Sales Training is excellent. Everyone needs to be trained at some point and then periodically on an ongoing basis – BUT WHY?
The answer to this question should be the same for every investment you make in your sales team…and that is to acquire and retain more customers, accelerate revenue growth, and do so over shorter, more efficient sales cycles.
Training is intended to produce such measurable results as an increase in retention rates, an increase in the median # of new customers acquired per rep, the average revenue per transaction and shorter sales cycle durations. There are subtleties in each business, so what is used to reflect improvements in sales team performance results may vary slightly, but for the most part, measurable performance enhancements should be the goal of any sales organization training.
The harsh reality is that it is hard to find salespeople that are good at what they do and even the good ones can get better. Training is intended and designed to make all sales team members more effective, independent of how good a rep might be already. Sales is no different than any other skillset perfected by professionals…such as shooting a basketball, playing an instrument, or being a chef. Just because you are good, or even great at executing what you’ve been taught…doesn’t mean you stop training and preparing. Even if you are Michael Jordan, you are shooting 100s of times per day.
So, if training is so helpful, why might the following research findings make you cringe if you are considering sales training or are already using sales training?
The major difference between Sales Professional Sales training and its impact on improving the skillset of a sales team, versus an athlete and the effect hundreds of shots taken per day will have on their skillset once trained, is that the athlete is reinforcing what they’ve learned many times each day by doing, and via having a coach oversee technique. They are not forgetting what they’ve learned about technique because they are practicing it…repeatedly.
With Sales Training, often times when the trainer walks out the door, so does the only person capable of overseeing and reinforcing the concepts just taught. Even if there are sales managers who are capable, they don’t have the luxury of being with each sales rep every week, every day, every minute.
So is training a lost cause and waste of money?
Sales need to be taught best practice concepts for working leads and opportunities, including what information to consistently capture to more effectively and efficiently turn leads into opportunities and opportunities into customers. Once they are trained though…they need to have the opportunity to get reinforcement on what they are taught – not by instructors or managers, but as a part of what they do every day.
At ItaQuod, we believe that CRM software, and best practices for selling, should be fully integrated. We believe that innovative CRM software, that embeds a structure for crystallizing what information to capture, provides guidance on how to capture it and clarity on where it should be captured, is the only way to dramatically improve the return associated to the billions of dollars that are being spent on both CRM software & Sales Training each year. Embedding a data structure within CRM software allows best practice concepts that have been taught, to not only be retained, but reinforced, and most importantly, put to use. Every time a salesperson logs into what we refer to as Structured CRM software, “training” occurs, until ultimately, the concepts simply become a part of the fabric of the sales person.
Providing this structure to ensure consistent, relevant data capture by all sales team members, and marrying these best practice with an innovative CRM software solution that speeds the capture of information, the consumption of information and the collaboration on information, is the best way to get the most out of your sales team, your sales training…and certainly your CRM software investment.
Results show that when training is continuous, average net sales revenue productivity is 50% greater per sales rep. Just imagine the productively improvements if a user had key concepts reinforced to them every day when they log into, and with every use of the CRM software. Not only will productivity to go up further, but the frequency with which sales reps need to get refresher training, and the associated spend, is reduced dramatically.
That’s the power of Structured CRM…and one of the major benefits of using ItaQuod’s CRM software solution.