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Traditional Sales Training is Broken; How To Create a Sales Culture of Learning

Posted by Joe Moriarty on June 12, 2018

In Sales Coaching

As Frank Cespedes points out at Harvard Business Review, “U.S. companies spend over $70 billion annually on training, and an average of $1,459 per salesperson — almost 20 percent more than they spend on workers in all other functions.” But sales reps lose more than 80 percent of the information they were taught at traditional sales training within the first 90 days. Sales training, as we know it,  is broken.


Sales can be a high-turnover field, and sales managers are consistently tasked with training and on-boarding new reps, or teaching old reps new tricks (or products, or services). The one-size fits all approach to sales training that the industry has embraced in the past ignores the individual skill sets, situations and career paths of individual reps.

Sales managers need to create cultures of learning and coaching that support on-going development, assessment and feedback. Reps need to be met with training, advice and instruction in the moment of opportunity, not once or twice a year.

The solution is to move away from costly and ineffective in-person group training sessions, to one-on-one secure content and video-based training of individual reps. This allows reps and managers to carve out time as needed -  and on their own schedules- for training. Reps can be out in the field, learning as they go, and sales managers can focus on supporting reps in real customer deals, not in abstract or hypothetical scenarios.


Sales managers should consider sales training and on-boarding solutions that:

  • Provide a Single Platform Experience:  Any effective solution for delivering training content and video must support a consumer-grade user experience across all devices, or reps will not engaged with it.

  • Make Assessments Easy: Managers and peers are not professional trainers, but they are professional sales people, and so their training platform must make it easy for them to review other reps’ knowledge and skills and provide feedback.

  • Offer Live Video Coaching: Video is nearly ubiquitous today and it’s the easiest way to provide interactive feedback and review performance.

  • Make it easy to measure usage:  Part of creating a sales coaching culture is ensuring everyone is participating. Sales managers need to be able to measure how reps are engaging in training via completion rates, drop-off rates, quiz and assessment outcomes, and trends in order to improve program performance.

  • Make content accessible -  Any sales training platform needs to make it easy for reps to find the training that they need, whether that is through personalized Learning Paths and curated journeys for on-boarding or Netflix-style search capabilities for veteran reps to quickly find the content they need.

Sales managers need tools and resources to get knowledgeable reps into the field quickly. Secure, video and content-based real-time assessment and coaching makes training more effective, quickly turns reps into revenue producers, and even shortens sales cycles.

Learn more about Raven360’s new Sales Onboarding, Assessment and Coaching solution at Raven360 Webinar Series or contact Raven360 today!
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