Creating Winning Sales Behaviours in Financial Services
High-performing financial services salespeople open new revenue streams and drive business growth. But just half expect to hit their annual sales target.
To improve performance, financial services firms must first assess their most successful salespeople to get a better understanding of what they do. Once employers have this reliable information from staff assessments, they can replicate these “winning behaviors” through training and support. Lars Pedersen, CEO of Questionmark, explains how this can be done and why it is vital for firms’ continued growth.
What’s the issue?
Research shows that 50% of financial services salespeople expect to miss their targets. Yet, many salespeople believe that the targets they were set were reasonable.
While some salespeople may be performing well, many may be underperforming, despite the money that financial services firms often invest in training.
What’s the solution?
Often, the most successful salespeople have clear behaviors and activities that mean they sell more. They spend much of their time focusing on researching prospects, preparing proposals, and prioritising leads. Just under a third (32%) of a financial services salesperson’s time is spent on direct selling.
The factors that make a sales team successful will differ from employer to employer, but one factor is common: the majority of sales will come from a minority of high-performing salespeople. So, by assessing what these high performers do that others don’t through staff tests, employers can begin to understand what works and what doesn’t. They can then replicate good habits and successful strategies through training across all of their sales teams.
How can employers replicate winning behaviors?
Staff tests are an effective way of measuring employees’ skills through tracking progress and performance. By measuring progress, employers can help improve it. So, employers can use online skills assessments and surveys of the top-performing salespeople to identify successful strategies and distill good habits.
By using assessments in this way, financial services firms can see which crucial skills are missing from the rest of their sales teams. This can inform their decisions on training and how to support underperforming team members. Further tests can check that revised training programs are working.
As well as assessing their staff, financial services firms can conduct online tests across the entire sales operation, including channel partners. They can adapt the content of training programs to ensure that those representing their firm and product exhibit the skills and strategies that create success.
Assessments can also help employers discover whether salespeople know and follow relevant regulations.
By testing salespeople’s knowledge of and attitudes towards regulation, firms can build a culture of compliance, ensure their sales teams follow the rules, and avoid regulatory breaches.
Creating an impact
Crystalising the qualities of strong performers is important in industries that are struggling with a skills shortage, such as financial services. Firms must ensure teams have the skills to thrive. But 70% of financial services CEOs believe that the limited availability of skills is a threat to growth.
So, when the financial services industry is changing so rapidly, getting a clearer understanding of why some salespeople perform well, and others don’t, is crucial.
Gaining such understanding from staff tests could make a difference to individual, team, and firm performance.