For many businesses, the sales team is the biggest source of revenue. That’s probably not news to anyone. You need people to sell your goods and services. Most products don’t sell themselves. Knowing what the sales team should be doing isn’t a problem any companies have.
What many companies do have a problem with is inadequately trained sales teams. The solution to that problem is, not surprisingly, effective sales training. There is a clear link between strong sales performance and good training. A Salesforce study reports that “80% of high performing sales teams rate their sales training process as outstanding or very good.” Good sales training does correlate to higher sales performance.
But not all training is created equal. According to a study from Training Industry, “26% of reps say that their sales training is ineffective.” That’s a disconcerting amount of sales representatives who believe that they’re receiving ineffective training.
What Are the Current Challenges Facing Sales?
In the current sales climate, the Business to Business (B2B) model further complicates the sales process and sales training. Because businesses are targeting other businesses as their prospective customers more and more, the sales process is transitioning away from the more traditional Business to Customer (B2C) sales model where companies sell their products directly to customers. In the case of B2B companies, you’re selling to entire other businesses, not just individual people, meaning there are several more hurdles a salesperson has to jump through.
For example, cold calling becomes more difficult because there are usually several decision makers you’ll have to go through before you can start the rest of the sales process. That sort of gatekeeping is indicative of the sales process in general and even more symptomatic of the sales process in B2B industries. With B2B companies, there are more layers of obstacles that sales reps must traverse. To reiterate, they are selling to entire organizations, not just individual customers.
Why Is Sales Training Necessary?
With a more complex sales environment, salespeople need better training solutions. Between the startling statistic that approximately a quarter of surveyed sales representatives claim that their training is ineffective and the difficulty of B2B sales, effective sales training is imperative. Sales teams need to be equipped with the latest, most effective, and most innovative sales training technology to face the challenges present in the B2B market.
What Constitutes Good Sales Training?
There are a lot of factors that go into effective sales training: aligning training methodology with company values, blending online training and in-person coaching, leveraging the available technology, and quite a few other attributes of sales training. While all of them are important, it would take too much time to explain each one in detail. In this post, we’re primarily focused on sales training technology.
The advances in AI technologies have revolutionized sales training. Online courses that utilize AI allow users to interact with training content in ways that were previously impossible. With this technology, learners can develop their sales skills by interacting with AI in simulations of different sales scenarios, including prospecting, qualifying, and closing sales. Depending on the users’ actions and responses, the AI prospects and customers will respond accordingly.
Responsive AI is extremely useful for sales training because it places salespeople in realistic situations without the high stakes of real-life sales calls. There’s no elevated risk of losing the sale when you make a detrimental decision. If you make a mistake, you can run the course again and try different tactics, adjusting your choices until you receive the most ideal outcome. This ability to go back and run the course again enables salespeople-in-training to learn the basics, and even more advanced strategies, of sales without making choices that are detrimental to real-life business.
Certainly, even the most advanced AI simulation is no match for the genuine human experience of the sales call, but AI can prepare salespeople for potential challenges in their work. The profoundly human component of sales is why training should always be accompanied by coaching from managers and other sales leadership. Though that’s not all there is to it, salespeople should be well on their way to making sales in the real world with the combination of responsive AI and human mentorship.
DigitalChalk Can Help
Ask us about how a DigitalChalk sales training solution can help you leverage technology for the benefit of your sales team. Contact any of our training experts today.