10.17 Sales Training a “Must Have” in this Economy

A press release issued this week by the Aberdeen Group points to the critical role sales training plays in keeping the best companies on the top of their game.  Here is the article:

BOSTON, MA, Oct 12, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Prospects and customers demand more than a product list from their sales rep; they seek added value through consultative and problem-solving skills, with need-based conversations instead of sales pitches, and often desire a long-term relationship that survives the drying ink on the contract. In this environment, maintaining credibility, customer satisfaction and profitability requires ongoing attention to the skill sets of any company’s front line, in order to assure the highest degree of sales effectiveness in managing prospects through the sales cycle, according to a new research study on sales training published by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (HHS 12.82, +0.12, +0.94%) .

Sales Training: Deploying Knowledge, Process and Technology to Consistently Hit Quota, which examined 835 organizations’ sales effectiveness, found that 77% of sales reps in top-performing companies currently achieve their annual quota, compared to 35% for sales teams in other companies.


“Sales training continues to represent an investment that companies retain as a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have,’ as the realization that an educated, focused sales team is tantamount to success, even during a questionably healthy economic cycle,” says Peter Ostrow, Research Director, Sales Effectiveness, Aberdeen Group, the report’s author. “While spending cuts have helped enterprises reduce their expenses, only this team can refresh the gap between the bottom and top lines. Providing them with the processes, technologies and services to do so effectively remains the wisest strategy of all.”

The report reveals what leading companies have been able to achieve through deployment of sales training solutions, such as:


—  14.8% average year-over-year increase in annual company revenue;

compared to 3% decrease for other companies

—  7.2% average year-over-year increase in average deal size or company

value; compared to a 2% decrease for other companies