Just 21 percent of companies believe they train their salespeople on the skills they need each year, according to a new report conducted by Corporate Visions, the leading marketing and sales messaging, content and skills training company, and Sales & Marketing Management Magazine.
Corporate Visions’ State of the Conversation, “Beyond the Classroom: Trends in B2B Sales Training,” surveyed nearly 300 companies and found that the highest percentage of respondents (45 percent) believe that in-person, instructor-led training is the most effective training format.
But many companies struggle to train as many reps as they want on the skills they think they need.
Among the companies unable to train the amount of reps they want, 56 percent say time out of the field is the biggest training limitation. Meanwhile, 37 percent cite budget restraints as the biggest obstacle to training access.
This explains why 65 percent of respondents expect their investment in virtual training to increase “significantly” or “slightly” in the coming years – the biggest gain of any form of training. Meanwhile, instructor-led, in-person training investments were reported to remain flat, despite being rated in the survey as the “most effective” form of training in terms of creating behavior changes.
“In-person training is still considered the best form for teaching ‘soft’ selling skills that improve pipeline growth, proposal success, as well as negotiations, but there are real pressures forcing companies to explore other alternatives,” said Tim Riesterer, chief strategy officer of Corporate Visions. “The growth anticipated around virtual training modalities shows that companies need more flexible, competency-based training formats that give reps skills training when and where they need it, without removing them from the field.”
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