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Sales Academy Research Findings

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A sales academy is a structured system put in place by a company for developing its sales team. Such systems consist of numerous training programmes, which together form a single competency framework for driving the performance of sales professionals over time.

Some key features of a sales academy include:

  • Addresses the different curriculum needs for the range of sales roles that exist in a complex commercial selling organisation.
  • Offers benchmarking tools to monitor progress and consistency in best practises for sales.
  • Delivers learning content through a variety of avenues such as written material, classroom training, digital learning tools and coaching.
The success of a sales academy rests on the engagement of sales professionals with training and the subsequent application of learning content in their jobs. But do sales professionals see themselves as engaged?

To find out, Training Industry, Inc. and Richardson Sales Performance conducted a study to explore how sales professionals view the utility and usefulness of the training programmes provided to them.

The goal of the research was to reveal insights about what sales professionals find effective (or ineffective) in the structure of a sales academy. This is what we discovered.

Sales Academy Research Findings

The results of this research are derived from a survey of 367 sales professionals who sell across different industries and in different roles. Their responses revealed:

  • Most companies rely on a mix of learner-controlled and company-mandated training.
  • Most companies rely on a mix of structured learning paths and on-demand training. The goals of sales training typically address a mix of short- and long-term objectives.
  • A focus on structured, long-term focused learning paths is the more effective approach to a sales academy.
  • On-the-job learning and coaching sessions are the most often-used and most effective modalities.
  • Learners most often augment their formal training with written materials and internet resources.
  • Learners want classroom experiences that last one day or less and digital learning modules that last 15-30 minutes.
  • The majority of sales professionals see benefits from performance benchmarks based on their peers.
  • The skills important to sales jobs were knowing the market, targeting buyers, understanding buyer needs, presenting effectively, establishing relationships and becoming a trusted advisor.
The findings offered below summarise insights from the full report. If you would like to explore the detailed research please download the complimentary research here.
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