Perhaps of all job roles, sales is the most obviously measurable in terms of performance. In simple terms, if you aren’t selling you aren’t succeeding.
Of course, it’s more complex than that. Many factors contribute to sales performance including: individuals’ aptitude, knowledge and skills; the competitiveness of the product; market conditions etc.
The classic challenges of competing for buyers’ attention remain as important as ever. Companies also find they are trading in increasingly complex products and therefore holding on to staff and training new ones quickly and effectively are essential.
Harvard Business Review’s analysis
- Buyers have more info than ever before on competitor and their own products, so they really need to know their stuff.
Most sales start with the web. Buyers check out the company and their products using the web before they meet the sales person.
85% of companies report increases in product line breadth and complexity.
62% say it takes more than 7 months to get a sales person up to speed.
The ratio of sales support staff to sales staff has fallen.
The percentage of leads that generate meetings, meetings that lead to proposals, proposals that lead to sales has fallen by between 5-8%.
The average length of sales cycle has increased.
CRM systems are increasingly employed but 52% have problems maintaining the data.
Rapid elearning: a solution to (part of) the problem
Rapid elearning and performance support can help. For example, using rapid elearning and pre-prepared templates, you can keep sales staff quickly up to date with product and market updates. End of module quizzes can help test retention of information and understanding.
- A quick podcast or online classroom session from a product champion can help with positioning statements, USPs or common objections.
- RSS links to the desk top can deliver just in time product and pricing updates or success tactics.
- Providing a quick access bank of knowledge from product specifications through to sales support advice can support sales teams when they are increasingly under pressure.
- So, if you with time and resources in short supply, some simple and cost-effective learning can provide the essential support for sale staff.