What Your Sales Training Can Learn From Your Worst Reps

Businesses grow more optimistic every year. 94% of respondents in a global CSO Insights Survey said their 2014 revenue targets were higher than 2013. “Capture new accounts” was cited as a top objective by 60% of respondents. But while sales quotas grow, sales training is failing, and 58% of reps are struggling to meet current targets.

The days of relying on incentives and “feet on the street” to bring it home are long gone. Today’s sales reps are up against an array of challenges that didn’t exist only a few years ago. Customers are better educated about the value of your product before your first sales rep even makes thecall. Potential clients are empowered by information and ready to challenge the sales rep before the first pitch. The buying process is more complex than ever, and somewhere amidst the millions of emails sent and received daily, it’s near impossible to get a face-to-face meeting with anyone, let alone decision-makers.

Under the circumstances, it’s no surprise that some are underperforming. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up on them. The high cost of turnover makes firing and hiring an expensive undertaking, and chances are, they have plenty of potential. They’re just not getting the right sales training.

Here are some key reasons why they may be failing–and solutions to help right the ship:

1- Their pitches aren’t relevant

Failure to close the deal is cited as the number one reason for missed quotas. Time and resources are put into calls, meetings, presentations and contracts, but the deal just isn’t getting done. Is your sales person armed with continuously fresh content and ideas? If a sales process is stalling, it’s often because there isn’t fresh information or new angles. With new and improved collateral and messaging, your sales team will be able to evolve their pitch with customers’ needs and concerns.

2- They’re unprepared for meetings

Compiling all of the necessary information to kill it at a sales pitch meeting requires time, resources, and organization. In fact, 88% of missed opportunities are due to a sales rep’s inability to find or leverage internal resources. Arm your sales team with the data, analysis, anecdotes, case studies and pitches that they need, and place that information at their fingertips (i.e. not binders). Just-in-time content ensures that each sales rep has easy access to up-to-date, accurate answers, even in the middle of a meeting, and gets them closer to the deal.

3 – They spend too much time in sales training (instead of selling)

The sales process is complicated and can require some heavy lifting, but this doesn’t mean your reps should spend weeks in classroom sessions learning about new product features. In fact, 90% of selling content is never used in actual selling, so why is your sales team spending so much time in lectures focused on rote memorization of material from their training manuals?

What to do instead? Go mobile. By eradicating excess and increasing your team’s agility, you can keep them out on the road and with potential clients. The best part of this equation – all of the information and learning content they’ll need has been optimized for mobile and is ready to travel with them.

Listen and Plan

By implementing an interactive, mobile-first sales enablement solution, you’ll be able to identify what content your best sales team members are using and employ it to better arm your worst performers. Listen to the data and your team to discover where the holes are. Planning around these discoveries is central to sales organization effectiveness. In the past, it has been challenging to provide data-based insights that can define where improvements need to be made. Today, solutions that provide well-informed, up-to-date, mobile content are widely used to enable all sales people for success and bring the worst performers up to snuff.

Can your top team members afford to continue to carry the burden, or is it time to innovate and enable your entire sales force to seal more deals?