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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Energize New Goals with Engaging Training

Getting kids ready for the new school year is a big deal, and this year was no exception: new school supplies, backpacks, teachers, hopes and dreams. The excitement is palpable.

In our culture, Labor Day brings with it a “Back to Work” mentality as companies set new targets and budgets. Many JD Coaching and Consulting clients, both in the nonprofit and corporate sectors, take this time to focus on revenue goals. Often this means employees have new expectations for achievement. But what do employers actually do to help their people achieve the new results?

How do leaders capture that back-to-school excitement and reenergize their sales force and development officers to boost their numbers?

As a former sales executive who also managed a national sales team, I know the traditional vehicles—mentoring, coaching, recognition strategies and of course traditional sales training—are proven methods for strengthening performance. But what is the best approach for the experienced sales team?

Whichever one engages them in learning. If there is no engagement, there will be no learning. And that means no improvement in performance. Too often, training is viewed as an event—something to be attended—rather than a valuable and enriching investment.*

I’ve embraced my former salesperson experience to guide my work as an organizational development consultant. I’ve learned that investing in your employees to develop and refine their skills is a key element of continuous improvement and organization growth. But you have to get creative to engage them and revitalize their enthusiasm each year. The same old training is likely to reap the same old results.

If you want to achieve sales increases without hiring new sales people, introducing new products or entering new markets, you must create new processes to engage and recharge your sales force. Sales success is a result of quality relationships. Why not mix it up and use your greatest asset—your internal relationships—to strengthen that team’s overall performance?

Use your employees to leverage strengths and maximize opportunities. Examine your team: Who is best at prospecting? Who thrives at complex sales? And then make adjustments accordingly, such as:
  • forming teams 
  • moving from territory segments to industry segments 
  • reducing paperwork or shifting it to an administrative team member so the sales team can stay focused on face-to-face selling 
  • creating peer partnerships to help people learn from one other
Engage your people in their own improvement. And don’t forget to increase management’s role as a servant leader. Remember the words of my best boss? “Your success is my success!”

Getting back to business can be invigorating and exciting when you have a creative approach to engaging employees in their own development. JD Coaching and Consulting are experts at helping organizations identify ways to engage employees and help them achieve their potential. Let's keep the conversation going!

*Why Sales Training Fails, RAIN Group

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