Six tools for identifying skills gaps in your sales team

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Date: 28 January 2022

Multi-ethnic sales team complete a skills assessment

Skilled employees are the backbone of successful businesses. Understanding what every member is capable of is crucial to any organisation. Filling in skill gaps can be necessary for some key team members to enable them to become more valuable members of a successful team.

There are times when companies conduct training programs and workshops without understanding where exactly the skill gaps are. As a result, companies end up with poor results leading to unsuccessful customer service training and leadership initiatives. 

Perform a skills analysis to identify which skills gaps your team needs to address. Using this list will help you identify skill gaps within your sales team and devise strategies to resolve them successfully.

1. Conduct employee assessments

A great way to identify skill gaps within your team is through employee assessments. By administering tests and quizzes in the workplace, you can assess the performance of your team members.  

In addition to these assessments, you can also use role-play and practical assessments designed around real-world work scenarios to detect any skill gaps within the team. You can set up sales assessment software in the office to regularly track the progress of your sales team and its members.

Analysing the skills gap can help companies understand the state of the organisation as a whole, the team members' existing skills, and the speed at which they learn. Furthermore, it allows the company to stay up to date and in sync with any new market demands. You'll also improve team morale as each member is motivated to achieve their best.

2. Implement key performance indicators

The key performance indicators, or KPIs, show how much an employee contributes to the company. Indicators like these affect employee advancement, compensation, rewards, and benefits. 

As a tool to identify skill gaps within the sales team, KPIs accurately identify any competency gaps in the workplace. When an employee fails to meet their KPIs, you can resolve the issue immediately and implement appropriate actions. 

These KPIs are significant indicators of whether someone needs more training, or an immediate intervention based on their overall performance trends. This will in turn affect the sales performance of the entire company.

3. Hold 360-degree review sessions

Employees participate in 360-degree reviews with peers and managers to provide feedback on their performance and performance management. 

Using this approach allows you to identify any performance issues the team may have as a whole. You can also gather customer, client, and vendor reviews to gauge employee performance. Just make sure you get feedback from the employees themselves, since they know where they fall short and what needs improvement.

Focus groups and interviews can be used to collect information for this purpose, as can workplace surveys. A face-to-face meeting allows the employer and employee to explore the feedback received in more detail. 

Once all bases are covered, you can implement protocols and tools to improve team performance. Teams can either be trained through workshops or role-playing exercises to enhance their performance.

4. Conduct employee observations

Observing your sales team at work allows you to identify factors that influence their performance and where skill gaps are. As a result, you'll be able to see first-hand what training is necessary to make the team more effective. Your 'A-Plus' employees will perform at their best when you observe them, revealing any ideal workplace competencies. 

You can observe your team in action during a sales call and identify what needs to be worked on, whether it be communication or innovation skills.

As a result, these may be used for skill gap templates that highlight the soft skills needed to accomplish a task. You can use these templates to assess employee performance and reward those who exceed expectations.

5. Set performance benchmarks

Setting up performance benchmarks for your sales team can also help you identify any gaps in skills. Using multiple quantitative datasets can provide you with a more accurate representation of the skills gap, so you can use appropriate procedures when conducting a skills analysis. 

Members who lack the skills of the group's top performers can be identified, and the appropriate protocols can be put in place to close the gap. However, members who meet the set benchmarks can qualify for rewards in the company, such as a bonus at the end of the month. 

Additionally, this benchmark can be used when hiring new members of the sales team and rewarding outstanding performers with incentives such as bonuses or other benefits. 

6. Determine any key skills that may be needed in the future

The workplace is constantly evolving, so you need to think about who you're hiring and what type of training should be put in place to guarantee the success of your sales team. 

By determining the key skills, you need, you'll be able to align the team with your company's future goals. It also helps you decide which skills you'll need to achieve your current business goals. You can automate this process and analyse employee feedback to optimise the team through human resources technologies.

There's no need to maintain spreadsheets with employee data since you'll use skill management software to pinpoint any skill gaps in your sales team. To remain competitive, you have to look at new technologies and practices that can generate exponential growth and bring in more sales for the company as a whole.

Conclusion

Always make sure all your bases are covered when it comes to identifying skill gaps within your sales team. Conduct sound data gathering and thorough gap analysis by implementing the tools mentioned. 

You can also conduct one-to-one interviews with each team member. They'll see where their skills are lacking and what they still need to work on to become an excellent sales team member.

A complete skills analysis can help you increase productivity and provide career development training for your employees.  As a result, you'll stay one step ahead of your competition, be able to hire competent individuals, and jump-start innovation within the team.

Copyright 2022. Featured article made possible by Laurie Beau. She has been a life coach specialising in streamlining work morale and skill-building for the past ten years and has improved work performance analytics for many top companies.

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