We share the 6 key steps organisations can take to build a successful sales academy and deliver a lasting impact to employees

Sales Academies help you adapt and scale your resources to support your sales teams consistently and sustainably wherever they are. It is a framework that offers sales professionals learning programmes that focus on long-term competences rather than ad hoc training.

We know that sales training boosts customer engagement, which is a key driver of business outcomes. But getting it right isn’t always easy, especially when for most sales professionals 84% of their sales training is forgotten within three months (Spotio 2022). Even if you know what your sales professionals need for success, finding the best way to roll it out to your global workforce can be a real challenge.

To help you, here are 6 critical steps that you need to think about that underpin a successful Sales Academy:

1. Identify and understand competences, skills and behaviours

Your training programmes need to deliver the result you want. Work with your sales leadership and sales enablement stakeholders to fully understand the competencies, skills and behaviours that are needed in different roles and responsibilities. From there you can build profiles for your sales population, and the most appropriate measures for success.

2. Determine the right sales techniques and language

Integrating the specific sales techniques and language ensures that the learning content and tools you adapt will be fit for purpose and meet your needs for the way you want your salespeople to grow, sell and interact with your customers.

3. Run a pilot and proof of concept to gain support with key stakeholders

Check that your learning content is relevant and impactful. Gain valuable feedback by running a pilot and proof of concept to a selected group of stakeholders ahead of rolling it out to the wider sales community. This also gives you the opportunity to unlock support and sponsorship for your sales academy with key stakeholders within the business.

Once you have launched, getting buy-in from your salespeople will be vital to the success of your learning programmes. To drive engagement, consider specific campaigns targeting salespeople, designed to answer the ‘what’s in it for me’ question. That way they will be more bought in, and more likely to fully participate. For example, providing professional accreditation and badging could appeal to a sales professional’s drive for career advancement and bolsters personal involvement.

4. Deliver bite-size elearning

Your salespeople’s ability to become trusted advisors and demonstrate value is key to winning new business and retaining customers. Make self-paced elearning easily deployable on-demand and bite-sized via an LXP or sales enablement platform to ensure they have the breadth of skills and behaviours required to meet tough targets and deliver fast results.

5. Enlist local trainers with local knowledge

If your business operates across different geographies, you will require the support of local trainers to provide the right language and cultural approach for your training needs in different countries.

6. Assess, measure and benchmark progress

The learning experiences you provide should be goal-orientated and measurable in terms of business impact and ROI. If you don’t benchmark your activities or get feedback, you won’t be able to measure the success of the programme. Gathering feedback on how effective the learning has been and where it has impacted and changed any positive behaviours allows you to understand how the results are benefiting your organisation.

For a successful sales academy, this progress should be measured at the level of commercial metrics you can often track through your CRM. Have consultative selling skills helped to reduce our negotiation times? Has our account mapping maximised revenue per customer or per opportunity? You should benchmark progress at an individual and group level to assess impact and correlation.

Win new business, maximise your revenues and retain customers

Effective sales training boosts positive attitudes, motivates staff and results in higher closing rates. But one size does not fit all and that’s why a sales academy provides a targeted, flexible approach to each person’s learning journey.

If you want to deliver a lasting impact to your global workforce, contact us now. We’ll help you steer your sales team through the challenges of an increasingly competitive sales environment.

Read our blog, 5 reasons why building a sales academy will help your sales teams to thrive here.

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