Why Sales Training Often Fails
Sales training is one of the trickiest parts of a sales leader’s job. You can’t run a successful team without it; and yet, you might not have the time or budget to give your reps the training they need.
Sales leaders report training as their No. 1 challenge, according to research conducted by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP). With inside sales teams carrying larger quotas and working more complex deals, the need for better training has escalated.
“The skills, competencies and sales experience required for inside sales roles has outpaced our ability to develop individuals quickly enough,” the AA-ISP concludes.
Field teams pose their own challenges because they are scattered all over the country and often feel disconnected from headquarters.
The Knowledge Gap is Real
Reps hunger for knowledge and frequently grow frustrated because they can’t find answers. Product knowledge, skill level and sales process vary wildly among reps, making it difficult to scale your teams and generate predictable revenue.
Even though you see a strong need for training, your company probably expects you to do more with less. You must constantly recruit new reps and ramp them quickly with scarce resources.
Old-School Sales Training is no Longer Effective
If you secure a healthy training budget, the results still might disappoint you. Many traditional sales training tactics don’t work anymore, especially for the new generation of reps who loathe long lectures and don’t remember information presented in that format.
Sales author Josiane Feigon, an expert on millennials in the workforce, cautions against relying on “talking head” sales training. Young reps respond to training that is peer-to-peer, high energy and fun, she notes.
Two-day offsites consume precious time and resources, and the knowledge from these sessions decays at an alarming rate. Reps forget anywhere from 60 percent to 90 percent of this information within 30 days, according to Vantage Point.
Sadly, “Lunch and Learn” product trainings suffer from similar knowledge decay.
What your reps really want is a quick way to find relevant sales training when they need it most — during their natural workflow. As they navigate deals in their pipe, they encounter questions, situations and challenges that require immediate answers.
Every hour they waste hunting down product info or wondering how to handle price negotiations kills their productivity and jeopardizes their ability to close deals.
Reps already perform so many tasks that they spend just 37 percent of their time selling, according to CSO Insights. They shouldn’t have to hire a private detective to locate training resources.
What’s a Sales Leader to Do?
The good news is that your top-performing reps already know the answers to many of the questions that slow down your B and C players. What if you could bottle up their wisdom and make it available — on demand — to the rest of your team?
How much would even a marginal increase in performance, applied across your entire organization, boost your bottom line?
Innovative technology is making this possible. Sales enablement platforms serve up relevant, bite-size training videos in real time right inside your reps’ CRM.
And you don’t need a big production budget or a lot of technical know-how to use these tools. Your reps can quickly capture success stories and best practices shared in sales huddles using their smartphones.
These short, lively, peer-to-peer lessons appear alongside active opportunities in your CRM, increasing engagement and knowledge retention. Your reps no longer waste time searching for help, and they can replay these videos whenever they need a refresher.
Seismic shifts in the industry have rendered traditional sales training ineffective. Are you ready to enable your reps to succeed in the new fast-paced sales world?