Continuous Professional Development: the Best Times for Training

5 Minutes

This article discusses optimal periods for staff training: new year, summer, and around employee appraisals for effective development and B2B sales training.

In an industry as fast-paced and dynamic as sales, it’s vital that your staff are given the ability to focus on their continuous professional development, which imparts the knowledge to succeed, but also that you ensure these skills and abilities are regularly updated to give them that edge in the increasingly competitive marketplace.

High-performing sales teams are twice as likely to provide ongoing training as low-performing ones, so your workforce must be up-to-date with changing industry trends to ensure that they can drive profitability and innovation. By giving them the time for continuous professional development and B2B sales training, you can be certain that they’ll be able to improve their skills and advance their learning whenever they encounter a problem. Sales training courses are therefore a crucial tool for keeping staff up-to-speed and adding value to your business.

Alongside this, training for professionals is one of the most effective ways to acquire and retain the top talent you need. Ensuring that your staff have time to devote to their continuous professional development shows that you consider nurturing their potential as a business priority, helping to build your employee value proposition and employer brand.

This article looks at the best times of the year for utilising professional training solutions to upskill your existing staff. We’ll explore delivering sales training courses in the new year and during the summer months, as well as offering opportunities for continuous professional development and B2B sales training around the time of employee appraisals.

If you’re interested in discovering more information about how sales training courses can help you to realise the potential of your talent, see our guide on why continuous professional development is important for an in-depth look at the return on investment a training pathway for employees can provide.

Sales Training Courses in the New Year

When it comes to returning to the workplace after the festive period,you’ll likely struggle to engage staff during the first few weeks. Despite this, it’s crucial that you encourage their eagerness and enthusiasm to learn. There are several reasons why business leaders ought to consider offering B2B sales training or continuous professional development opportunities in the early weeks of the new year, including: 

  • Setting expectations for the year to come. The start of the year is an ideal opportunity to turn over a new leaf. The problems of the previous year can offer plenty of learning opportunities, so it’s good to consider what didn’t go according to plan, and speak to the providers of sales training courses to develop a bespoke plan which can ensure that the stage is set for continued success and growth.

  • Skills refreshment. Continuous professional development allows professionals to refresh their existing skillsets and identify areas for further improvement, with the beginning of the year being an ideal time to evaluate subject, product, or service knowledge and formulate a plan for effective training.

  • Keeping pace with industry changes. A new year typically means that business leaders will be re-aligning their long-term visions according to economic circumstances, with plenty of online and in-person discussion. Ensuring that you’re providing opportunities for training in the first few weeks of the year means that your employees can gain knowledge of the trends that will be guiding the shape of innovation over the coming year.

Often, individuals will set themselves fresh personal targets in January, with a view to accomplishing these over the next 12 months. Aligning your training for professionals with these New Years’ resolutions can help to ensure that there’s a strong start for the coming year, whether you’ve opted for sales training courses or some other form of professional development. 

Similarly, the new year also presents you with an opportunity to reflect on your targets and compensation as a company, giving employees all the more incentive to upskill to meet their professional goals. 

Sales Training Courses in Summer

Summer provides business leaders with an excellent opportunity to recruit graduates and apprentices into their workforce, also meaning it’s an excellent time for a new round of B2B sales training courses. Not only does this enable you to ensure all new starters are up to speed and have the skills and confidence to make a positive impression at this early stage in their careers, but it also lets you give the abilities of existing staff a refresh—or even teach them something new. 

You might want to consider training in the summer for the following reasons: 

  • Talent retention and engagement. 29% of Gen Z candidates and Millennials have chosen to work for their current organisation because of the learning and continuous professional development opportunities on offer. For business leaders looking to attract in the competitive summer months—and, more importantly, retain and motivate their early-career and graduate hires—offering B2B sales training courses is an incredibly effective way to ensure lower levels of staff turnover.

  • Leadership development. The summer is an ideal time to invest in and realise the potential of your sales leadership. Identifying high-performing employees within your organisation and offering them professional training solutions can help to ensure business longevity and resilience, since you’ll be developing an internal pipeline of managerial talent that can support your long-term growth and success.

  • Skills re-orientation. With the potential of fresh graduate hires over the summer also comes the ability to re-orient your existing workforce to ensure that their skills and capabilities are being utilised effectively and efficiently. Whilst new recruits are being introduced to the organisation, you can consider opportunities to develop the skills of your current staff and place them in roles that better reflect their competencies.

By organising an array of opportunities for continuous professional development for your new hires and existing workforce, you’ll find yourself with a keen workforce that is prepared for the rapid pace of the winter months.

Continuous Professional Development Around Appraisals

Professional training solutions in sales skills such as prospecting, negotiation, or account development can be a great way to incentivise staff both before and after your period of appraisals. By sitting down with your employees, reviewing their performance, and understanding how their continuous professional development aligns with their career goals, you can highlight key areas for development that B2B sales training courses can assist with. 

Providing training for professionals around the time of appraisals can benefit your business and employees in many ways, such as: 

  • Performance improvement. Providing opportunities for continuous professional development around the time of appraisals can support employees in reflecting on their skills and addressing any areas for improvement. By participating in sales training courses, workshops, or coaching sessions, they can acquire the skills necessary to demonstrate progress in subsequent appraisals.

  • Preparing for promotion. If upcoming appraisals are anticipated to discuss the possibility of promotion or advancement, professional training solutions can prepare your staff for the additional responsibilities and requirements of leadership. Continuous professional development plays a vital role in making certain that your employees are ready to accept the duties that come with career progression.

  • Enhancing evaluation and tailoring feedback. By providing training for professionals around the time of appraisals, you can improve the accuracy and fairness of the evaluation process. By engaging in targeted programmes such as B2B sales training courses, you can more comprehensively assess their capabilities and competencies with tangible evidence of their advancement of core skills.

Ongoing B2B Sales Training for Professionals

Whilst there are certain times during the year that might suit your team best for continuous professional development and training, it’s important not to restrict learning opportunities to these times alone. 

Training throughout the year allows you to reward the initiative of your employees. It encourages them to see problems as possibilities for learning, meaning they’re more likely to gain invaluable skills that they can put into immediate practice in the real-world setting of their day-to-day duties. 

Sales training courses are a must to ensure you have a team of salespeople that are skilled enough to handle the fast-paced nature of the industry. By refreshing your employees’ knowledge and competencies with effective and tailored professional training solutions, you’ll be able to develop your workforce into a much more productive, profitable, and efficient group—helping you to achieve long-term business success.


Continuous professional development and B2B sales training are essential for ensuring the success and continued competitiveness of sales team. High-performing teams prioritise ongoing training, enabling them to stay updated with the latest trends across the industry, driving product or service innovation and profitability. 

Offering training for professionals in the new year allows you to set expectations for the coming 12 months, as well as refreshing skills and keeping pace with the latest industry changes. Meanwhile, summer is an ideal time for ensuring your graduate or apprentice hires are up-to-speed, improving your EVP and helping you to attract and retain talent. Aligning your B2B sales training courses with employee appraisals improves performance, preparing those individuals for career advancement, and enhances your ability to provide focused, pragmatic feedback and evaluation. 

While these specific times of the year are beneficial for ensuring your sales training is aligned with business goals, training throughout the year remains important when it comes to rewarding employees’ initiative, helping you to maintain a productive workforce and leading to long-term business success.

Over 25 Years of Offering Professional Training Solutions

Pareto’s expert consultants provided leadership and management courses, professional skills development, B2B sales training, and apprenticeships since 1996. Our acclaimed courses give you the confidence that your staff have the structure, insights, and capabilities to excel in the dynamic sales industryContact us for more information and a friendly, open discussion of your training requirements. 

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