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How Does Your Sales Training Stack Up?

Posted in:  Sales Training, Coaching, and Onboarding

Not all sales training is not created equal.

Some businesses invest heavily in strategic programs that prepare all of their reps for any customer conversation. Other businesses let natural selection prevail, to the detriment of their reps and their revenue.

Where does your sales training fall? New research from ATD on the State of Sales Training reveals how most businesses are investing in sales training, trends you should embrace, and what to leave behind.

How Does the Average Seller Perform?

How do your reps stack up against your peers? ATD found that the median salesperson:

  • Exceeded their sales goal at 25% of organisations
  • Met their sales goal at 47% of organisations
  • Failed to meet their goal at 28%of organisations

These numbers show that in general, most reps are hitting their quota — and for many businesses, this is a sign of a healthy sales organisation. If your reps are more or less within these bounds, your performance is likely on par with your peers. Nevertheless, it’s good to take this data with a grain of salt — quota attainment can be obscured by both excessively high or low goals. Additionally, keep in mind that while having one-third of your sales organisation fail to meet quota may not break your business, it does represent missed revenue that can most likely be recaptured by empowering your reps with the right sales training.

Where Are Leaders Investing?

How are sales and enablement leaders preparing their reps to hit quota? ATD reports that:

  • The average organisation spent $2,020 per salesperson on sales training in the last full fiscal or calendar year
  • On average, 69% of sales training budgets are spent on internal costs, such as staff salaries, 26% was spent on learning supplies, like content, and 5% was spent on tuition reimbursement
  • 69% of organisations normally hold annual sales kickoff meetings, but post-pandemic, only 11% of organisations planned to spend the same amount on their next annual sales kickoff meeting as their previous one

The above data reveals that sales leaders are reconsidering traditional investments, like their sales kickoffs, and looking for ways to maximise the impact of their current spending. Luckily, sales training can be bolstered just as much by a thoughtful approach as it can by a monetary investment. Make significant improvements in training efficacy by mapping your sales training to the Path to Mastery using our guide.

How Often Should You Train?

Weekly training, annual training — which is best for your organisation? ATD discovered that:

  • The average first-year salesperson had seven to eight annual training days
  • The average third-year and fifth-year salespeople had three to four annual training days
  • 84 percent of respondents utilise on-the-job coaching

There is no set number of training days that will ensure your reps always meet quota. However, these numbers do imply that training often trails off as reps become more senior. While experienced reps may need less support ramping on certain behaviours (like admin), the training they require to continually meet changing market demands is no less than that of a new hire. This reveals a clear opportunity for businesses to re-invest in continually training, across tenures.

The State of Sales Training

Take your training evaluation one step deeper with the complete State of Sales Training report from ATD. Download your copy — and prepare to leverage its insights to empower your team for 2021 and beyond.