Recent IDC research found that companies spend $5 billion annually to drive best practices into the organization through sales training. The disappointing result of that weighty investment is that more than 80 percent of the salesforce failed to retain what it learned after 30 days.”

Making new hires feel comfortable and gain a confidence in their new roles is a key attribute of any successful  organization and the sales process. From improving communications, to gaining knowledge of all available resources, when training is done right, new hires can greatly impact revenue numbers. And this is what makes effective sales training so vital.

Many organizations are using an outdated approach to onboarding, and are as a result contributing to a poor level of information retention. The drawn out, lengthy and ineffective classroom setting often results in high turnover, unmet quotas and loss of revenue.

A sales rep’s trajectory for adding value to a company starts immediately. Right from the start is when the behaviors and habits of the sales rep are formed. Organizations that understand this are restructuring the way they train sales reps so that they become successful and remain successful in the long-term.


Common onboarding traps

The classroom rut. It often happens that companies get stuck in the mindset of traditional classroom-style learning. When a new group of reps are brought in to view presentations and practice their skill-building, they are often bombarded with logistics rather than meaningful learning progressions.

Content overload. Managers that employ old training techniques usually end up exploding product and company content on sales which they are then compelled to memorize. Overwhelmed with information, sales reps lack context and insight and cannot translate this knowledge to the real world.

Untrained managers. Building a team from the ground up begins with trained managers. Yet, many frontline sales managers lack insight into sales behavior, which leaves them disconnected and unaware of the needs of the sales rep. It becomes key for managers to have the right tools to engage with new hires on an ongoing basis.

Successful training is measured in part by how much knowledge and available tools sales reps walk away with. The reality is that sales reps often lose this information if it isn’t followed by inspiring, real-world applications and ongoing support.

At the end of the day, memorizing a product spec or feature isn’t going to win deals. New reps must understand and embrace the selling landscape, which includes the business problems of their prospects, the insight and point of view their company brings to the market, how their customers buy and behave, and how to leverage all of the productivity tools available to them.

It’s up to sales leadership to continuously apply best practice to selling behaviors. And in order to affect the bottom line, trainers have to accelerate the learning curve of new sales reps and ultimately drive them towards positive sales performance.

How effective is your sales process? Are you properly preparing your sales force for the field?