When it comes to selling a sales training and enablement program too many executives are focused on a few key points. Namely:
1. Is what I’m seeing better than what I have now, and it will it last me longer than a few years?
2. Will it work with my current platform? In other words, can I bolt this thing on?
3. How much is this going to cost me?
4. What assurance do I have that this it will actually help my sales team sell more of my product?
In my years of selling, these are the usual list of points I have to address in order to move further along in the buying decision. The wrong answer on any of these can put me out of the running. And while I understand the importance of these issues – I believe they are too narrowly focused.
Which brings me to the focus of this article – the hidden benefit with training and ongoing education that few are talking about.
You see, ongoing education isn’t just a way to help the company sell more products. It’s also providing a clear and distinct benefit to your sales team.
The Demanding Art of Sales
Before we go too far, we have to understand a bit about the sales profession. And here’s the punchline: anybody that has spent any time in the game understands sales is a grind.
To illustrate my point, consider the following. A recent survey by CSO found that 84.6% of firms admit they don’t have the sales talent to succeed. I don’t know about you, but that number shocked the hell out of me.
Next, according to recent research by ValueSelling Associates, Inc., they found that fear is one of the biggest obstacles to business-to-business (B2B) outbound sales prospecting.
From Gallup, Millennials show less willingness to stay in their current jobs. Half of millennials — compared with 60% of non-millennials — strongly agree that they plan to be working at their company one year from now. For businesses, this suggests that half of their millennial workforce doesn’t see a future with them.
Finally, research done from Deloitte finds that 25% of Millennials will leave their current job within a year; 44% say they’ll leave within two years.
What does all this mean?
Simply this. Sales is an incredibly demanding profession with a huge amount of turnover and managers are struggling to fill their ranks with the right type of employees.
Taking all of this into account, sales training and ongoing education isn’t JUST a product meant to close more business and drive bottom line profits. The hidden benefit with ongoing is the impact it can have on retention of your sales team.
Let’s look outside the category for just a minute.
In a study done by Digital Ocean respondents were asked about the latest hiring trends in software development. The survey found that the most important factors when choosing a workplace were internal development and growth (39%), a competitive salary (39 %) and company culture (38%). The most prominent reason why engineers chose to leave a company? A whopping 49% said it was because of a lack of opportunity for growth and development.
And if you want to look more specifically at the sales category, The Center For Sales Strategy published the top 5 reasons Millennials quit sales jobs. On that list: Millennials want and need to be trained and developed.
These are just two examples and I’m sure there are more.
The fact is that gone are the days when salary was king. Increasing compensation to win over talent is becoming tactic with only a short-term gain. Today, investing in new programs for employee growth and development yields a much longer-term, positive impact on a company.
The benefit with an investment in a sales training and enablement program isn’t just what it can do to your bottom line in the short-term. It’s the enormous impact it can make to your bottom line in the long-term.
Look, as you have just seen, employees are sticking around for about one to two years before they are moving on. On top of that it takes about one year to get a sales person to the point where they are contributing on a regular basis. Therefore, every day past one year that you can keep an employee on your payroll – you are ahead of the game. And putting the right type of training tool in place can help in this effort.
A final thought.
Right now, the economy is humming along, and, in my discussions, many see a strong close to 2018 and have a positive outlook for 2019. All good. But we all know this a cyclical thing and there will be the inevitable downturn at some point. And that downturn will expose the lack of good strategic thinking and investment into the future. Rather than wait, now is the time to rethink your approach to training and the impact it can have on your sales force in the decade to come.
To continue the conversation and learn more about ChannelPRO and the benefits we provide to organizations, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.