Professional development is one of the latest buzz phrases in the sales industry and for good reason. By developing your business skills, techniques and tactics you’re going to perform better and work more efficiently, which managers will always value in a competitive industry like sales.
Whether you’re committing to achieving a formal sales qualification, attending an industry conference or just reading the sales section in the news, professional development is about always looking to expand your knowledge and improve your current skills.
What’s going on?
Not only is continued professional development (CPD) important when you’re already in a role, it is also an excellent way to demonstrate your enthusiasm and passion for your work when you’re looking for a new job. You can really impress a prospective employer with your industry knowledge.
CPD is more important today than it ever was before. With technology constantly changing and influencing how you’re working you need to keep up with the changes. For example, the advance of social media has altered the way that sales people operate because it offers a completely new channel for selling. In order to compete with others in your field you should be familiar with the latest trends and incorporate them into your sales approach, which is something you can only achieve by keeping up to date.
An easy and free way of keeping up with the latest trends is dedicating time to reading insights from industry leaders and keeping abreast of what your peers are discussing. This allows you to impress customers with your cutting edge knowledge and ensures you’re not left out of any relevant conversations.
Although reading the latest news and insights in your field is a weekly commitment, it shouldn’t be too taxing because they’re discussing your chosen profession, which should be something that is of genuine interest to you. It is worth getting in the habit because further down your career, you could be the one writing and instigating discussions on the latest sales techniques and practices.
When you’re ready to progress to the next stage of your sales career, to compete with fellow employees, you may benefit from an industry relevant qualification.
Training courses are offered across the country and you can find a programme that is suited to your professional level. These courses are designed to ensure your capabilities are up to date with industry regulations and that you’re following the latest practices.
Some of these qualifications can be achieved in a specific area such as customer service, or they can address everything from improving sales techniques to marketing that will ensure customer satisfaction and ultimately drive sales.
In such a people-centred industry, it is vital that you are meeting customer expectations and a training course is a guaranteed way to ensure you’re taking the right approach.
Occasionally, sales people can be deterred from training courses because of the time and effort needed in order to achieve a formal qualification. However, these training programmes are designed to work around your busy schedule, and often employers allocate time for training or offer financial support for their staff who are dedicated to professional development.
At Pareto, Bryn Thompson believes that “investing in market-leading sales development is essential to build the strongest possible sales team” and that in order to achieve your full sales potential and drive profits, development should be a central factor of any business plan.
Development is essential to succeeding in such a competitive industry as sales, which is why you should look for programmes that give participants a clear route to sales success and address every aspect of the sales cycle.
Fundamentally, whether you’ve been in sales for 6 months or 6 years, there is always room for improvement, increasing profits and securing your progression to the next level of your career.
By Bryn Thompson, Sales Director at Pareto. With over 20 years experience in the field of sales training and sales recruitment, Bryn currently leads a team of 23 staff across the commercial and operations teams. An authority on sales, Pareto regularly produce sales resources for professionals looking to expand their knowledge and skills. You can see their latest guide ‘Become a Smarter Seller in 2015’ here.