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Sales Leadership

How to Make the ...

How to Make the Most of Spring: Training Musts for a Stellar Season

By Star Report 3 min read

By Aaron Wagner, Director of Organizational Learning - New Home Star

Sales are booming! Many builders across the country are having some of the best sales months that they have had since the early 2000’s. The homebuilders that are currently finding success beyond their counterparts are the ones that have taken the time to prepare in advance. The same goes for sales teams. When times are good, mediocre sales teams look good. However, amazing sales teams soar above their competitors when markets are performing well. The opposite is also true. When times are bad, amazing sales teams are steadfast and productive. When mediocre sales teams meet adversity, they often don’t have the skill set to succeed. The difference between an average sales team and an amazing sales team comes down to the implementation of consistent and ongoing training. 

Although the idea of utilizing a consistent training program may not seem like a life altering idea, it is often overlooked. In the world of sales, there will always be situations that need attention immediately. This is fueled due in part that accountability on performance is often based on short-term results. What sales did you earn today?  What appointments do you have this week?  What efforts are needed to hit our goal this month? The pain of today always outweighs the perceived pain of the future. This is true when times are good, and this is true when times are bad. Too often the pressing need of today overtakes the time needed to prepare for the future. This unfortunate habit is easy to justify because it is easy to track. No spreadsheet shows the lack of future sales due to the lack of effort today. What if you could see that pushing off training today would result in losing three sales in the future? Would training become more of a priority? When markets shift without warning, this difference can become even more extreme. The lack of training today could lead to several missed sales in the future. The excuse of not having enough time for training and development should be eliminated from the vocabulary of any sales team that has the desire to be the best. 

In addition to allocating time in the present for training, it is equally important to ensure that sales training becomes a habit that will last for years to come. It takes the time to become a master of any skill set. There is a substantial difference between simply recognizing sales tactics and having them internalized to the point of persistent success. The sales associates who continually perform at the top of the industry year after year, are often than ones that have trained the most, with the greatest level of effort, over the longest period of time. Often newer sales associates can outperform their peers due to the extensive training that takes place at the beginning of their career.  It isn’t uncommon for new sales associates to outperform experienced associates who have stopped improving. Although it is important to start strong, the best sales associates maintain their level of preparation so that they remain the best over the course of time. The very best teams treat goals more like milestones along the path to success, rather than the conclusion of their efforts. In other words, the best sales teams in the world will never relent on their desire for consistent and ongoing training. 

Here are some ways to ensure the ultimate success not just for the season, but for a lifetime: 

Sales Associate To Do List

  • Never stop learning.
  • Learn from everyone (friends, family, customers, peers, managers.)
  • Learn through multiple outlets (articles, books, podcasts, videos.)
  • Don’t shy away from practice. Role-play regularly and often. 
  • Set time aside every day, week, and month to improve.

Sales Manager To Do List

  • Hold a weekly sales meeting where at least 60% of the time is spent on training.
  • Create and maintain systems that reinforce individual learning.
  • Plan and execute a monthly, quarterly, and yearly training schedule. 
  • Set the example. Your team will mirror your priorities. 
  • Only hire people that are eager to learn and dismiss the ones that aren’t, despite their experience.

Originally published Mar 24, 2017 6:47:36 PM under Sales Leadership, updated May 14, 2021

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