Best-in-Class Sales Organizations Invest in Frequent Sales Training, According to Recent Aberdeen Group Report

January 14, 2011  |  Posted by in Sales Training

For years I have been on the proverbial soap box, asserting that sales training is an essential business investment. After all, your sales force is a valuable and differentiating asset with tremendous impact on the growth, market share and survival of your organization. So it was with great satisfaction that I read the findings of the prestigious Aberdeen Group in their September 2010 independent report on sales training. For those of you who don’t have the time or inclination to read the entire report, here are a few highlights:

  • Best-in-class performing companies (those with over 75% of sales reps achieving annual sales quota) focus on frequent sales training activities and typically provide sales managers with customized sales training. This is skill development training, not product training; the two are very different. It is skill development that creates true differentiation among sales professionals and sales leadership.
  • Best-in-class performance depends upon ongoing reinforcement of selling skills and executive-level sponsorship of sales training initiatives.
  • The need for effective selling skills has never been greater – the economic downturn has placed added pressure on the sales function to increase growth and efficiencies, even while the number of real sales opportunities has eroded. In conjunction with the increased need for sales effectiveness, these turbulent times also bring increased opportunity for market share gains.
  • Best-in-class sales organizations tend to choose sales training that is:
    • Externally-provided and instructor-led, in person
    • Focuses on the strategic rather than the practical aspects of selling, with an emphasis on customized, buyer-driven sales practices that build better customer relationships

Other key topics covered in the Aberdeen Group report include: best-in-class strategies for implementing successful sales training, how much time best-in-class companies devote to training each year/month, and an analysis of various technology tools.


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