The new CommercialTribe guide, The State of Sales Training, by CommercialTribe CEO Paul Ironside, is a systematic look at how we approach sales training today, the flaws in the process, and what we can do to make it better.
According to the Sales Leadership Council, the way we approach sales training today is fundamentally flawed. Despite us spending billions as an industry on training, reps forget 70% of all content learned within a week, and 90% within 30 days.
Observational learning is an age-old approach, now reinvented at scale. This approach reinforces learning and disseminates sales tribal knowledge, helping your team hit the number, reduce churn and attrition, and ramp to productivity faster.
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Here’s how most of us do sales training. See if you agree:
- Bring reps together in a classroom or auditorium setting for a multi-day training on our new products or solutions
- Have multiple presenters (usually product or marketing types) talk about the latest ‘thing’
- Certify or role play to test their knowledge
- Send them forth to sell
Sound a lot like how we teach in school today? It did to us. It’s no wonder that typically one out of three new reps fail.
But how did our best reps really learn? They learned from their mentors. They observed the best and imitated them until they got it right.
That behavioral-based learning style has been proven to be the most effective in teaching new sales skills. But our corporate training model today is woefully behind. Instead of “flipping” the classroom, giving reps a curriculum that caters to their learning style and to modern, social technologies, we’re lecturing and testing. We’re failing to create opportunities for learning.
And here’s the result: 58% of qualified deals land in no decision, because we reps haven’t internalized the behaviors they need to change the status quo.
 Sales Benchmark Index, 2014