According to Gartner, the SPM (Sales Performance Management) space will grow at more than 25% per year between now and 2018. This means that, by then, companies will be spending roughly $5 Billion on tools to help their sales people deliver better results – this in addition to the approximately $35 Billion they will be spending on CRM solutions. It’s a massive investment that will only yield a return commensurate with the competitive advantage gained, and therein lies the problem.
Better Tools Don’t Always Produce a Better Result
While it makes sense that equipping your team with the latest CPQ solution or sales enablement technology will allow them to perform better, for the most part these tool improve sales EFFICIENCY not sales EFFECTIVENESS. While they help people get information they need faster, they don’t necessarily help them to engage customers in a more effective manner and it is this engagement that is at the very heart of sales effectiveness. To improve the sales engagement we must develop the skill and knowledge of the sellers. Otherwise, we are providing state-of-the-art weaponry to soldiers who don’t know how to use it!
Sales Training is Not the Answer
It would stand to reason that combining high-quality sales training with the latest sales enablement or SPM technologies would lead to a competitive advantage. Unfortunately, most companies have years, if not decades of practical experience that supports reams of study data proving that traditional event-based sales training simply doesn’t work for the majority of sales people. While a small percentage will apply what they learn from attending these events, as many as 90% will get no lasting value for the time they invest in training – time not spent selling .
Key to Sustainable Advantage is Sustainable Improvement
The good news is that there is a better approach – one that can deliver a sustainable advantage. By leveraging your existing CRM to support sales effectiveness AND trigger, deliver and measure ongoing learning and development, you can simultaneously improve the efficiency AND effectiveness of your people. Today there is technology available that helps people better manage opportunities and accounts, increase their win rates, helps managers have more effective coaching conversations while simultaneously improving the underlying skill and knowledge of your team. Moreover, all this can be accomplished without taking them out of the field for classroom training and for about the same investment as a single training event!