Sales Academies: Pride, performance and retention
Unfortunately, lots of salespeople are embarrassed to say they work in sales. That’s because outdated approaches such as cold calling and hard selling have given sales a bad reputation.
However, today’s strongest salespeople behave very differently. They can be proud to say they work in sales.
In this post, we’ll explore what sales academies are, and how they can help your sales teams learn and adopt winning skills and behaviours. Let’s bring the pride back to selling.
What is a Sales Academy?
A Sales Academy is a structured system for training and developing a sales team. Typically, it consists of multiple programmes, which together form a single competency framework. It aims to drive a salesperson’s performance throughout their career.
Why are they important?
Understandably, most salespeople focus on their targets, however, as the book Atomic Habits points out, focus isn’t a guarantee of success.
Success is down to the structures, processes, and systems you put in place as a business. A Sales Academy provides these structures, processes, and systems. It gives salespeople everything they need to grow in confidence and become experts at what they do. This is what will help your reps continuously improve.
What are the benefits?
Putting a Sales Academy at the heart of your business will allow you to:
- Dramatically increase ramp up time for new hires
- Be seen as a standout employer
- Increase salesperson retention rate
- Improve motivation and morale
- Scale consistently brilliant approaches across the team
- Create a learning and coaching culture
- Dramatically improve sales performance
What should they look like?
A Sales Academy should be built with engagement in mind. It should incentivise salespeople to keep learning. It should be agile so that it can adapt to changing buyer needs and company goals. It should also be inclusive, built to support salespeople regardless of their experience.
Where to start with a sales academy
1) Create a benchmark
Regardless of the size of your sales team, you want to know that everyone is moving in the same direction- towards sales mastery. A Sales Academy provides a benchmark for what that looks like for your company. When creating your benchmark, think from the buyer’s perspective. Build a benchmark designed around what makes it easier for your customers to say ‘yes’ at each stage of the buying cycle.
2) Create a competency framework
Agree standards for your salespeople to aim for. This will help you gauge their start point and measure and reward progress.
3) Map out career paths
The competency framework gives salespeople and sales leaders a clear and objective system for measuring progress. It can therefore be used to underpin career development and having clear career development processes has been proven to improve salesperson retention.
4) Provide rewards
Finally, make gamification and rewards central to your Sales Academy. Celebrate progress and consider using accreditation such as badges or certificates that can be displayed on a LinkedIn profile. These approaches will incentivise your team to keep learning and ultimately drive overall performance.
To find out more about how a Sales Academy can help restore pride in your sales team and improve their performance…
Flume’s academy with Nineteen Group
Flume has partnered with Nineteen Group, one of the fastest growing major events businesses in the UK, to set up ‘Nineteen Group Sales Academy’.
The new sales academy will offer the sales teams at Nineteen Group continual development, peer-to-peer learning and sales mastery to their growing sales team.
“Flume has developed a unique proposition for continuous development of sales teams. With the new Nineteen Sales Academy in place, we can offer our sales team a place to learn, develop and excel in sales.”
– Peter Jones, CEO of Nineteen Group.