How are Sales Directors professional development needs met?September 2, 2019 by Helen Wilcox in kojo blog, Latest News
Kojo Academy interviewed a selection of Sales Directors from different sectors on how they feel about their professional sales development. We summarise their thoughts here.
“Sales is a lonely place”. You might think that Sales directors are in conversation with more people and have more contacts than any other department. In some ways this is true. However, they are also constantly performing and every conversation is part of that performance. Also, each month sees the start of a new performance.
So what kind of support are Sales Directors looking for?
Support tends either to be in the form of formal training & consultancy or ad hoc books and blogs. In fact, the interviews repeated again and again the need to be autonomous in their development. As well as being able to access the right kind of support, when it was needed. What is more, this needs to be of the correct depth and breadth.
Is Sales Training about ‘closing the deal’?
The interviewees stressed the fact that their roles are increasingly about coaching and developing their teams. So being able to get support not only for their own professional needs but also on how to develop their people is seen as critical. So much of sales training is focused on closing the deal. In reality, a Sales Director’s role is so much wider than this. Frequently, their development even with some of the most high profile, commercial training rarely acknowledges this.
Context, context, context!
The interviewees stressed the need to build their own confidence with regular inspiration. Bearing in mind this has to be in a way that meets their changing contexts. So whilst reviewing blogs and publications can be helpful, the act of sifting is challenging. It can also be time wasting for these pressured professionals.
“Range and depth” are critical
Not falling behind was a frequent mention. These professionals are constantly under pressure. Being able to understand the digital side of selling is critical for them as well as the range and depth required of these senior and essential roles.
All in all, there is much to be done to support Sales Directors in a way that is affordable and effective.