There’s a big problem affecting nearly every sales team we meet. Sales training, almost universally, doesn’t deliver as much as you hoped it would. Even mediocre training turns off your sales force and causes poor morale — especially for a modern rep looking for something more. That’s backed up in the stats, too. Poor preparation is one of the top three reasons sales are lost today.
You can imagine how dramatically that affects each organization. How many millions or even billions of dollars are lost because salespeople aren’t prepared?
Poor training is like a disease running rampant. And many organizations will try to use more old-school sales training to cure it. But, old-school sales training fails, especially among a younger, up-and-coming professional work force.
“The skills, competencies and sales experience required for inside sales roles has outpaced our ability to develop individuals quickly enough,” concludes the AA-ISP 2014 Top Challenges Report.
Training doesn’t work like it used to. It’s like treating a headache with a placebo.
Sales “enablement” is the real answer. And here’s how sales enablement solves your sales training problems and can fix your modern sales team.
Sales Enablement vs. Sales Training
But first, what’s the difference between sales enablement and old-school training?
Sales enablement is a relatively new function that continues to evolve. In a nutshell, its goal is to ensure every seller has easy access to the required knowledge, skills, tools and resources to optimize every interaction with buyers. While traditional sales training programs typically cover product knowledge, skills and processes, the content is quickly forgotten as a result of short attention spans and irrelevant material.
Here’s a good run-down comparing the two. You can also see more detail in this article, Do You Really Need Sales Enablement?
|Outdated attitudes/practices||Enlightened attitudes/practices||The difference|
|Sales people working solo||Sales people as collaborators and managers of a process||Selling is a collaborative process and a certified team sport.|
|Selling is a set of tasks that sales reps do.||Selling is a process engaged in by people in many roles and skills.||Many skills and departments are needed to close sales.|
|Complaining that sales and marketing don’t work well together.||Agreeing that marketing is supposed to be a sales support effort.||Use practices and tools that help marketing and sales align.|
|The sales process||A conversation about the buying process||Two-way communications centered on what the customer wants and expects.|
|Vendor- and product-centered content is best.||Buyer-centered content is much more effective.||Reps must center efforts on serving customer’s problems and needs rather than pitching the product.|
|Generic content was adequate.||Content is tailored to specific customers and stages in buying cycle.||Customers have found generic content on their own. It’s seller’s job to provide customers with specifics.|
|The Internet had little role in buyer behavior. Sellers were keepers of product knowledge.||Internet empowers buyers with detailed, pre-sales knowledge of products, services.||Stop worrying about information control. Start focusing on customer pains and concerns.|
|Sales guides and playbooks focus on product information||Sales aids that use how to sell, ideal customer profiles and sales-ready messages.||Putting the emphasis on process- and customer-centered sales aids|
7 Ways Sales Enablement Technology Can Fix Your Modern Sales Team
Sales enablement is THE way to help your sales team close more deals.
But there’s a problem here, too. To truly “enable” your sales team takes a lot of work. Some of the challenges include:
- Limited resources to give each rep what they need
- Shorter attention spans from the modern sales rep
- Unknown ROI
- Difficult to measure performance or retention of concepts
- Takes time away from actual prospecting and pitching
That’s where technology can help (ahem … like our Salesforce sales enablement plugin). Some benefits include:
Helping sales teams learn MUCH faster
Modern sales training technology can auto-suggest content based on a rep’s user profile. It personalizes training to reps so they don’t waste time in areas they don’t need to.
Slick training technologies today integrate with Salesforce (or are even completely native to your CRM). For example, while your team is working their pipeline within Salesforce, they can watch or listen to a short video training without leaving the CRM.
An automated system takes a huge burden off any sales manager. Today, you can auto-deliver custom content to the right person at the right time.
Crowdsourcing and collaboration among team
The most popular content rises to the top. Your best sales people can share their tips and the content they find helpful. Everyone can then rank and review the training content. This type of functionality also helps sales leaders understand what types of content resonates with the team.
Cloning your best reps
When we speak of automating training, we’re also talking about automating your sales team as a whole. With so much collaboration, sales enablement technology can essentially clone your all-star reps. It’s as easy as recording a 2 minute video with your smartphone and uploading it to your sales enablement library for automated distribution.
Improvement with analytics
The analytics we built into Lurniture help you know exactly what content is effective. When you’re able to see the impact of your training content on revenue you stop wasting time and money and start getting a real ROI on your training efforts. You’ll also see who’s engaged and hot training topics.
Sales enablement technology should make your life easier, not more complicated. Because these plugins reside right inside Salesforce, any Salesforce admin can use and manage it with ease.
Get a live demo of Lurniture’s sales training & enablement plugin for Salesforce.