Sales people have been told, for decades, that selling is about uncovering and developing needs. In our research, 80% of sales people believe the purpose of every sales meeting is to understand the customer’s needs, and then to link their solutions to these requirements.
It’s a brutal fact that many sales organizations invest into training each year and yet very little of the training leads to better business outcomes. It is almost a guarantee that no training initiative will achieve 100% impact. The cause of this variability has more to do with the lack of effective coaching and reinforcement, but that’s nothing new.
According to a study published in Harvard Business Review, only 3% of new products achieve their revenue targets. There are lots of reasons new products don’t make it. The product design could be poor, the marketing campaign could be weak, the timing could be off, or economic conditions could be unfavorable.
Successful companies take a systematic approach to developing a consistent sales process. A robust sales process can help drive revenue growth by increasing the amount of time reps focus on high impact activities that drive a sales opportunity through the sales process. Too often, sales reps are not focused on the critical sales activities.
Among the sales and learning executives we’ve queried, the consensus seems to be the inability of traditional sales training approaches to engage digitally native new-age learners who have low attention spans and expect seamless learning experiences.
Emerging research from the fields of cognitive science and human performance technology are yielding data, which could have profound effects on how sales training gets designed and delivered. Adult learners – and especially millennials – need physical stimulus to stay engaged.
According to McKinsey & Company research, improving sales force performance can give organizations up to a 10% revenue boost. A robust sales engine, then, might be the key ingredient in strong market growth. But just as tuning up your car’s engine tune up has many steps …