Your salespeople are essential to the success of your business. They need to be experts in areas such as prospecting, relationship building, needs analysis and prioritization, objection handling, purchase justification, social selling, and negotiations. Without adequately trained sales pros, you are at a disadvantage compared to competitors.
While it may seem intuitive that sales training will improve skills and, in turn, better skills will result in better performance, getting approval for investment in sales training can be a challenge.
In this CPSA article, we'll consider the argument for getting buy-in for sales training and ways to prove the need to your leadership team.
The data shows a clear relationship between training and sales motivation. In short, companies that invest in proven training methodologies are more likely to have more motivated sales forces.
This makes sense. The deeper the training a salesperson receives, the more confident they will be in their own abilities. The more confident they are, the more likely they'll be to motivated and energised to sell.
Attracting and retaining top sales talent is very tough today. The strong Canadian economy and low unemployment rates means that attracting and retaining top sales performers is a big challenge for companies.
By offering deep training, you are better positioned to demonstrate that you value your salespeople and understand that they are central to your growth plan and bottom line. Salespeople who receive regular and adequate training are more likely to stick around longer and help grow the business.
Well-trained salespeople will be more likely to recommend your company to others. Sure, it's their job to recommend your company's products but advocating the wider employer brand and company culture can only come from genuinely believing that the company they work for values them and demonstrates it through pay, incentives and training.
The ability of salespeople to differentiate their offerings from those of the competition is a massive advantage to a sales department. Too often a salesperson has a better solution to present to prospects but the competition are able to tell a better story.
If differentiation is key to stopping business going to your competitors, alignment is often what keeps the deal from stalling. As with differentiation, the research shows a difference of about 30 percent between the top-ranked and bottom-ranked training programs.
Unlike other roles in an organisation, sales efforts can usually be clearly measured and aligned with hard outcomes. Namely ROI.
Salespeople who can convey to prospects why they should opt for the products and services they offer over a competitor (along with having the skills to followup, negotiate and close) are going to sell more. It's really that simple. Sure, the upfront costs of training and certifications may seem daunting to leadership but the benefits are clearly measurable. A recent survey from for example, shows respondents who said their organizations’ sales training exceeded expectations had an average 54 percent of forecast deals won, compared to 44 percent in the needs-improvement group.
Download this CPSA white paper to understand how sales training in Canada is evolving with the industry and how your organisation can benefit.