Findings from the Sandler Research Center
Recently, the Sandler Research Center set out to discover current operation challenges and changes faced by sales leaders in a more digitally oriented selling environment.
One concerning result surfaced when sales leaders were asked about their current team’s ability to succeed in the modern selling environment. A clear majority of respondents told us that they expected two of every five current team members to be unable to succeed in the present market – a startlingly high figure. That number suggests that capabilities like gathering information from prospects via remote and digital communication platforms are not yet where they should be. The lack of confidence in team skill sets only increases as you revise the data to identify sales leaders with specific concerns about their team. Conclusion: The skill requirements of effective professional selling are changing … and lots of sales professionals have yet to close the gap.
This finding is connected to two other questions: How are sales leaders preparing their team members to compete more effectively in 2021 and in the years to come? How are they adapting to the digital transformation in assessing and up-skilling their current teams?
Only 27% of sales leaders told us that they had created a new hiring model based on the skills required to create and sustain success in their market space.
Only 36% told us they had a re-skill/up-skill plan in place.
Less than half told us they have assessed their teams against the skills needed for future success.
Clearly, there is some catching up to do here. And the Sandler Research Center findings align with what we are hearing from the field. Up-skilling is emerging as a major priority for the second half of 2021 among the sales leaders we work with.
How are you growing your team and helping them succeed in the new, more digitally driven world of selling? How ready is your team to compete in that world?