Many sales organizations have become overly reliant on their top sales performers to achieve their goals. While it is convenient to say that we “hit our number” at the end of the quarter, the fact that a few top performers carried the team presents numerous challenges.
The success of a sales training initiative is based on multiple considerations as noted in my prior blog posts: How to Choose the Best Sales Training Company 4 Key Factors to Create a Sales Training Program That Delivers Results In reflecting on these posts, I quickly realized that that not all criteria carry an equal weight, and that the “X Factor” that makes for an outstanding training program is the facilitator.
When companies experience sales challenges, they often view sales training as the solution. While training can impact sales performance, there are many challenges that go well beyond training. These include not hiring the right salespeople, an out-of-date or overpriced offering, or ineffective sales leadership. In most cases, however, the specific challenges companies want to address are intrinsic to the sales team and involve behavior change.
With in-person, instructor-led training off the table for over a year, companies had to innovate and leverage technology to deliver sales training to their remote sales teams. Initially, the onset of the COVID pandemic sidelined most training initiatives. However, companies quickly realized that sales training was an even higher priority since it was suddenly more difficult to connect with customers, and sales reps were limited to remote selling.
Sales organizations continue to invest in sales training but are often challenged when it comes to demonstrating that the training had a lasting impact on how their sales team sells. According to ATD Research (pre-COVID), sales organizations invested an average of $2,326 per salesperson annually on sales training. Interestingly, a survey by TrainingIndustry.com found that 43.5% of participants felt that sales skills training “needed improvement.” There are a number of reasons that sales training initiatives fall short.
Managing your team’s sales pipeline is both an art and a science – and that’s why it’s one of the most challenging aspects of sales management. At the heart of this challenge are differing perspectives as to what constitutes a healthy pipeline.