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Continuing to Learn to Improve Sales Effectiveness

The biggest mistake we can make is to become complacent.  Regardless of how long we have been working for a company, working in an industry, or have been in sales in general, there is always room to improve and get better.  By adopting a philosophy of continuing to learn, you can position yourself for growth and improvement and this can help with your sales effectiveness.

What to Focus On

Below are some of the key areas for a sales person to focus on continuing to learn.

  • Your products:  There is always room to improve the knowledge you have for the products that you sell.  Learn more about the features, functionality, and benefits.  Learn about the best type of questions to ask clients that help you position your products and services.  Increase your knowledge of objections that could be expected and how to overcome them.
  • Your customers:  Learn more about the companies you sell to.  Increase your knowledge of their businesses and the industries that they operate in.
  • Your competition:  Learn more about your competition.  Become an expert on their portfolios, their strengths, and their weaknesses.
  • The industry that you sell into:  Learn more about the industry that you sell into.  Increase your knowledge of terminology, trends, challenges, recent events, etc.
  • The practice of being a sales professional:  Sales is a skill and there are a number of things we can do to improve our sales effectiveness.  By continuing to learn about sales techniques and methodologies, you will continue to grow and get better.


Where to Get Information

There are many different resources of information to use while attempting to continue to learn and some of those are outlined below.

  • Books:  There are some great books on sales and improving your sales effectiveness.  These are great resources of information and if you only take one or two things from a book that you use in your job, the time spent reading the book is worth it.
  • Your company intranet: Most companies post detailed product information on the company intranet and this is probably the best place to go to when working on your level of product knowledge.
  • External company websites: Company websites are a great resource to use when learning about your customers and competitors.
  • Trade and industry publications: Trade and industry magazines and websites are good resources for getting industry and competitive information.
  • Classes, workshops, and seminars:  Formal classes, workshops, and seminars are great resources to use to grow knowledge in the areas of sales, technology, and general business.  There are very effective resources to help you to improve your sales effectiveness but they can be costly in terms of time and fees.



Finding Time to Learn

A sales person’s day is very chaotic.  And it can often seem as though there is not enough time to get the job done, much less spend time learning.  One way to find time for learning is to find time during the week that is slow and allocate some of that time to for this.

For example, early Monday mornings or late Friday afternoons can sometimes be slow in terms of  cold calls and those can be good times of the week to reserve some amount of specifically for learning.  Additionally, reading some information after business hours can be beneficial as well.



Launch Pad Solutions, LLC provides sales coaching helping businesses to drive sales revenue.


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This article was published on Thursday 19 November, 2009.
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