Not every training program is designed to serve every employee’s unique learning needs. Different job functions and different departments obviously have different purposes and roles, meaning these employees’ training needs are going to vary.
The sales function is a great example. Sales staff are “out in the world” as part of their jobs to a much greater extent than those in many other functions. They are interacting with potential customers, keeping up with existing customers, and staying up to date on the competitive landscape and the industry in general.
Keeping Sales Training Relevant and Valuable
In an article for the Association for Talent Development (ATD), Dayna Williams discusses the challenges many sales teams face when it comes to keeping training relevant and valuable. “The sales profession is quickly evolving in response to a changing marketplace. Likewise, buyer savviness continues to increase, which requires salespeople to adapt their approaches,” she writes.
“Most sales leaders are keenly aware of these change factors and many are willing to invest heavily to ensure their frontline team of salespeople are skilled and ready to meet new challenges as they emerge,” adds Williams.
Monitoring the Value of Training
Williams writes that of all departments one would find in a typical business organization, the sales department is frequently the one most likely to make consistent and aggressive investments in learning and development.
But dollars spent is only one part of the equation, and simply throwing money at a challenge is never a sound solution. Actual adoption of the skills taught is critical. Williams cites an ATD survey in which 59% of respondents said that one of the top barriers to sales training adoption was that “salespeople in their organization were not held accountable for applying the skills they learn in training.”
In order to make sales training stick, Williams says that training has to be seen as so valuable that salespeople actually want to use it.
Williams goes on to discuss several strategies for making training relevant to sales staff. In a follow-up post, we’ll look at each of those tips individually.
Management training is another specialized type of training that can yield big rewards if done well. We cover the topic at our upcoming Workforce L&D 2019 conference.