Maintaining a competitive advantage is essential in today’s highly challenging business environment. A strong sales team helps companies to stay ahead of the game. And top companies understand that effective training is vital to empowering sales reps and boosting productivity. A recent study conducted by Salesforce found that eight out of 10 high-performing sales teams rated their sales training process as outstanding or very good.
Strategically developing a top-notch training process is key to getting sales reps to maximum productivity quickly, building a good relationship between reps and the company, reducing turnover, and motivating the sales team to work hard and succeed. Sales skills assessments help companies align the right training with the right employees so they can improve their entire training and development process.
Tailored training programs allow sales managers to train new sales reps and existing employees efficiently and effectively, shrinking their time-to-revenue dramatically. Testing identifies skill gaps in the workforce and individual employees so employers can create customized training programs. This approach streamlines the training process by only teaching individuals subject matter and skills they are not proficient instead of wasting time training them in all aspects of a position.
Develop a Training Action Plan
Companies have been using pre-employment assessments for years to help make sound hiring decisions. Many of these same companies underestimate the role these assessments can play in determining individual and company-wide training needs. eSkill’s sales skills assessments provide employers with the information they need to identify skill gaps internally and among new-hires so they can make better-informed sales training and development decisions. Here are the steps they should take to set up an effective program.
Identify Company Needs
The first step to developing a best-in-class sales training program is to determine the required skills and knowledge of each sales position by completing job analyses to identify the duties, responsibilities, necessary skills, and expected outcomes of a position.
Build Valid and Reliable Sales Skills Assessments
Work with an experienced employment testing company such as eSkill when creating sales skills tests. Federal laws and regulations require employment tests to demonstrate reliability and validity. eSkill is an industry leader in employment testing with a nearly 20-year record of compliance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidelines, free of litigation.
The U.S.-based dedicated Customer Success Managers at eSkill are available to assist your team in configuring sales skills assessments by combining subjects, subtopics, and questions that are relevant to specific job roles. eSkill also offers “off-the-shelf” sales skills tests that are editable for a streamlined approach to test development, such as the Sales Account Executive Skills Test, Electronic Sales Associate Skills Test, Sales Manager Skills Test, and many more.
Assess Candidates and Employees
Once you have defined the skills required of each sales role and developed job-specific sales skills assessments, perform a complete assessment of your current sales team. Easily administer internal sales skills tests with the help of eSkill’s user-friendly platform to collect data about your talent supply. Administer sales skills assessments to potential new-hires as well to inform onboarding and to make data-driven hiring and training decisions.
Determine Training Needs
Using the results of the sales skills assessments, decide if department-wide training for a specific skill is needed, or if selective training for individuals who underperformed on that topic is a better option.
Develop Customized Training Programs
On eSkill’s dashboard, you can use results-by-topic and results-by-question reports to identify individuals’ knowledge and skill gaps and design personalized sales training programs. Streamline the training process further by making training programs web- and mobile-based. Top companies such as Amazon, AT&T, and JPMorgan use online training programs for workforce development. In fact, nearly 90% of employees in training find that online learning is just as or more engaging than classroom training. Creating self-guided e-learning opportunities allows companies to provide personalized learning paths cost-effectively while giving employees the framework needed to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge.
Measure Your Results
Providing your sales team with engaging, online learning opportunities that have been customized to meet their specific needs will set your company apart from the competition. However, you still need to measure the effectiveness of your training to ensure your employees are mastering the right skills and to demonstrate a return on investment for your training and development. Reassess employees on pre-determined intervals and easily create reports outlining their progress on eSkill’s dashboard.
According to DePaul University’s 2015-2016 Sales Effectiveness Report, the estimated cost to replace a salesperson is $97,690. So, it isn’t a surprise that research shows for every dollar a company invests in training, it receives about $4.53 in return, which is roughly equivalent to a 353% ROI. In terms of engagement, retention, and productivity, nothing moves the needle as much as relevant, customized sales training.
That is why it is extremely important to make the right training investments. Using sales skills tests to develop training that properly plots out milestones on a timeframe that is customized to meet the needs of a new or existing sales employees is critical to reaping the benefits of employee development programs. eSkill provides employers with an automated, streamlined approach to creating effective onboarding and training procedures.
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