October 12th, 2021

As a sales leader, it should be no surprise to hear that preparing your team to win starts with building knowledge through continuous training and reinforcement. Developing seller knowledge starts with onboarding, but it’s most effective when continually reinforced throughout a seller’s tenure with your company.

We recently teamed up with Heinz Marketing to create The New Sales Enablement Standard: How Today’s Sales Leaders Grow Revenue With a Sales Readiness Approach. In it, we look at how sales leaders can empower their teams to achieve revenue goals through customized readiness programs. Let’s dig in!

1. Many sales leaders used to expect 20% of their sales force to generate 80% of their revenue.

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Gone are the days of sales leaders relying on a few top sellers to do the heavy lifting for the rest of their teams. In a typical organization, that means four out of five sellers wouldn’t be used to their full potential — causing a serious negative impact on the bottom line.

By creating customized sales training plans, sales managers can unlock the true power of their full team. To do this, it’s important for managers to quantify every possible aspect of seller performance including things like sales performance based on business goals, completion of training modules, and the number of new skills obtained.

When coaching and monitoring these specific key performance metrics in each seller, teams are able to customize their tactics to each individual seller to help them reach their goals.

2. Of teams who hit 100% of their sales goals, 32% have a dedicated sales enablement program.

The reality is that only 14.7% of sales teams hit their sales goals. That isn’t a particularly high amount when you consider the investments that most organizations put into sales headcount. But when you look at the teams that are crushing their targets, there’s something many of them have in common: a dedicated sales enablement program.

Traditionally, sales and marketing teams have managed the sales enablement strategy entirely on their own. But a modern selling environment calls for the involvement of more teams in order to build a stronger program and ultimately a stronger team. The top three functions involved in sales enablement programs are sales/revenue operations, sales leadership, and marketing.

3. 78.6% of companies that have an effective training program meet 100% of their selling quota.

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When an organization takes the time to invest in a sales training program, everybody wins. With nearly 80% of companies that have an effective training program in place meeting their quota, the results speak for themselves.

The key is to take training beyond onboarding and on-the-job coaching and start regularly training employees on a more consistent basis, placing an emphasis on knowledge retention rather than just delivering information.

4. Only 37% of companies extend their onboarding programs beyond the first month.

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While we’re all familiar with onboarding and how important it is to a seller’s success, very few organizations foster a learning environment for reps outside of that first 30-day window. The major problem with this is that it’s proven that companies who invest in ongoing training win more deals.

In the results of a recent survey, of the respondents who hit 75% or of their quota, 90% participate in sales training on a monthly basis. Promoting continuous learning is essential to equipping sellers with the skills and knowledge they need to achieve their revenue goals.

5. After just six days, people forget 75% of the information they learn in training.

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Reinforcing knowledge is just as important as the imparting of knowledge itself. We often speak about the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve, which is a formula that states that humans forget approximately 50% of new information within an hour, forget 70% in 24 hours, and 90% after 30 days.

This is where spaced reinforcements come into play. By creating microlearning modules coupled with spaced repetition, retrieval practice, coaching, and personalization for each rep, sales managers can more effectively promote knowledge retention within their teams.

6. 8 out of 10 teams who have effective coaching practices hit greater than 75% of sales quotas.

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It’s no secret that better coaching practices equate to more wins for your team. In fact, adopting a consistent coaching culture is vital to your team’s success. When done right, it can provide insight and opportunity to improve on every buyer interaction (like where something went wrong, how to uncover bottlenecks, and how to pivot for future success).

Performance-related conversations can be difficult to have, especially if a rep isn’t doing well. But when we rely on data to guide these conversations, they not only become easier to have, but are also more valuable for the rep on the receiving end of the feedback.

7. 57% of respondents who have effective practice opportunities see sellers achieving 75% and greater of their sales goals.

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Sales practice opportunities can include everything from microlearning, to role-play, to quizzes, to certifications, and beyond. The important thing is that sellers are given ample resources to flex their knowledge and build on their existing skills to grow in their roles.

Of the respondents to our recent survey who hit 100% seller quota attainment, 57% rely heavily on coaching to build knowledge within their teams. This shows that with every bit of coaching a seller receives, their ability to move deals forward and close deals in real-world conversations dramatically increases.

A worthy investment for sales leaders

Sales coaching is definitely an investment, but when you look at the data, it’s not something sales leaders can afford to ignore. It’s clear that taking the time to build out training programs that go beyond a seller’s first 30 or 90 days on the job drive tangible results, and are well worth the efforts when it comes to achieving revenue goals.

At the end of the day, we all want our teams to be successful and reach quota every quarter. But in order to hit those goals on a team level, we have to take a step back and start nurturing sellers’ abilities on an individual level too. After all, the greatest successes all start with one small change. Let a stellar training program be yours!