Sales teams typically have an annual kickoff at the beginning of the year.  They conduct training, create goal alignment, and generate excitement. However, sales training is not a one-off activity. Being consistent is important. Having a process in place helps to ensure feedback and coaching are year-round activities.

In this video, John Libretto, a Sales Executive at SalesLoft, shares tips on how to maintain SKO-level engagement all year. John focuses on the importance of regular development meetings and the role they play in creating a high-performing sales team.

Hey y’all, John Libretto, Sales Executive on SalesLoft’s commercial team here. Today I’d like to talk to you about developing your sales skills year-round.

While it might sound obvious, if you think about the sales profession from five to ten years ago, there was a huge emphasis on singular sales training exercises like SKO. But, in today’s modern selling environment, constant learning is a must. In fact, Jacco van der Kooij recognized yearly training and development as one of 2018’s top sales trends.

Let’s break down three levels of sales training that can help you thrill your customers.

We’ll start with the cornerstone of sales training events which is your sales kick-off (SKO). It’s the beginning of your fiscal year and this is the time for your team to get motivated and armed with knowledge. Sales kick-offs are often based on different things that are important to your organization. They hype the team up for a great year and align expectations on a team-wide scale. With anything from go-to-market strategies or new messaging, your team will be ready to dive right in.

Now that you got the flywheel started, it’s important to keep that momentum going and this is where a cadence of weekly sales meetings will help your team. These sales meetings give everybody an opportunity to carry out that momentum from SKO, learn new things, and adapt. While these meetings are often highly tactical, it’s a great opportunity for you to recognize key players, quotas, and any challenges the team is facing at the present time. These meetings are great checkpoints to make sure you are following and achieving the plan laid out at SKO.

Another thing we love to do to hone our sales skills here at SalesLoft is monthly demo-listening parties. While it’s fairly granular, it’s a fun way to role-play and focus on certain aspects of your demo, like objection handling or discovery skills. These meetings are often very laid-back with my manager. I bring in a meeting from the previous week, one that I either succeeded or maybe needed some help on, and she and I sit down and listen to each part of the call.

First, we focus on the discovery aspect of the call identifying any questions that I should have asked to help find pain points for my customers. Second, we listen to the product demo and make sure that I’m answering all the questions that the prospects have about my product to the fullest extent. Lastly, we listen to the close and identify that I’m asking the right questions to progress my deal to the next stage. We use a great software, one that we actually just recently acquired called NoteNinja, to help us review our calls. It records and transcribes calls, helping us to jump from different parts quickly and effectively.

With demo-listening parties, weekly meetings, and SKOs, not to mention one-on-ones, which will be coming in a later episode, this gives us a wider breadth to keep our sales organization up-to-speed.

Thanks for watching. I hope that you learned how to fuel the year-round development that the modern sales professional needs. We’d love to hear what you do as well, so feel free to drop any questions or comments below. Thank you, and have a great day.