4 Signs It’s Time to Revamp Sales Training

By Christie Nelson

4 Signs It’s Time to Revamp Sales Training

If you are responsible for making the sales team more effective and efficient, sales enablement (aka training) always plays a role in improving productivity and tends to fall in two categories: new hire/onboarding and ongoing training and development.

A lot is going on in a typical sales environment, and if you are not keeping up with new and engaging ways to enable your sales teams to make their goals, heads start spinning!

Read ahead to learn 4 signs that it’s time to refresh your training:

1) Decreased productivity in your sales teams

Are you aware of your sales team overall performance in achieving quota? It’s essential that sales enablement has visibility into the quarterly results of the sales team in order to assess what is working and what needs improvement.  If a large percentage of your sales team is not achieving the desired results, it’s a sign that there are skills gaps and training is needed. Remember, Data is King! Use the numbers to understand gaps and/or trends that will help get you started in making recommendations on improvements. Is it a vertical or a segment that is underperforming? Could it be that deals stall at a particular stage of your sales cycle? These data points will help you narrow your scope and identify a core competency that needs training reinforcement.

2) Market changes and/or competitive pressures

Often times external influences drive internal change. Has your industry grown or shifted significantly over the past 5 years? When once there were a handful of competitors vying for your buyer’s budget, are there now hundreds? Analysts and competitors force companies to adjust sales messaging and tactics. It’s imperative that you keep your sales reps ‘message ready’.  To do that, updating content and practice with the new messaging is required.

3) Your training program no longer aligns to your company’s goals and initiatives

Think back to the beginning of the year and how closely your enablement strategy and programs aligned to what was rolled out at Sales Kick-off. A lot has changed since then – for example, your strategy has likely shifted as business needs change. If your company operates based on an agile framework then your sales enablement needs to ebb and flow with that constant change. This may require slight alterations to your training needs, but know that there will and should be adjustments in your strategy and plan.

4) Outdated training curriculum and content

If you have a dedicated resource for onboarding new sales people, chances are you are doing a great job keeping your training materials and curriculum up to date. If you are not so lucky, then updating your onboarding materials tends to fall to the bottom of the list. Resist this! It’s so important to get your new sales reps trained correctly so that they can ramp quickly.  It will reduce turnover and shorten time to first deal. Dust off the training content and give it a revamp now.

If you answered yes to any of these questions then follow some of these next steps to revamp your training and get your sale team back on track!

  • The first step is to re-evaluate and update your Sales Enablement strategy. Data is king, so use it to inform you about the performance of your sales team and interview sales leadership to get their perspective on gaps. Capture market changes and competitive threats to inform your strategy.
  • The second step is to document your revised Sales Enablement strategy and get buy in from sales leadership, marketing, and operations.
  • Next, create a plan to close the gaps with core competencies that are under performing, and don’t forget to align your onboarding program to the new strategy.
  • Lastly, evaluate your current training and content and update or create new pieces where you see the gaps. Prioritize so this doesn’t become too overwhelming of a task to tackle.

Now you are on your way to revamping your sales training!

Christie Nelson

Christie Nelson has spent 17 years in Sales, Sales Management, and Sales Enablement in both healthcare and software. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Christie is currently the Principal Sale Enablement Manager at SAVO, where she is dedicated to enabling her sales team by increasing their productivity.

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