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March 20, 2018

3 Things High Performing Sales Training Teams Do Differently

Key Takeaways for Training

The basic competencies for sales success really haven’t changed since the early days of the profession.  Clear communication, compelling messages and sticking to the process produce results just like they always did.  However, the buyers have changed. In today’s world they demand insight, and now look to their sales reps to provide it.  Reps need to be smarter and more creative than ever before in order to cut through the noise, so we surveyed more than 150 sales executives and enablement leaders to find out how high performing sales training teams do it.


  1. Prioritize Peer and Manager Coaching for Faster Onboarding

High performing teams onboard new reps twelve percent faster by relying on the power of manager coaching.  For new sales reps, the learning curve is steep and time is precious because revenue opportunities disappear every day a new rep spends in onboarding. Faster onboarding spells better revenue performance so accelerating time to sales competency is a must.  Increasing manager coaching gives new reps a boost by lending an expert’s perspective when strategizing to push deals over the line.  

Sales organizations increasingly recognize that relying solely on the good old fashioned bootcamp approach is a broken paradigm.  Survey results point to high performers now diverting resources from these expensive, time consuming sales training events in favor of more focused, collaborative coaching and training in the field among reps and managers — as well as among peers.

  1. Remove the guesswork by assessing sales messaging

Nothing beats knowing your message cold.  Reps walking in comfortable with their talk tracks inspire confidence while overcoming obstacles and objections gracefully because they’re not stuck focusing on remembering their sales training.  That’s why top performers in our survey consistently emphasized strong sales messaging as a prerequisite for success.   

However, knowing what you ought to do and hoping it gets done is a far cry from actually doing it.  Top performers don’t just expect message execution in the field to happen — they plan for it. Companies increasingly roll out certification programs to ensure reps can clearly articulate a value message during the sales process.  With large investments made in new hire onboarding, product launch trainings and national sales meetings, top performers don’t just hope for ROI.

  1. The Importance of Continuous Sales Training  

Top performers assess and train continuously, not episodically. The best teams measure performance at each stage of the sales cycle objectively while their lower-performing peers simply dole out PIPs.  You’ll never hit a target you can’t see, so understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your team at a granular level is a must for targeted training.  Top performing sales organizations keep their finger on the pulse of the field so they can quickly adjust and make any needed improvements.

When you know who needs help — and with which sales competencies — you can target training more accurately.  This continuous assessment and training approach forces organizations to analyze the sales process in order to focus on individual skills and knowledge that comprise key sales competencies.  Doing this injects some predictability into the outcomes of your training initiatives.

Putting It All Together

Modern sales learning confers serious advantages upon the teams that take advantage of it.  Top performers’ training priorities reflect a belief in the power of continuous practice and coaching informed by objective sales competency metrics.  The world of selling may have grown in complexity, but thanks to competency-based sales learning organizations can systematically attack one piece of the puzzle at a time.


Assessing_Sales_Rep_Competency_ThumbnailFor more on how to emulate high-performing sales training teams, download our ebook Assessing Sales Rep Competency Before It Affects Results

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