We asked Sales Performance International executives and consultants what kind of changes we can expect to see for the sales profession in the coming new year and compiled their perspectives and opinions in our eBook, “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond”.
Sonia Duncan is SPI’s Director of Programs and Certification.
What major trend do you see in your area of sales or learning performance expertise?
Clients continue to press for shorter learning that is easy to consume.
What is causing this trend?
Sales management has intense pressure to hit their numbers and want to maximize selling times of their teams. Additionally, salespeople need to be increasingly responsive to customers. Customers expect immediate turnarounds, and we utilize multiple communication modes like email, text, WhatsApp, and Skype. Salespeople do not want to be away in multi-day training sessions from their customers. Finally, learning technologies and methods have evolved, and it is now possible to deliver a good learning experience through a combination of live and virtual activities.
What opportunities or threats does the trend pose for businesses and sales organizations?
Clients who embrace new learning methods can minimize selling time disruption, reduce costs, and deliver a superior learning experience. No longer do they need to offer blanket training. Instead, they can support more individualized development based on the priorities and needs of the salesperson.
In light of the trend, what advice do you have for business and sales leaders?
First, transition your thinking about sales training from an event that you do for a couple of days each year to a continuous development process that makes a sales rep the best they can be. Identify required competencies for a sales role, assess people to identify gaps and priorities, offer development activities, measure progress, and hold the rep and the manager accountable for progress. Finally, remember that creating effective development activities means more than taking a 2 or 3-day program and breaking it down into smaller chunks. Quality development involves some knowledge acquisition, but it requires a lot more practice, coaching, and real-life application.
Download our eBook “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond” today!