Baseball season is getting underway, and so is another period of sales hiring. For sales teams, acquiring new talent isn’t that different than in sports: the bottom line is that you need to assess which players have the talent and ambition that it takes to help make your team succeed. Ultimately, if you can’t acquire the best people, then you’re probably going to end up losing out to the competition.
Training Versus Assessment
Quality training can go a long way to bring a rookie salesperson into their own as a seasoned professional, but it isn’t everything. In sales, as in sports, a large part of the ability to succeed rests purely on innate talent and natural ability. Often, what’s more, important than a sales manager’s ability to teach sales skills is their ability to pick out the right candidate for the job from a large pool of applicants.
The Value of Better Assessment Techniques
There’s no overestimating the importance of aptitude and career assessment tests when it comes to sales. After all, the better your team is able to perform, the more your profits will increase. Unlike other businesses, where it takes the value of a well-made or useful product in order to achieve greater success, sales depend almost entirely on a talented group of employees.
The Value of Sales Recruiters
Employing the services of a professional sales recruiter is similar to a baseball team hiring a talent scout because, in both positions, you access the skills of a professional that builds expertise by devoting all of their time to assessing candidates to best fit your team.
Thus one of the most valuable resources that professional sales recruitment agencies offer is to give you access to original candidate assessment strategies that they have built from scratch. The most valuable asset in the gambit of services that sales recruiters offer is their ability to accurately identify:
- Qualified sales talent
- Ambitious and motivated personnel
- Successful personality traits
- Skills that best fit your company
To do this, they require more than mere intuition – no matter how informed. The most successful recruiters use their years of experience to develop more accurate assessment strategies based on analytical methods.
Spring Training Exercises
Just like in baseball, your sales team can benefit from a few exercises in order to boost their skills and help them to perform at their greatest ability in the upcoming season. That doesn’t mean that this practice has to be a chore.
Whether you want to work on team-building exercises or more competitive training, it can be helpful to make a game out of the exercise to keep things interesting. Just be sure to always ensure that you clearly define the teaching goals you wish to impart.
Engaging Sales Training
If you want to ensure that your employees, new and old, process and retain their training sessions, then there’s no better way than to provide them with training exercises. Here are a few examples of engaging sales training games that will help your team to develop while capturing their attention. If you’re looking for more great ideas, stop by SalesTalentAgency.com and see what these industry experts have to say!
The Sales Investigator: In this game, you assign individuals or a team to investigate a hypothetical lead that you invent. Try to give your team something easy, like the CEO of a particular company, and suggest a sample product that they can pitch.
Tell each salesperson to gather as much information on that lead as possible within a set amount of time (10 minutes will do). Afterward, ask them to give a presentation on the information they gathered and explain which bits of that info will be useful when selling the client a product.
The Best Pitch in the Room: This game requires two stages. First, you invent a potential product and allow team members time to come up with their best pitches. Next, pretend to be a potential client and have each member of the team call you in a mock phone call. As everyone else observes the call, they should make notes on what part of the pitch worked best and what did not work. You can even draft a checklist for your team to use as a guide. At the end of the exercise, the team can vote on who crafted the best pitch.
The Cold Call Game: this game works in a similar way as the prior game, but allows your team to put what they’ve learned to good use. It can also result in building an actual sale so that you can make more productive use of your training time.
To play the cold call game, ask your sales force to either call a real lead or a fake one, acted out by you. This time, they can use the pitches that you’ve previously determined to have the most potential and see how they play out in a real-life situation. For this checklist, you can allow your employees to score points for each salesperson, making a call. Points can be awarded for factors like relevance, originality, making a client laugh, and of course, persuasiveness.
Keep It Fun and Engaging
Just like in baseball, you want to keep in mind that your training game sessions are a game and should, therefore, remain fun. If you keep your sales games lighthearted and engaging, they will allow your team to think more creatively and stay focused. You can help cultivate these feelings by awarding prizes, offering refreshments, and not letting your games carry on too long.
If you can turn sales training into a game, it can help to ensure that your team stays enthusiastic about their jobs, and that alone can help boost performance. After all, when it comes to the ability to perform well in sales, a good deal of the talent has to do with attitude and personality. And the only way to get out of a slump is to stay positive and introduce fresh new talent.
Every part of sales may not look quite like baseball, but when it comes to scouting talent, some of the same rules apply. This year, make sure that you contact a professional sales recruiter to take your team that extra stretch.