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Why Sales Training Fails Without Technology

Posted by Philip Kreindler on 6 Oct 2014, 09:00:00

technology_blog_imageRaise your hand if you’ve ever bought Sales Training only to see all the great effects vanish within a few weeks? We regularly ask this question of Sales Leaders’ and a startling 87% say that Sales Training loses its impact within 3 weeks.

 

The Sales Training dilemma

So here’s the issue. When Sales Leaders buy Sales Training, they have a point of pain. It might be they need to increase win rate and deal size, improve revenue predictability, shorten the sales cycle or accelerate the time it takes to build customer trust.

It’s relatively easy to run a course that will address these issues and send the participants away full of enthusiasm. But it’s a mistake to confuse participant enthusiasm with implementation. Sales Training adoption works best if the methodology and skills you’ve instilled during the training are supported in daily business with the right technology.

Now I’m not saying that technology is the only way to ensure adoption, but here’s our experience. Integrating Sales Training into your Sales Process and supporting it through technology results in a 75-80% adoption rate by the Sales Team. And it makes management coaching much easier.

 

Technology makes Training stick

What good technology does is reinforce structure and discipline. And importantly, it embeds the same language into the way every Sales person works. A few examples; the concept of The Buying Centre, a Sales Process Guideline and the questions asked by managers (coaching questions) can all be reinforced by the right technology.

 

KISS

Keep It Simple and Stupid is an acronym that has been used by engineers since the 1960’s but is frequently ignored by people who design CRM systems. Sales people are expensive. They are paid to get business in not fill out forms. Technology should simplify a salesperson’s life and increase selling time, and not be used to exert control.

CRM is all too often designed for management teams and business leaders giving them the data they need to report, rather than the giving Sales people a value add or an advantage.

This is what Gary White from White Springs (the market-leader in technology to support sales training) has to say:

“Many CRM systems are about form-filling. It's about just filling in data in order to satisfy internal reporting requirements, typically for forecasting. How many Sales people would tell you that CRM helps them win deals? Even though you hear stories about incentive schemes to get Sales people to use CRM, it doesn't actually address the fundamental issue, which is, it has to add value. If technology adds value to Salespeople, they will adopt it rapidly.”

 

Sales people get it

Gary White: “Sales people and managers see the value in Infoteam’s methodology. They help Sales people to accelerate the sales process and improve their win rate. So integrating the Infoteam training methodology into a lean CRM system reinforces the adoption of training and drives up the use of CRM. Customers tell us CRM use is higher with Roadmap software embedded – because the Roadmap element helps Sales people win new deals and sell more to existing customers.”

 

What do you really want to achieve?

So if you want to maximize the impact of Sales training and really change habits, remember the right technology can make the difference between 20% and 80% adoption. But don’t forget KISS. Sales people won’t fill in screens of data or only do it to conform to rules and keep their managers happy.

 

3 questions to challenge your current way of working

  1. How high is the adoption of training 1, 3 and 6 months after the event?

  2. Do your Salespeople say that CRM helps them win deals?

  3. Do you use technology to reinforce training and support management coaching?

 

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