How to Create a Learning Culture for your Sales Team

5 Minutes

Explore our top tips for how to create a learning culture for your sales team and the impact sales training can have on helping your business realise its potential.

In today's competitive sales environment, it's more important than ever for sales teams to constantly learn and grow. A learning culture can help sales teams stay ahead of the curve, close more deals, and achieve their goals. In this blog, we’ll explore what a learning culture is, why it’s important, the benefits it can bring, how to create a learning culture for your sales team, and why this should start from the top of your business with your sales leaders.

What is a learning culture?

A learning culture is an environment where employees are given the support and encouragement to learn and develop through various training and development opportunities. The learning culture approach helps establish a workplace culture where people are always seeking new ways to improve their skills and knowledge and want to share what they know with colleagues. Creating a learning culture for your sales team is greatly important and has a range of benefits.

Why is a learning culture important?

Creating a learning culture is significantly important for businesses looking to scale and grow their sales operations. A learning culture comes with many benefits for both employees and organisations, from increasing the chances of employee attraction and retention to improving the overall sales performance of your business. To further emphasise this importance, let’s delve into five of the key benefits of a learning culture

1. Increases employee attraction and retention

One of the most significant benefits of a learning culture is that it helps to increase the attraction and retention of salespeople. Employees who can see you are investing in continuous learning and development through sales training to help them progress in their careers are more likely to remain loyal to you and less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere. Not only will this do wonders for your staff turnover rate, but it will also help you attract the top sales talent you need to grow your business.

Creating a learning culture within your organisation can be a great selling point to emerging talent, graduates and experienced professionals. When these candidates discover you’re invested in their future by providing sales training to improve their skill sets, it will be hard for them to turn you down, and they will be quick to apply to your business.

2. Improved sales performance

Adopting a learning culture in your company that builds the skill sets of your salespeople will help improve sales performance within your business. Employees who are given opportunities to continuously learn and evolve will inevitably become more knowledgeable and skilled and are, therefore, more likely to perform at a higher level.

Similarly to the previous point, when your sales team see you care about their development, their sales performance will improve as they will be more motivated to work to the best of their ability. These increased productivity levels will also lead to more innovation and collaboration within your sales team as your salespeople learn more about teamwork and how to work together to achieve maximum results for your business.

3. Helps you serve your customers better

Another benefit of a learning culture is that it can help you better serve your customers and clients, enhancing your levels of achieving optimal customer satisfaction.

By investing in sales training and development opportunities for your employees, we've established that your salespeople will be more motivated and skilled to increase their productivity levels. Similarly, when your salespeople see the opportunities you provide them to better themselves, they will be more inclined to go above and beyond for your business, which involves helping to serve your customers better.

Additionally, sales training can improve your sales team’s knowledge of specific markets, industries and demographics, which could help you reach a wider audience and tap into and serve customers and clients you had yet to consider targeting.

4. Empowers your future sales leaders

Creating a continuous culture of learning within your business can result in excellent benefits for your talent succession planning. By allowing your salespeople opportunities to grow through sales training, you can help them progress into future sales leaders to take your organisation to the next level.

You may have sales reps in mind who you believe have the potential to provide longevity for your company in a leadership capacity. In this scenario, leadership and management courses could help fast-track your salespeople to the top of your business, helping to futureproof your sales operations.

When your sales team see the career path they can follow within your business by enrolling on the sales training programmes you offer, these greater career opportunities will give them something to work towards and provide them with a purpose and more motivation to work for your brand.

5. Gives your business the competitive advantage

One final benefit of a learning culture is how it gives your business a competitive advantage over other companies within your market.

Industries and markets are continuously changing, and it’s easy for businesses to fall behind. A continuous learning culture that opens the door for your sales talent to access the latest training courses can combat this pain point. Regular sales training will ensure your employees are upskilled and reskilled to stay up-to-date with your niche's most recent trends, tools and insights.

Finally, let’s refer back to our point about employee attraction. As sales talent is always in-demand, competing for the best sales professionals is a continuous challenge for global businesses. Therefore, by providing a learning culture to your sales team, you are more likely to attract and retain the top salespeople on the market. So, if you have the best talent, you will soon have the best business and ultimately gain an advantage over your competitors.

5 top tips for creating a learning culture

So now that you know the importance and benefits of a learning culture, the next question you’re probably asking is how do I create a learning culture for my sales team? In this section, we’ll help answer this question by providing you with our 5 top tips for creating a learning culture.

1. Build your learning culture around a strong sales leader

As you begin to create a learning culture for your sales team, building your plan around a strong sales leader is the best place to start. Your sales leader will be responsible for examining your business's current training resources, working with your other sales leaders to identify areas where your salespeople can improve, and developing strategies and programmes to help benefit the team.

The sales leader should also communicate with your sales reps to get their perspective on what training they need or would like to enrol on. Your sales leader may also help run the sales training sessions, manage training budgets while tracking the progress of salespeople's performance during and after they’ve completed the training and gain feedback from stakeholders on how the courses have been received.  

Your chosen individual could be someone who volunteers or someone you see has the potential or the qualifications to lead the continuous learning culture, but ultimately they must be a sales leader who is passionate about learning and development and driven by helping the sales team realise its potential. They should be willing to invest in their team's learning and development and help create an environment where it's safe to take risks and learn from mistakes.

When a company’s sales leadership team prioritises learning and development, they prioritise their employees. They are making a statement about the value of their personnel in the very act of investing in them. This, in turn, makes employees more engaged with the business, more likely to stay and be more productive. Ultimately, a learning culture built around your sales leaders is crucial to your business's success now and its future success.

2. Offer easy access to training and development resources

Whether it's through books, articles, webinars, and online courses, many resources are available to help sales teams learn and grow. When creating a learning culture for your sales team, ensure they can easily access these resources and encourage them to take advantage of them.

You should offer a variety of training formats as not everyone learns in the same way, Consider the logistics of physical and remote resources and whether face-to-face or online sales training would benefit your sales team, and this will allow employees to choose the format that works best for them.

Keep diversity and inclusion considerations at the forefront of your learning culture. For example, if you have employees with disabilities, make sure to accommodate them. This could include providing transcripts of videos, audio recordings of webinars, or sign language interpreters. 

Ultimately, the easier your training is to access, your salespeople will be more likely to engage in the resources you offer. 

3. Look for more opportunities for sales training and development

The sales world is constantly evolving, so in addition to providing access to resources as part of your sales learning culture, you should always look to create more opportunities for your sales team to receive training and development. 

Here you should always look at improving your training sessions, whether upskilling internal coaches or investing in outsourced training providers to offer higher-quality sales training. Additionally, this could involve keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and tools within your area of sales to ensure your sales team have the knowledge and ability to implement the techniques and strategies to enhance their sales performance. 

As we’re always learning, offering sales training shouldn’t be a one-off thing you provide your sales reps. Instead, you should embrace continuous learning and ensure your sales professionals receive training regularly to keep their skill sets at optimal levels. By providing regular and new training sessions to your sales team, they will continue to feel valued and eager to help your business grow. 

4. Incentivise learning and growth

When your sales team members complete training programmes or achieve sales goals off the back of a sales training course, be sure to reward and recognise their success. Taking this approach will help create a positive learning culture that motivates your salespeople to continue learning and growing within your business.

These incentives relating to your sales training and development could include any or a combination of the following:

  • Sales team socials 

  • Away days

  • Vouchers

  • Pay rises

  • Increased commission

  • Career progression opportunities

5. Make your sales learning culture a high priority

If you’re serious about creating a learning culture for your sales team, making it a high business priority is essential. This means setting aside time for learning and development and ensuring it's part of your organisation and sales team's performance goals.

Keep your learning culture at the forefront and continue to measure the impact of your learning and development initiatives to help you to determine which courses are most effective and make improvements on where your sales team is lacking, be it closing a skills gap within the business or taking a promising graduate talent to the heights of a sales leader.

Make it clear to your sales team that learning and development are important to the company. You can do this by setting clear goals for learning and development, providing opportunities for employees to learn and grow, and rewarding employees for their learning - all of which we’ve discussed in previous points. 

Creating a learning culture is a learning curve in itself, so don’t be afraid to make changes, be responsive to stakeholder feedback and find ways to enhance your offering. Of course, providing internal sales training is not always an option for businesses, whether it’s because of a lack of funding, resources or qualified development coaches. 

But don’t let this stop you from creating a learning culture to boost your sales team. If you need support in creating a learning culture for your sales team, we can help.

Our sales training can help you create a learning culture

There has never been a better time to invest in sales training to help create a learning culture that realises the potential of your sales team. As market leaders in growth and transformation, we can assist you in creating a learning culture for your business. Discover how we can support you by exploring our sales training offering or contacting our team today. 

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