Ways to Improve and Update Sales Skills for Unexpected Lockdowns 372

by Gaurav Bhagat, Founder, Gaurav Bhagat Academy

Continuous learning/upskilling is important in any employee’s career path. However, as the pandemic escalates and disruptions to business-as-usual continue, it becomes more important than ever for organisations to re-train their sales teams by investing in Corporate Sales Training to adapt to the post-pandemic world. 

Gaurav Bhagat, Founder, Gaurav Bhagat Academy

Fuelled by spikes triggered by new variants such as Omicron, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to throw a spanner in our quest to get back to the way things were. In the early months of the pandemic, businesses expected disruptions to last a few months and now we’re seeing it’s grown to two years. Businesses will overcome these challenges on the back of a robust sales system and it is the need of the hour for organisations to re-train their sales teams to adapt to the post-pandemic world. 

Redefining Sales Strategy

In the early days of the pandemic, we didn’t have enough data to predict consumer behaviour during the pandemic. It’s not the same anymore. Businesses are now more aware of buying patterns and triggers. For instance, businesses have principally discovered the internet’s potential for pushing sales, even when everyone was closed in the real world. Given that disruptions are likely, employees need to learn hybrid and virtual sales strategies as well.  There are some key steps that businesses and sales team members need to follow, one of these is the 6P virtual selling methodology. It would entail teams to use the 6P’s of Probing, Practising, Pitching, Providing, Proving, and Prevailing. This is an innovative method using a combination of phone and video calls to get the maximum leverage from the current situation and take contacts to contracts. 

Dedicated Corporate Sales Training

The need and relevance of Corporate Sales Training (CST) are often undermined. Businesses can harness and retain their best talent by investing in training programs that focus on key aspects of sales and even move into goal-setting. Not all sales training programs are created equal, and the current circumstances have further increased the gaps between the great programs and everyone else. The way things were taught and several of the concepts in the pre-pandemic world are just not good enough anymore. It’s a new world that requires new skills and teams need to be trained to hone these skills. 

“Not all sales training programs are created equal, and the current circumstances have further increased the gaps between the great programs and everyone else. The way things were taught and several of the concepts in the pre-pandemic world are just not good enough anymore. It’s a new world that requires new skills and teams need to be trained to hone these skills.”  

The Value for Peer Learning and Innovation

The pandemic has disrupted traditional training too. With trainers not being able to come in and work with teams in person and remote learning dropping in effectiveness because employees are just “zoomed out”. Good sales training organisations too have pivoted and adapted to the situation. Using a host of innovative engagement tools, adaptive learning management systems, practical assignments, rewards, recognition, and more, the trainers that continue to deliver great results are the ones that are going the way and showing the way. Accountability partners and peer learning is also playing a very important role.   

Focus on the Buyer and Using Empathy

Businesses and salespeople often stress a lot on the numbers and the logic behind the sale. If there is one thing that the last 2 years have taught us is that the most successful will need to focus on the human side of things and empathy too. Yes, you are expected to deliver and sell more, but you will do that by coming with an attitude and mindset of serving and giving.

It is paramount for sales teams to find more about buyers’ situations and handhold them on their journey from being a prospect to becoming loyal customers. Being in constant communication with the buyer will offer a clear path on how to get the most out of the situation. Instead of just trying to sell the product or service, teams now have to focus on building a relationship above all else.  

Relying on Industry-Driven Data

Continuous study of the facts and the data is now just not for senior management alone – salespeople need it too! Businesses need to have their training programs teach sales teams how to read, decipher, and act based on the data collected. It allows salespeople to learn from disruptions and work on their skills and proficiency to accommodate future concerns. Real-time and niche-oriented data also allow sales teams to learn about new perspectives and findings. This kind of learning is typically used for many Corporate Sales Training (CST) programs, but it becomes more relevant because the pandemic is unlike anything we have seen in decades. 

Reworking on Sales Training Programs for Different Teams

Professionals and new recruits often have concerns about the standard sales training format, which can be tedious and extremely hypothetical. While theory lessons remain necessary, businesses need to understand that sales training must be customised for teams, depending on their capabilities and the ever-evolving situation of the world we live in. The one-way-for-all approach to sales training is dead. Professionals working in sales want to learn new skills for future career development, but they prefer a more suitable format to match their existing schedule and knowledge. Experts believe that micro-content, dividing sales training programs into smaller modules can encourage professionals to spend more time on upskilling and reskilling. 

`Professionals working in sales want to learn new skills for future career development, but they prefer a more suitable format to match their existing schedule and knowledge. Experts believe that micro-content, dividing sales training programs into smaller modules can encourage professionals to spend more time on upskilling and reskilling.

Empowering Top Teams and Managers
Eventually, managers are in charge of sales teams and are expected to deliver, and they too need to be on these training programs as well. The focus for them needs to be on growing sales but also managing teams with empathy. There are dedicated sales training programs that have been developed for top-in-line team members, which allows them to learn more about handling unforeseen circumstances, motivating respective teams, and handling objections thrown up by the situation today. Sales managers often have a hard task at hand – managing targets and managing buyers simultaneously. With pandemic-focused training, they can acquire skills that would help them discover new ways to handle in-house and external challenges. 

The Ongoing Nature of Learning Sales Skills

No one in the field of sales can ever claim to have acquired and mastered all sales skills. It is a continuous process and a journey that can be rather personal for every professional. With sales training programs, a data-based approach to learning, and a focus on customers’ expectations, it is possible to rework and re-learn sales skills by taking cues from the market. The significance of dedicated corporate programs cannot be denied, especially when motivating bigger teams and grooming recruits to become true salespeople. 

It is an ongoing process, and the ever-changing world that we live in will only keep reinforcing the need for new learning.

Name of the Company: Gaurav Bhagat Academy
Year of Incorporation: 2018
Number of Employees: 7
Key HR Factor: The hiring process that we use includes video submissions and evaluation of sales skills.

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Gaurav is a self-made entrepreneur who started his first company, Consortium Gifts, from home at the age of 19. Gaurav then turned his attention towards training large corporates, business owners, and working professionals. He founded Gaurav Bhagat Academy in 2018.

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