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Have you ever wondered about how effective sales training really is or why people invest in sales training courses? As you can imagine there are a whole range of reasons:

  • Increase in Sales Productivity – by this we usually mean more sales, increased revenue per sale and greater profitability
  • Decrease in the Sales Cycle – close deals quicker
  • Reduce Onboarding Ramp-up Time – get new hires to be productive sooner
  • Help Salespeople to become more Responsible – lightening the load on sales management
  • Staff Retention – good salespeople are difficult to find and investing in them helps to keep them
  • Team Building – creating cross departmental connections, field sales, inside sales, technical sales and marketing

Each of these reasons are valid ones and more besides. Salespeople, like all other professionals require training. If for example you were a Certified Financial Planner in the US, at a minimum you would be required to undergo 15 hours of training per year to retain your certification. Solicitors, doctors and other professionals all have their own training requirements, simply to keep abreast of their industries.

Why would salespeople be any different? A lot of salespeople are responsible for far more revenue generation than their professional counterparts and are paid substantially more to achieve them.  One might argue that salespeople receive product training which would equate to their professional counterpart’s training, but product training in itself is not sufficient to keep salespeople ahead of the posse.

Sales training courses are not product training courses, let’s not confuse these two objectives.

“Product training allows salespeople to talk product when all the research indicates that buyers want to talk value!”

Another argument is that selling is like riding a bicycle, once you have mastered it you can go forever. But this argument doesn’t hold through. Selling is as much a science as it is an art and the science of selling shifts because the science of how people buy is shifting and understanding the science of how people buy is part of sales training.

That is not to say that all sales training is worthwhile. There must be business objectives and the sales training initiative must be designed to meet those business objectives, such as:

  • Enhance Sales Skills
  • Shift focus from Transactional to Consultative Selling
  • Clarify Responsibilities and Expectations
  • Improve Morale
  • Improve Reporting through the use of Technology, CRM or SOPAC

Sales training courses can be effective and productive once they are matched to the selling organisation’s business objectives.