What Does the Data Say about Traditional Sales Training?

I chatted recently with the human version of a dictionary. He opened my eyes to the vast quantity of genuinely worrying statistics around failed sales training. 

It’s not that Sales training is the wrong way to go – salespeople need to learn too – but it’s more about the impact and consequences of when it’s implemented the wrong way. 

So, what is the current climate saying about sales training, and how can we overcome it?


What does the data say?

Let’s start with a nice one –  companies that invest in training are 57% more effective at sales than their competitors. (source)

It’s no secret that when companies implement training with the right learning style, along with continued reinforcement, it works. Over half of the companies that invest in sales training report that their sales team became more effective and productive, and the business saw an increased revenue impact. Then looking deeper, of those successful companies, they’re seeing a monumental 353% ROI. (source)

I’m not shocked… you are.

But it’s not time to start dancing on the tables just yet. Although over half, it’s only just over 50%. Perhaps it’s because 84% of their sales training is forgotten within three months (source). 84%!!! When you look at that as a direct comparison to the spend on that training – which is an estimated $70 billion on training per year, in the US alone – that’s a loss of almost $60 billion a year.

I’ve also found that 60% of companies who do in fact invest in their training, take a random and informal approach which doesn’t last or benefit the employee. (source)

To summarize:

        • $70 billion is spent on sales training per year in the US,
        • 84% of Sales training is forgotten after 3 months,
        • AND, 60% of the companies that do invest in training, have no structure. 

It’s a WOW moment that highlights some serious areas to fix. So how can you do that?


Benefits of Sales Training when done RIGHT

Based on what the data is telling us, there needs to be a crucial, yet dramatic change in the way sales teams are supported with their initial training, right through to career development. 

We need to see:

        • An increase in companies actually investing in their teams
        • Strong ROI for everyone who invests in training
        • Structured and continuous learning pathways for all salespeople taking part

If we see this, then we should see less learning drop-off, learning being remembered and reinforced permanently, improved cultures and an ROI that makes your CFO super happy!

46% of salespeople claim that they didn’t intend to have a career in Sales. They’re not prepared, and they need some guidance. 


So where’s the evidence that if we implement continuous structured learning we’ll see results?

I’m glad you asked. Candidly, continuously-reinforced training is said to result in 50% higher net sales per sales rep. (source) As a sales leader, that’s got to look pretty good to you right now. Imagine your targets looking 50% healthier!

You’ll also be more likely to retain your team with 65% of salespeople stating that access to high-quality training positively influences their engagement.  (source

Convinced but don’t know where to start? Chat with our team to start working on a learning plan that works for you and your team. We can help!