This year’s “Must Keep” resolution is to start a sales training program. Think about it. 71% of sales pros have never had any sales training. There is no degree, license, or certificate program out there to verify that your sales force knows what they’re doing, and can consistently deliver customers. Yet, the existence of your company depends on it.
What No Training Costs
Onboarding an employee is expensive. It costs tens of thousands of dollars per employee. New sales pros are hired, trained on the product and the computer system, and then sent into the field for months of trial and error. It’s time to teach your team to sell, too. On average it takes a sales pro 6 months before they are consistently profitable. That’s 6 months IF THEY WORK OUT! If they don’t, the company starts the process all over again.
Why don’t most companies train their team to sell? Sales training is an “additional” expense because it adds to the initial cost of onboarding, and because of that companies shy away from the perceived cost. However, over a dozen recent studies show that the opposite is true. It actually makes you money.
What are the benefits of training?
Companies who specifically train new and existing sales pros in sales techniques lose fewer than half as many sales people, because their sales teams perform significantly better. According to Marketo, an average of 29% better! Think of that adding up over a year! New hires who fail the training are let go, and quickly replaced with someone more likely to close business, saving months they would have spent failing in the field.
Sales managers are also usually untrained. An ineffective sales manager is extremely costly, but most managers are promoted from sales positions with no additional training. How can they increase the effectiveness of the sales team if they don’t know how to train, motivate, and manage?
What Does Sales Training Cost?
It depends on the trainer. Companies often hire a consultant (like Sales Dynamo), at a cost of $3000 to $10,000 per month, to keep things on track continuously. The number of employees trained by one consultant can vary by the size of the available teaching space and training style, so those dollars can train 2 employees, or 200. Also, seminars are great refreshers once or twice a year. They break down bad habits, and build skills.
The most expensive option? Sending staff to seminars is popular, usually at a cost of $500 to $1500 per employee, plus travel, hotel and meals. Some companies employ a sales trainer, and keep them on staff at all times. In 2017, the average US sales trainer who was a corporate employee was paid $69,000 plus benefits. All of these options are cheaper than hiring and replacing just one failed sales pro.
Sales training works. It’s cheaper than an under-performing employee, or worse, a failing sales department. If your employer doesn’t train in how to sell, ask the best sales pros you know for ideas. Read whatever they recommend, and do your best to learn a new skill each week.