Top Sales Training Trends to Watch in 2022
If 2020 was the year of the pandemic, 2021 was the year sellers adapted and turned the tide. Like in a post-apocalyptic movie, sales heroes valiantly fought a formidable foe, developing and broadening their skills to combat the challenges of uncertain markets, supply-chain chaos, rising inflation, and the great resignation. At Janek Performance Group, we spent the year talking to hundreds of sales and sales management professionals, ranging from individual contributors to Chief Sales Officers. From these conversations, our ongoing research, and studying the marketplace, we’ve seen the emergence of training trends that we implemented in 2021 and expect will grow in 2022. Here are the top sales training trends to watch in the coming year:
While instructor-led training remains as strong as ever, the pandemic forced a change in delivery, from the physical classroom to virtual. Like teachers and students in schools across the country, both training facilitators and participants had to adjust their skills, habits, and attention spans to the new medium. Whereas trainers could once rely on their personalities and eye contact to engage and enrapture participants seated within a few feet, most soon found virtual engagement required more. In addition, training materials needed to adjust. To maximize time and attention, training must be broken into smaller blocks. In addition, virtual forced a greater emphasis on self-study/interactive learning within synchronous, asynchronous, and blended learning modules.
Along with the adjustments required of virtual, sales teams must be extra reliant on data. As an underperforming team often stems from a combination of factors, such as seller errors, mismanagement, and a lack of/declining skill sets, identifying the reasons behind failing numbers can make a huge difference when rolling out a training initiative. At Janek, we rely on our experience, research, and a series of performance enhancement tools to gauge a sales team’s capabilities. Our recent Sales Performance Blueprint and SalesAudit™ place us on the cutting edge of sales assessment, measuring such factors as:
- Strategy Maturity
- Technology Enablement Maturity
- Sales Performance and Development Maturity
- Sales Process Maturity
- Talent and Motivation Maturity
- Customer Attributes Maturity
Another important trend in sales training for 2022 is determining if your team members are in the right roles. In uncertain times, situations can change in an instant. Understanding how your team’s roles must adapt and grow to meet new challenges is essential to maintaining robust trainings for a dispersed sales force. Today’s sales teams must thrive in any environment, whether in person, on the phone, videoconferencing, or via written communication. At the same time, they must be technologically adept to connect with clients, disperse content, and maintain relationships on the go. Sales trainings and coaching initiatives must grow with the times to meet the challenges of a changing landscape.
Sales Skills in Customer Service
To meet the changing needs of a dispersed sales force, organizations must also consider nonselling, roles, such as technical support and customer service. These team members are increasingly positioned to identify upselling and cross-selling opportunities. Sales training can provide and reinforce the skills to recognize these opportunities, engage with clients, and build relationships. After all, your nonselling team members are often at the forefront of a customer’s experience with your organization, brand, and products. They are the first to engage with both new and existing customers. The skills taught and developed in training can be an asset in their growth, development, and retention, as well as the success of your sales initiatives.
Today, you just need to turn your TV or check your newsfeed for a story about “The Great Resignation.” As a result of the pandemic, employee retention is arguably one of the most important issues facing the country’s economy, as well as the growth and success of sales organizations. Of course, some are quick to mistakenly blame millennials and the unfounded but persistent myth of their entitlement. However simplistic and false as that is, one thing seems clear. After a global health threat, employees of all generations are seeking greater fulfilment and a better work-life balance. To address this, sales organizations can do more to invest in their team members. In addition to office environment and culture, sales training is an effective way to increase employee engagement and boost morale.
As necessity is the mother of invention, crisis can create opportunity. Just as sellers adapted their skills and behaviors to the reality of virtual selling, organizations had to refine their processes and workflow to meet the changing sales environment. As a result, sales training and coaching must evolve and adapt as well. Since change is inevitable—and as the events of the last two years confirm—only those salespeople and organizations that embrace change will be prepared for the challenges ahead, whatever they may be. In that spirit, we offer these sales training trends to watch in 2022. From everyone at Janek, good luck, God bless, and happy selling in 2022!
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