This recent piece from HBR sheds light on the alarming gap between investment and performance in sales training initiatives and provides insight into what key ingredients they may be missing.
Consider this fascinating statistic: only 9% of sales meetings end in a sale, and only one out of 250 salespeople exceed their sales targets.
What Researchers Lynette Ryals and Ian Davies found could surprise you and change the way you view your training initiatives:
“Ryals and Davies found that a disproportionate amount of training is allocated to presentation and rapport skills, as well as the actual sales pitch”…
… when in fact, they found the behaviors of the most successful salespeople include overcoming customer objections on the fly (thinking on your feet), rising to the challenge, and adaptability. Furthermore, what hinders success is sticking to the sales script too much, not listening or paying attention, and lacking self-awareness.
Luckily, these “successful” behaviors can be learned and built up like muscles through training initiatives like Improvisation.
What can you add or substitute into your sales training initiatives to help close this gap, and fast? Consider the training toolbox of an Improviser.