Before You Spend a Dollar on Sales Training Ask 1 Question

April 20, 2012 at 7:01 AM

Will I generate a greater revenue lift if I improve performance conditions?

spend on sales trainingSales force excellence is equal parts talent (people) and equal parts performance conditions. Performance conditions are defined as the environment in which I place my sales talent.  A few examples of performance conditions are:

  • Segmented territories with Ideal Customers/Prospects clearly identified
  • Lead Generation including Lead Development Reps
  • Quotas and Compensation plans tied to individual territory potential
  • Sales Management Curriculum and Certification Program

 VPs of Sales are suffering from an age old belief that sales training will move the revenue number in the shortest amount of time. Our firm benchmarked over 1100 companies in the first quarter and 83% had committed dollars towards sales training. The impact of time and money spent on sales training can be positive; we are huge fans of properly designed, customized sales training.  And the fix is not always sales training.

We have seen a  greater revenue lift when organizations focus on improving their performance conditions.

Optimal performance conditions will allow the sales strategy to come alive. Below are 3 examples of how this problem is misdiagnosed every day. Perhaps one will resonate with you? Each example I will cover the problem, misdiagnosis and what the potential performance conditions problem could be.

Problem 1—Average Selling Price has eroded over the last 2 years and you are not generating as much net profit on each deal.

Misdiagnosis—Reps are moving to price too fast and need to “sell higher”

Performance Condition Problem—You are approaching the customer segment with the wrong channel; the customer no longer values f2f selling and you can sell via inside sales. Less expensive,  more efficient and greater coverage opportunity for this customer segment.

Problem 2—Win Rates have dropped; same competitors are beating you  more in head to head deals than they were 2 years ago.

Misdiagnosis—Reps need to be trained on competitive selling and handling objections.

Performance Condition Problem-Your Ideal Customer has changed due to gaps in your product or service portfolio. Re assess the attributes of an Ideal customer (size, industry, geography, etc) and the types of problems they are having

Problem 3-Quota attainment has dropped 5% per year over the last 3 years due to increased sales cycle length and deals getting stuck.

Misdiagnosis—train the reps on building a stronger business case to accelerate sales cylce velocity

Performance Condition Problem—you have increased quota each year without paying attention to territory potential. How can a rep with 2MM in potential and a rep with 5 MM in potential each have the same quota? Or perhaps the quotas have increased but the sales team is not provided leads? They are wasting time prospecting and qualifying, not selling.

Action Item:
Download our Sales Strategy Checklist Tool Here.

sales strategy assessment framework 2

By completing this tool, in less than 5 minutes, you will have an idea if you have a performance condition problem. More importantly, you will know which to address and in what order.

Let me know your results; your sales training dollars can only be maximized when aligned with optimal performance conditions.

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by subscribing by Email or RSS.

Topics: Talent Management, Sales Training

Posted by Matt Sharrers

Matt Sharrers

Subscribe to the SBI Blog

Tune in to hear the SBI Podcast
Catch Every Episode of SBI TV
SBI Magazine