When you look at the stats about sales training, you wonder if it is worth it at all.
- ES Research Group, Inc. estimates that 80 to 85 percent of sales training programs produce no long-term impact (after 90 days) and 20 to 33 percent of sales people do not have the capabilities to do their job
- Sixty-five percent of top sales leaders surveyed by CSO Insights said their top objective for the year was capturing new accounts, yet 67 percent of those same leaders felt that their sales team “needs improvement” in generating leads
- ASTD’s recent State of Sales Training research reported that half of the respondents felt that 50 percent or less of the sales training programs they received was relevant to their job
There is a huge disconnect between sales team members and sales right now. There are different types of sales people (i.e., whale hunters); different type of sales (i.e., transactional); and different types of buyers (e.g., RFP, purchaser, user, etc.). Matching up the salesperson with the sale type and the buyer is the only way to get the sales engine going.
Also, we are moving from an uninformed buyer to either an informed buyer or one with disinformation. Most buying begins with a web search, so the salesperson isn't involved until some unknown time in the buying process. It is very difficult to sell today.
That said sales training can be useful. It shouldn't be a one time event. It should be followed up with training and coaching. At the very least, the sales manager should be meeting with the sales team to break down wins and losses.
Providing training in the sales process alone is a good baseline, but the sales training should be specific or granular or in some way concrete to the attendee. (That's why so little is remembered I think). Abstract and theory are for classrooms and research; actionable examples are for the street.
Even in my webinars - like the one coming up on Hosted PBX - I try to be as concrete as possible. I don't think giving the slides out help at all especially when I know from personal experience that the slides will not be looked at in the future (and if they are, they will be incomprehensible). The nuggets are handwritten notes that are reviewed often -- and put into practice as soon as possible.