Unfortunately, the task of selling never becomes any easier and as competition continues to intensify, sales people will face issues that can be extremely difficult to deal with i.e. decreased product uniqueness, increased competition within ‘safe’ markets, longer sales cycles and shorter product life spans. Every organisation that intends to survive in the re-engineered environment which arrived with the new millennium must, in my view, respond to those realities
During the seventies, eighties and nineties, it was common for large corporations such as Hewlett Packard, IBM, and Compaq etc to put their new sales recruits through a twelve to eighteen-month training programme. Today, salespeople consider themselves extremely fortunate if they receive an initial two weeks of induction training or product familiarisation workshops.
So what has changed? Have companies discovered that training is not necessary? On the contrary, training appears to be even more important today than it was thirty years ago and it is becoming more critical all the time.
Lower Training Budgets But Higher Expectations:
The dichotomy facing Sales Directors is how they reconcile the fact that most corporations today provide less upfront training for their sales staff than in years past, yet attach increasing importance to staff development?
This should not come as a surprise, because current stock market thinking provides a powerful disincentive for firms to invest in their people on an ongoing basis. An organisation’s investment in their human capital, in the form of training and other forms of education, is not separable from general expenditure. It therefore appears as a cost on the corporate balance sheet.
Unfortunately, as a consequence, many Sales Directors, have concluded that their only realistic option is to cut back on training and instead look to recruit sales professionals who, in theory anyway, already possess the necessary skills needed to do the job. They then send them out to win business armed with what they know. However, most of those same Sales Directors are discovering just how difficult it is to find skilled salespeople, who have all of the essential skills and personal traits. And anyway it is not possible to equate experience or seniority with success, because some salespeople do have ten year’s experience, but most have one year’s experience ten times!
So how do the most successful companies develop their sales teams?
You can join Linda Richardson (Founder & CEO of Richardson Training) and me next Tuesday June 9th at 1:00 PM Eastern for a 45 minute TSE Masterclass.
Normally $59.50, but I have just twenty FREE places and you can register here