Recent research from the Aberdeen Group finds that it takes seven months and nearly $30,000 to find and onboard a new salesperson.
Whether you’re looking to replace a departing rep or expanding your sales force, those are sobering numbers. And for me, the time is more alarming than the money. That’s seven months where existing accounts may be at risk, new accounts may be going to competitors and sales managers may be distracted from other mission-critical issues.
Scariest of all? Even with all that time and money, the process may fail. And then it’s back to square one.
All of this, of course, bolsters the case for a comprehensive and well-designed sales training program. If sales training can reduce the ramp-up time and decrease the attrition rate for new sales hires, it’s worth its weight in gold.
That’s not just me talking.
The Aberdeen research found that top-performing companies invest in sales training big time. And they’re reaping the rewards. As I reported in an earlier post, companies deploying formal sales training initiatives lead non-adopters on a variety of sales metrics.
Talking to the C-suite
One interesting trend identified in the research: Compared with a year ago, there seems to be a greater emphasis on “improving the ability to engage senior-level executive decision makers” and less on on “standardized messaging.”
That’s a healthy trend. It’s time for organizations to give up on the idea that salespeople need to “stick to the script.” Not that there’s anything wrong with scripts per se, but they’re simply a tool that salespeople can use. Sales isn’t a an algorithmic process, where if prospect says x, the salesperson says y. To get the sale these days, salespeople need to prepared to have intelligent, insightful conversations with customers. And that’s the core of what sales training should be teaching.
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