Sales is a dynamic process fueled by a constant need to generate revenue that keeps an organization afloat. To achieve success as a salesperson, one has to dedicate time and efforts towards understanding processes, workflows, and opportunities. Most sales agents working at the ground level often do not realise this. For them, a day at work is split between prospecting, lead generation, attending meetings, negotiating, and closing deals, this is further compounded by the pressures of achieving targets. In such cases, training and development are the last things to cross their mind. It is in situations such as these that timely intervention by the management always pays off.
As a manager watching your team perform from the sidelines, you know exactly what is going wrong if something is, and the only person capable of stepping in and calling for a time-out to re-strategize is you. So, wouldn’t it be safe to say that the only person who should really worry about their sales team’s training and development is you? After all, being the team head does make you the team’s coach—someone who’s to constantly on the lookout for their team.
Why do sales teams fail?
One of the more surprising facts, as reported by Forbes magazine, stated that 55% of sales personnel lack the basic skills needed to market and sell their services effectively. Moreover, the shaky foundation that most employees base their selling careers on is a result of inadept education. This points towards one thing—as corporates, training and moulding employees into efficient sales profiles is solely left on the shoulders of that organization. As stated earlier, one can expect individuals to train and take an interest in training themselves, but do the pressures of time and targets really motivate one to?
As we start understanding some of the underlying factors that affect a sales team, remember that not all of it is the result of improper training. Some contributors are as simple as little to no practice, the result of which is low confidence, the end product of which is a demotivated sales force.
Now that the suspects have been identified, i.e. lack of training, time, practice, confidence, knowledge, and motivation, the next logical step should be to simply fix these gaps using training as a tool, right? This is definitely true, but it is wrong to think that the answer is as simple as plain old training.
The truth is—time is still a valuable commodity in the life of a salesperson. Neither the organisation or the salesperson can afford to spend more than a couple of days sitting in office and training when they should ideally be out and selling.
Research by business.com states that ten meetings a week is the ideal number, which means—two meetings a day in a five-day working week. Furthermore, research shows 84% of all the training received is lost within 90 days, which also indicates that sales training is a continuous process. You cannot put a start and an end date to sales training. With such conflicting information, what would you do if the number of meetings and a continuous training schedule is mandatory for your team to succeed?
How does one solve the problem of failing sales teams?
The answer to the question of why sales teams fail lies in everything we see and do around us on a daily basis. Whenever faced with a challenge, the ingenious human mind has responded with technology as the answer. This stays true for sales training in a time constrictive environment as well.
In the US alone, the total budget allotted by organisations towards training employees ranges from 8-11% of the overall budget. 4-6% of which is reserved for sales training. The budget is spent on technologies that range from learning management systems (LMS) used as sales enablement platforms (SEP) to eLearning courses focused on skill development. These technologies help salespeople and their organization’s save time, efforts, and money, as it stands true for whenever technology is used as a solution.
Ideal circumstances demand that sales training is regularly carried out over an LMS which is loaded with content designed to aid the sales function. Common topics that make up such training revolve around negotiation, sales pitches, body language, presentations, and knowledge about the offerings.
Learners are expected to enrol for these courses, absorb the knowledge, and take regular assessments. It is as simple as this. The advantage lies in the fact that the LMS is a mobile software. Learners can learn in small bits called microlearning, and the courses are updated and revamped regularly to include updated information. This is complemented by unlimited access to a central repository of training courses that solidifies knowledge while increasing confidence, making your sales team much better sellers.
There is no simpler way to put this—sales team members perform when high on confidence. Confidence accentuates their approach to selling which is purely a by-product of in-depth training.
An excellent study by corporate behaviourists revealed that confident salespeople stayed motivated even with a higher rejection rate, only because they were sure the next person they’d approach had a higher chance of converting. This confidence is a byproduct of training which ensures that the selling tactics being used are tried and tested. Hence, they stayed motivated. Also, as far as sales team members who are short on time are concerned—training provided over the LMS allows them to access training when at home, travelling, and right before entering a sales meeting.
As a corporate sales head wondering—just why their sales team is not performing?—asking another question—am I doing everything to train them enough?—should clearly answer the first question. Also, as mentioned earlier, using technology to train your sales team will definitely aid the time constrictive nature of sales.
Abara is designed as an efficient corporate sales training platform, it also comes with its own mobile application built to deliver training on-the-go. To know more on how Abara LMS can act as your sales enablement platform, click here and one of our sales executives will get in touch with you shortly. Meanwhile, happy selling!