Companies are spending 20 billion dollars a year on sales training, according to the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) – 20 billion! Yet almost ¾ of those companies say that they’re not getting the ROI they expect from their sales training. A large part of that is because companies are not responding to the trends and shifts in sales training. They’re not understanding how learning is happening today.
The following is a transcription from DSG’s recent webinar "Revolutionizing Sales Playbooks" featuring Sharon Little, Sales Enablement Analyst at SiriusDecisions and Tanner Mezel, VP of Strategy & Marketing at DSG. Or, you can watch the webinar recording. The following has been edited and condensed for clarity.
For those of us on a calendar fiscal year, it's that time to begin planning for 2016. What will be the big ideas for driving growth? How will we enable our selling organization to align with those strategies? We’re seeing a number of our clients begin the planning cycle in the September – October timeframe. If you're in a sales, marketing, or enablement function, here is a framework for thinking through sales enablement requirements tied to your specific big ideas for growth in 2016.
The first step is accepting the reality that any significant change in sales behavior and skill will require a minimum of 18-24 months to become a reality. Sales and Marketing leaders often struggle to come at sales transformation in an integrated, systematic way. Change is often pursued through disconnected initiatives like product training, sales skill development, sessions, leadership workshops, and posters.
Sales transformation is the alignment of every sales channel with strategies for driving growth. We like to call those strategies for driving growth the "big ideas." Organizations typically come up with significant shifts in focus that can create big growth but also require a big change in sales focus, in sales behavior, and in sales skill. A simple way to think of sales transformation is moving from defining what is going to change to achieve growth to figuring out how to make the change stick.