The highest performers are always honing their skills. Raw talent is never enough – that only gets you a try-out. Look at any top player in any professional sport and you’ll see a level of dedication that translates into winning. They rely on training and coaches to help them achieve their maximum potential. Staffing Sales pros – at the top of their game – are no different. The best of the best know that professional results can be attained, not only by learning how to most efficiently navigate their staffing CRM software, but also by investment in sales skills development.
With the goal of building the best staffing sales team, Bond gathered a list of top sales skills resources you can recommend and reference when training your staffing sales team.
Top Sales Training Resources
Books for Honing Sales Skills
Sales professionals are often independent and in control of their own schedules. For that reason, books focused on sales training are ideal, flexible, skill-building resources. Consider recommending the following reading to your staff:
- For a handle on what drives sales professionals check out Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, and To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, both by Daniel H. Pink. Pink has been named one of the top 15 business thinkers in the world, and his presentation on the science of motivation is one of the 10 most-watched TED Talks of all time.
- With over 10 million copies sold, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, by Stephen R. Covey, is one of the most widely respected books on character development and success available today.
- For personalized guidance, each copy of Discover Your Sales Strengths, by Benson Smith and Tony Rutigliano, includes an individualized code that lets your sales team access the StrengthsFinder profile online.
- Negotiation is a critical part of virtually any business transaction. Getting to Yes, by Robert Fisher and William Ury, is a classic in the field.
- “Work smarter, not harder” is a common aphorism in sales. The Power of Full Engagement, by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwarz, gets beyond the proverb and addresses ways to actually work smart.
- Great sellers are great communicators, and Crucial Conversations, Tools for talking when stakes are high, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzer, is all about honing a seller’s communication skills.
Podcasts for Training Sales Efficiency
Your sales team can also benefit from some excellent personal and professional development podcasts:
- With hundreds of short, highly focused “episodes,” Get-It-Done Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Work Less and Do More, from host Stever Robbins, is all about efficiency. That’s pretty fundamental for any sales professional.
- Also focusing on getting more done in less time, there’s The Tim Ferriss Show, from Tim Ferriss, best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, public speaker, angel investor, and self-described human guinea pig.
Internal Information and Sales Skill Sharing
Another resource, often-overlooked, is internal experience. You hired your sales team because they’re smart, and their experience and willingness to learn makes them smarter every day. They may be sharing knowledge and expertise informally through war stories and water-cooler chat, but you could be missing opportunities to better intentionally leverage each individual’s expertise across the entire team. To seize those opportunities, try the following:
- one-on-one formal coaching
- group meetings—ideally short and goal-oriented—in which participants share specific challenges and learn from peer input
- mobile information sharing/collaboration apps, like Google Drive, Dropbox, WhatsApp, Evernote Business, Igloo, and others, that help users share knowledge in real time
Specialized Industry Knowledge Training
Finally, one of the most important tools in your sales team’s tool box is industry knowledge. Don’t leave that to chance. An investment in certification training through the American Staffing Association can give your sales team insights into industry practices and client needs that can give them the knowledge and credibility they need to develop “trusted partner” client relationships.
Sales staff development isn’t something you do by writing a handbook or scheduling a retreat. It’s an ongoing process of identifying and fine-tuning your organization’s best sales practices, helping individuals to correct weaknesses and build on strengths, and encouraging every employee to do and be their very best.