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In Case You Missed Us: ASTD 2011 Recap

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Mon Jun 13 2011

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In Case You Missed Us: ASTD 2011 Recap-bfcb050e95630d7d8eae39b1ad55a3f359153e0055f7f1ad1826df3b069e52bd

In Case You Missed Us: ASTD 2011 Recap-5a95d221b92b54e82b9d6540495cd8108822bc967ac297e33992e7fa10f9c039

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In Case You Missed Us: ASTD 2011 Recap-4a1315917096b20f18e96c4b0801e219e00b5a0ccd7599c7a22969056410228a

In Case You Missed Us: ASTD 2011 Recap-ade26356a94b06d7b5868b4e3bf197b2323cd4bafc993301d3806fda083dbc96

I recently returned from ASTD 2011 in Orlando, Florida. This was my first conference as practice manager of Sales Training Drivers at ASTD and I must say that the passion and energy for sales enablement that I encountered was amazing. I was able to speak with practitioners and thought leaders, and came away with some very obvious trends that will drive the future of sales training.

  • The sales process has changed. A linear sales process will no longer work. Your prospects and customers don't make buying decisions in a linear fashion so we need to stop trying to force a linear sales process upon our sales reps. As Tim Ohai said in the Lunch and Learn on Tuesday, the sales funnel is DEAD! If we embrace the fact that the sales process must be flexible and train our reps to be flexible then we've found a way to connect with our buyers in a way that makes sense to them. To understand the chaos of sales and how to be agile when selling then check out Sales Chaos by Tim Ohai and Brian Lambert.

  • Technology is taking hold in sales enablement. While technology has been embraced in traditional learning circles, technology was not historically been leveraged when training sales people. I've heard various reasons for this and the most common explanation was that salespeople like face to face interaction and won't get anything out of technology based training. But with the advent of smart phones and advances in virtual technologies, sales trainers can compliment traditional classroom training with other delivery vehicles. Smart phones can be used to deliver quick reinforcement or coaching tips while a sales rep is out on a call. Virtual classrooms can teach a geographically disbursed audience almost as if everyone were in the same room and thus save a company thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours. To learn more, check out our April webinar, Solving the Sales Training Challenge: How Technology-Enabled Training Can Succeed Where Physical Training Fails, delivered by Martyn Lewis of 3G Selling

  • Sales Coaching is taking hold. Research has shown that without reinforcement, most training is not retained. Sales Coaching is a fantastic way to reinforce training. Now, let's be clear here. When I say sales coaching, I don't mean a sales manager sitting in his office talking to the rep about the funnel. Sales Coaching is a sales manager or trainer going into the field on sales calls with the rep. This is a great way to encourage reps' correct behaviors and work on areas of improvement all in real time. So, if you are a manager or trainer and you don't regularly go on sales calls, then get in the car and start coaching!

So, sales trainers and leaders, we want to hear from you. Does any of this ring true in your organization? Are you seeing, or better yet, employing any or all of these? Give us your thoughts!

A few photos from our Sales Training Drivers Lunch and Learn at ASTD 2011:

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If you weren't able to attend ASTD 2011, I encourage you to join us in Denver for ASTD 2012!

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