Second Secret to Sales Force Excellence

Last week, I revealed the first secret success ingredient from our Sales Force Effectiveness Study.  Today, before I reveal secret #2, I need to take care of three important promos:

One of the stand-out findings that jumps off the pages of our new White Paper is about sales training.  Over the years, many reports have highlighted all of the money that has been wasted on ineffective training.  However, the study on which this White Paper, on Sales Force Excellence, is based was equally clear about this subject.  Most of the companies in the study reported that they offered sales training to their sales force.  But when we looked beyond the obvious, what became most clear revolved around three important distinctions:

  1. Who provided the training
  2. How frequently the training was provided
  3. The content that was included

We looked at the impact of sales training from every possible angle and I’ll share a few of them here.  Of the companies that reported both a customized formal sales process AND a resulting increase in sales, 100% of them provided sales training at least monthly, and half of them offered sales training weekly, compared with only 28% of the overall respondents.  Most of these companies had outside sales training firms provide the training compared with only 44% of the overall respondents.  Got that?  The difference is the combination of customized, formal sales process, weekly or monthly sales training, provided by professional sales training companies.

We also looked at companies that were practicing Inbound Marketing/Sales.  We focused on the companies that converted more than 40% of their leads to conversations.  83% of that group hired outside sales training companies and 100% focused on traditional sales competencies as training topics compared with 55% overall.  Half of this group provided sales training on a weekly basis.  On the other hand, when we looked at companies that were converting fewer than 20% of their leads to conversations, only 14% of those sales forces received weekly training and most of them received it from in-house trainers.  Once again, it’s clear that frequency as well as outside versus in-house trainers and, with this group, content, are clear differentiating factors.

We also looked at companies whose sales cycles were shorter and win rates higher.  Not surprisingly, 100% of this group reported significant increases in sales and 100% were having their sales forces trained at least monthly, by outside training firms.

It’s clear that seminars, 3-day boot camps, and quarterly training are all nice, but they offer very little value and have very little impact.  That comprises the training that is a waste of money.  Companies that hire outside sales training firms, provide training at least monthly, and train on traditional sales competencies increase their win rates, shorten their sales cycles and significantly increase revenue.

This secret is just the tip of the iceberg in this 18 page White Paper.  Would you like to learn about the other big difference makers?  Download our new White Paper, The Modern Science of Sales Force Excellence today!