By: Alonso Chehade on March 7th, 2023
2023 Sales Training Industry Update: Ken Taylor Interview
Recently, our CEO Ray Makela sat down virtually with industry insider Ken Taylor, CEO of Training Industry, for an in-depth conversation about the current state of sales training and what learners need going forward. Here are three key takeaways from their discussion.
#1 Sales Training is Critical in 2023
As the economic headwinds and other challenges impact sales teams, proper training techniques and strategies are increasingly vital for teams to hit their targets in 2023. As a result, sales training is no longer a side element but an essential part of any successful sales organization.
Many organizations are realizing that to “do more with less,” they need to invest in their existing staff. Sales training is one way to make that investment and improve the current team's performance versus hiring additional sales resources. According to Training Industry’s report, most organizations anticipate a 5-10% increase in the investment they're making in training for employees in general. During the webinar, we also ran a poll with 67 attendees, where 37% reported increasing sales training spending this year versus remaining flat or decreasing their training budget.
#2 Salespeople Prefer Instructor Led and On-The-Job Training
Training Industry’s research shows that learners still prefer a hands-on, experiential practice as the best way to learn and retain information. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that ILT programs are making a comeback.
However, to ensure skill adoption and lasting behavior change, even instructor-led training programs should include a combination of live coaching sessions and digital blended environments to increase the effectiveness of the training program. This way, learners can engage with the material, see it in action, apply it, and be able to recall it later.
And unfortunately, instructor-led isn't always practical or scalable within an organization. So blended programs are also growing in importance and popularity. To further illustrate, Ray shared an example of a large tech client whose sales team saw a 30% shift in their confidence in applying essential selling skills during an ongoing, blended training program compared to the start of the program.
The confidence shift was assessed after completing our training program in a digital, blended environment with online skill applications and live coaching sessions.
As noted above, sales teams prefer experiential learning, which includes hands-on practice and simulations. Therefore, these methods should be prioritized over traditional learning methods like lectures and stand-alone e-learning programs.
#3 Blended learning has become the norm
When it comes to the most successful training methods, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and organizations should look to customize the training to appeal to their learners.
Learners appreciate the chance to apply and practice their knowledge in a safe environment and various ways instead of relying solely on e-learning or lectures. Ken recommends meeting learners where they are—for example, many learners appreciate incorporating desirable and engaging gamified elements or interactive activities that make learning more of an adventure than a task.
Ray backs this advice by noting that learners want to gain skills and knowledge in an enjoyable and relevant way and through collaborating with their peers. Appealing to different learning styles and modalities helps to maximize impact and makes the overall training process more successful.
That’s why blended learning is becoming increasingly crucial for businesses to invest in and incorporate into their instructional design. It involves leveraging different resources and tools, such as e-learning, on-the-job practice, peer collaboration, and simulations, to create an environment that maximizes learning effectiveness.
More than ever, Sales training in 2023 needs to be about much more than just executing a training event.
It's about giving salespeople the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to succeed in the modern sales landscape. Organizations should pay close attention to the different learning preferences of their salespeople and adopt a blended learning approach that combines traditional and modern methods to ensure that their sales teams remain competitive.
By investing in the right sales training, organizations will reap the benefits of happier, more successful employees and increased sales performance.
Ready to give your sales team the skills, knowledge, and confidence to succeed in the modern sales landscape? Schedule a sales training consultation with SRG to learn more about how we can help your team reach their goals faster with our comprehensive training solutions.
About Alonso Chehade
Alonso Chehade is a seasoned marketing professional with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the sales training industry. With over eight years under his belt, he knows what it takes to drive success for sales teams. At SRG, Alonso is the go-to for creating and implementing marketing strategies that drive growth and increase revenue. In addition, he has a burning passion for helping sales teams reach their full potential and is dedicated to helping sales leaders create a culture of continuous learning with a focus on delivering results.