Around the Sales World

Trends and practices from the world of sales

Training Salespeople – A Marketing Perspective 

“New salespeople may spend anywhere from a few weeks or months to a year or more in training. After the initial training ends, most companies provide continuing sales train- ing via seminars, sales meetings, and online learning throughout the salesperson's career. 

According to one source, American firms spend approximately $20 billion on sales training each year. Although training can be expensive, it can also yield dramatic returns. For instance, one recent study showed that sales training conducted by ADP, an administrative services firm, resulted in a return on investment of nearly 340 percent in only 90 days.

Training programs have several goals

  • First, salespeople need to know about customers and how to build relationships with them. Therefore, the training program must teach them about different types of customers and their needs, buying motives, and buying habits. 
  • It must also teach them how to sell effectively and train them in the basics of the selling process. Salespeople also need to know and identify with the company, its products, and its competitors. 
  • Therefore, an effective training program teaches them about the company's objectives, organization, products, and the strategies of major competitors.

Today, many companies are adding digital e-learning components to their sales training programs. Online training may range from simple self-paced text and video-based product training and internet-based sales exercises that build sales skills to sophisticated simulations that re-create the dynamics of real-life sales calls. 

One of the most basic forms is virtual instructor-led training (VILT). Using this method, a small group of salespeople at remote locations logs on to an online conferencing site, where a sales instructor leads training sessions using online video, audio, and interactive learning tools

Training online instead of on-site can cut travel and other training costs, and it takes up less of a salesperson's selling time. It also makes on-demand training available to salespeople, letting them train as little or as much as needed, whenever and wherever needed. 

Although most e-learning is web-based, companies can offer on-demand training from anywhere via almost any mobile device. Many companies are now using imaginative new e-learning techniques to make sales training more efficient and effective-and sometimes even more fun”

(Source: Excerpted from Principles of Marketing – 17th Edition by Philip Kotler, Gary Armstrong & Prafulla Agnihotri published by Pearson) 

“The ability to sell is the number one skill in business. If you cannot sell, don’t bother thinking about becoming a business owner.”

- Robert T. Kiyosaki

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