Why Sales Training Should Be a Process Vs. An Event
When executed effectively, sales training is a catalyst for continuous growth, enabling businesses to stay competitive and adapt to changing market dynamics. However, the traditional event-based approach falls short of achieving the intended goals we desire as sales leaders: sales team transformation and sustainable success.
Historically, sales training events were seen as a quick fix to address sales team challenges. You’d gather all of your sales representatives in a conference room for a couple of days, receive information-packed presentations, and then return them to their daily routines.
Unfortunately, studies have shown that the retention rate of information from such events is remarkably low. According to the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve, people forget about 70% of what they learn within 24 hours unless reinforced.
Psychological science tells us that a sales training event alone isn’t going to cut it anymore, and in all likelihood, it never truly has.
So what’s the alternative?
Equipped with this knowledge we now know that sales training must be transformed into an ongoing process, incorporating reinforcement, practical application, and access to a comprehensive ecosystem of knowledge and tools in order to be truly effective.
The facilitator-led sales training events can be impactful in the long term but only when integrated as a part of an ongoing process that dials in on all of those other elements as well.
The Importance of Reinforcement Through Consistent Coaching
To combat the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve and enhance learning retention, a continuous reinforcement approach is essential. Sales training should be an ongoing process that includes consistent coaching and feedback. Regular coaching sessions allow sales representatives to apply newly acquired knowledge to their specific challenges, receive guidance, and reinforce concepts over time.
According to a study by CSO Insights, companies that provide their salespeople with at least three hours of coaching per month have a win rate that is 16.7% higher than companies that do not invest in regular coaching.
Heavy Application and Practice with Real-Life Deals
Sales training shouldn’t just focus on theoretical knowledge. It’s not a skill you can acquire and master by reading a book or watching a series of videos. Sales is like sports in the sense that it takes real life practice of the skills over and over again, failing and iterating, until you start to get better a little bit at a time. That’s why an event-based approach that focuses on knowledge consumption doesn’t lead to the desired result.
A truly process-oriented approach requires heavy application and practice with real-life deals. This type of hands-on experience helps sales reps build confidence, refine their skills, and develop problem-solving abilities that are crucial in actual selling situations.
A study conducted by the Sales Management Association found that sales teams that prioritize practice over instruction and feedback are 4.8 times more likely to see improvement in their performance.
Access to an Ecosystem of Sales Knowledge and Tools
To adapt to the rapidly changing sales environment, sales professionals need access to a comprehensive ecosystem of sales knowledge and tools. This ecosystem includes online resources, digital training materials, sales enablement platforms, and up-to-date sales methodologies. By providing continuous access to relevant information, sales reps can stay informed about the latest trends, best practices, and innovative strategies in the industry.
A report by Aberdeen Group revealed that companies with a formal sales enablement process in place experience 32% higher team sales quotas than those without one.
The traditional two-day sales training event is no longer sufficient for achieving sustainable sales success. To make sales training truly effective, it must be transformed into an ongoing process that emphasizes reinforcement, practical application, and access to a wealth of sales knowledge and tools. By adopting this process-oriented approach, businesses can enhance their sales teams’ performance, drive better results, and stay ahead in today’s competitive market.
Remember, sales success is not a destination but a journey that requires continuous learning, practice, and adaptation. By investing in a process-driven approach to sales training, companies can empower their sales teams to excel and thrive in the ever-evolving sales landscape.
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Global Performance Group is a worldwide leader in behavioral transformation with experts in procurement strategies, sales methodologies and leadership and team development practices. We have over 30 years of experience working with large companies in 14 languages and six continents. Contact us online to learn more about our sales training programs!