Salespeople do not need more sales training!
The world has changed and sales and those who support them need to keep up. Professor Rita McGrath from Columbia recently wrote a book entitled "The End of Competitive Advantage." In her book she points out that due to availability of data to competitors, sustainable competitive advantage is no longer possible, as competitors can copy quickly. We now need to compete on what she calls "a series of short term transient competitive advantages." Marketing and sales enablement for the most part still operate in the old world of annual strategic planning, fixed value propositions and customer needs based on long term advantage.
What salespeople need now is real time knowledge that helps them compete at the speed of change. Legacy sales training approaches do not accomplish that. Installing a "common language and process" around selling has long been the value proposition for most sales training companies. As both Harvard Business Review and Forbes point out, those solutions are rooted in the past and are much less relevant today.
What salespeople need now is knowledge, at every step of the sales process that keeps them up to date on changes in:
- Your value proposition
- Your competitors' value proposition
- Customer needs
- Strategic priorities of leadership
This knowledge allows them to compete at the speed of change. To be fair, there will be some training involved both for the organizations that support them and the salespeople themselves. Leaders have to learn how to mine and package the knowledge in formats salespeople can use and sales need to learn how to weave the knowledge into an ongoing story that tracks with every phase of the sales cycle, from qualification to close.
Want additional information? Read our Selling at the Speed of Change article series.