and pushing through your limits or doubts.
  • An expert without an agenda – you might not like what is said but you know it will be an honest and expert appraisal that will only serve to help you to progress towards your goals and outcomes.

What’s sales training?

The emphasis of training is to help you acquire, advance or upgrade your skill set. Training is about imparting, sharing or transferring knowledge purposeful for a specific competency or role. The goal of training is to improve your capability, capacity, productivity and performance.

Training is often best suited to the induction of new team members. It is also suited to situations where you are making specific changes to a process, technology or system. Training is most helpful where regulation change requires an upgrade in knowledge and skills.

Key characteristics of training:

  • Structured program that is learning focused;
  • Shares or provides new knowledge or skills;
  • Most often group based and delivered in a specific time frame; and
  • Used to help you achieve a specific goal, competency or task.

Why would you need sales training?

  • Perform or improve on a specific skill, competency or task – training is often purpose built to teach you how to do something specific to your role or function. It is also a great way to quickly acquire knowledge on how to improve your ability to perform that specific role or function.
  • Fix a problem or address a weakness – deficiencies in your business can arise at any time and training can address and ultimately overcome the issue.
  • Clients demand experts that are knowledgeable – consistent training can add to your experiences and knowledge suite, therein ensuring that you are able to assist you clients as best as possible.
  • Profile and reputation enhancing – strong training is attractive to clients and gives them additional confidence and security that they have chosen an expert who is serious about providing them with a world class experience.
  • Future success – you are a valuable asset and like all assets investing in their growth, maintenance and enhancements is surest way to see the strongest returns.