You run or support a large sales team, and you’ve got a problem. Maybe it’s a missed top line, or perhaps shrinking margins. Perhaps it’s an incorrect product mix or inaccurate forecasts. So what’s the sales 101? What do you do from here? You analyze the problem. You search for the root cause, only to find a cornucopia of underlying issues:
- Your sales-people don’t qualify well.
- They aren’t even attempting to sell the full portfolio.
- No one puts anything into your company’s pricey CRM until the last minute, and only when coerced.
- Forecasted accuracy is really forecasted inaccuracy.
So you decide to do something about it. You decide to train them! Your team will be trained on everything from how to bring insightful ideas to customers to how to develop buying criteria. You’ll set standards for what goes into the CRM and start holding employees accountable. And most importantly, you are going to emphasize coaching. You encourage your managers to play an active role in driving better skills, better knowledge, and better selling.
Investing in a Solution
So what will all this cost, and what return will you get? A typical sales training event costs a large enterprise customer anywhere from $500 per person to $1,200 per person. Furthermore, for most enterprise sales teams, attending training requires travel at approximately $300 per person per day. In fact, setting up a 2-day training event for a 500 person team requires an “investment” of somewhere between $550,000 and $900,000. And don’t forget the logistics of scheduling all this. If everything works out perfectly, your team will be trained within the next six months. Hopefully, the CEO gives you that much time.
Why Training Won’t Work
All this would be reasonable, of course, if the training actually worked. However, there is mounting evidence that it won’t. In fact, a cursory Google search of “sales training doesn’t work” returns more than 4,000 hits. The fact is your training event may not provide all the skills and knowledge your people need in order to succeed. Within 30 days, most will forget what they learn. Precious few will actually use the information, let alone master it.
However, there is a way to overcome the forgetting curve! Pay the training provider to trickle follow-up training to your team. This will help, only if, your team has a single homogenous development path. Unfortunately, neither is likely.
Sales 101: An Alternative Approach
However, there is a better way. In fact, for about the same amount of money as a single training event, invest in a Sales Development Platform that seamlessly integrates learning into your normal business cadence via your existing CRM. Don’t depend on training events. Skill development happens on the job! Learning can be applied to real selling scenarios, one skill at a time. The result is more productive sellers and managers that coach productively. Of course, this approach isn’t for everyone. For many large sales teams, combining online micro-learning with applications for opportunity management, account management, and sales coaching facilitates faster, more sustainable results than any other alternative.
In addition, the right solution should:
- Provide a platform for all sales learning and development, compounding the return on your investment year after year.
- Reduce or eliminate the need for classroom learning.
- Enable sales managers to become highly effective sales coaches.
- Provide tremendous insights on how your team acquires new skills and knowledge.
- Support improved accountability in the organization.
- Drive CRM adoption.
Next time you have a sales issue, don’t settle for a solution riddled with challenges. Take a new approach, and gain a sustainable competitive advantage for your sales team. If you want to see our Sales Transformation Platform, visit us at axiomsaleskinetics.com.
Sales 101: The Future is Today!
Someday we won’t send people to sales training just to have them forget what they learned thirty days later. Furthermore, managers won’t wait until salespeople fail to start coaching them. Managers won’t rely on trainers to improve the skill and knowledge of their sellers.
Similarly, executives will know how sales 101 learning and coaching impact sales behavior and results. In the future, sales technology will actually help salespeople. First, it will help them learn. Second, it will help them grow. And third, it will help them win. In fact, someday even sales forecasts will be accurate.
We’re AXIOM Sales Force Development. And, we are delivering solutions to develop tomorrow’s sales champions right now. We provide online learning integrated with world-class applications for opportunity management, account management, and coaching. Furthermore, we are making your CRM the tool it was always meant to be. We do this by providing feedback and learning in real-time to drive behavioral change in your salespeople. This results in better coaching, better learning, and better selling. Lastly, you gain more time in the field having productive conversations.
In conclusion, selling is no longer art. It is science. Learning is no longer an event. It is continuous. Join AXIOM today for sales 101 that will significantly improve overall sales performance across your organization.