Why Learn from an Industry Expert? Your Sales Career Won't Plateau

BY Rachel Cagle
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Less than 30% of sales reps say that they are provided with sales coaching that is personalized to their unique needs, according to SalesFuel’s 2020 Voice of the Sales Rep study. Of those lucky few who are provided with sales coaching, only about 20% say that they actually work on improving their sales skills. For the sake of your career, it’s time to take steps to learn from an industry expert.

Why Learn from an Industry Expert?

You Need Sales Coaching

Being successful in sales requires the mastery of numerous skill sets. If you’re only good at some and lacking in others, you’re not living up to your potential or making as much money as you could be. And you may not even know you’re lacking in an area of sales until you learn from an industry expert.

Sales coaching is important for many reasons,” writes Lauren Boutwell for Brainshark. “First, it helps reps continuously improve their performance through feedback, practice and repetition. Next, it helps sales managers improve sales processes, training techniques and pinpoint progress and areas of improvement for their teams. Most importantly, coaching has a huge impact on results. According to CSO Insights, companies with a formal approach to sales coaching experience 10% higher win rates.”

Sales tactics aren’t the only things you can learn from an industry expert. Your sales coach can also give you further insight into the industry you’re selling your product or service to.

What to Expect

Once you’ve approached leadership about receiving sales coaching, it’s go time! When you sign up to learn from an industry expert, you’ll likely be receiving a hybrid form of coaching. Even the experts in your field are learning new things every day, so they may incorporate a coaching platform, such as CoachFeed, to supplement your training. “Day-​to-​day duties of a sales coach include one-​on-​one coaching sessions, role play sessions, critical feedback provision and deal collaboration,” says Boutwell.

Don’t be afraid to ask for coaching in a specific area of sales that you know you need to improve on. Negotiating, for example, is a part of the sales process many reps struggle with, no matter how comfortable they are with people. Sales reps who want to learn how to improve their negotiation skills might be able to sit in on phone calls when the industry expert they’re learning from negotiates their own deals. Then the rep and coach can run through some role-​play examples of negotiating before the expert sits in on a call the rep is leading. Participating a discussion after the call will help you learn what to focus on the next time you negotiate.

Expect to do some reading, as well. Doing research into improving the sales process includes reading articles and other sources to learn from industry experts. Even the rainmakers in your company do this regularly to learn from other experts.

If you want to advance in your sales career, you need to take initiative to learn from an industry expert. And your managers will be thrilled to hear of your interest since well-​trained salespeople are invaluable to any company they work for.