In Q4 of 2016, Richardson and Training Industry, Inc. partnered to perform new sales training research, surveying 288 companies across more than 14 industries that ranged in size from less than 100 to over 50,000 employees to examine organizations’ approaches to identifying and developing sales competencies.
The goal of this sales research project is to provide sales organizations and L&D professionals with insight to help them develop sales training programs that better align with the goal of helping sales professionals master the competencies that are most important for business success.
Sales Training Research Results
The study found that there are significant gaps between the sales competencies reported to be most important for business success and the competencies that are effectively developed through training. Specifically, the research suggests a widespread gap in the effectiveness of training for the following competencies:
- Targeting buyers
- Prospecting opportunities
- Knowing the market
- Understanding customer needs
- Effective presentation skills
- Expanding current accounts
Potential causes of this gap are a mismatch between training goals and business goals and lack of consistency in training across departments.
Additional Research Findings
This research also offers insight into other trends in sales training related to the modalities in which training is delivered, key influencers in the development of a sales competency strategy, and sales professionals’ interactions with customers across the sales cycle.