The hard work of sales will only get harder as global competition grows, but with a robust sales-development program, you can equip your sales reps and leaders with the skills and capabilities that will help them win more business and maximize their value to the organization.

Ideally, sales “academies” or developmental curricula should address the following three essential areas:

  1. Technical Fundamentals
  2. Sales Skills
  3. Individual Effectiveness

Technical Fundamentals

Technical fundamentals are just that: fundamental. These are the basic technical skills that all salespeople must have in order to effectively sell the product or service they are recommending. These are unique to every organization, as the fundamental selling skills required depend on the products or services that the organization offers.  Organizations that sell highly complex products or services may require their sales reps to complete intensive technical training that is elaborate and involved; likewise, organizations that provide products or services that are less sophisticated will also likely require their sales reps to undergo less-sophisticated sales training.

Sales Skills

The second area that should be represented in all sales-training curricula is sales skills.  This is where the popular sales programs come into play. When designing or selecting a program, make sure that your organization’s mission and values are reflected in the program’s philosophy; aligning these facets of your business will ensure that the sales training is easily incorporated into everyday use.  Sales-skills training should equip the salesperson with the tools and skills for selling and providing the purchase experience.  Depending on the situation, this area of the training program might also include topics such as persuasive writing or proposal writing.

Individual Effectiveness

Skill development aimed at improving the individual effectiveness of the salesperson in ways that support the chosen sales approach or process can make all the difference to closing sales, yet this area is often overlooked in sales-training curricula.  Improving individual effectiveness presents the greatest opportunity for your sales team to gain competitive advantage over that of the competition, particularly when it is coupled with a sales approach that fits the character of your company.

In part two of this blog, I will expand on this notion and provide some specific recommendations about topics that will give your organization a robust sales development program.

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About the Author
Stephanie Mead
Ms. Mead has experience in operations management, leadership development curriculum design, organization development consulting, and international operations. Stephanie has developed complete leadership development curriculums for some of the world’s leading organizations. Her experience also includes creating specialized learning experiences and blended learning programs aimed at maximizing human and organization performance. Stephanie has also co-authored 4 books with other CMOE consultants.

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