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More Customer-Focused Sales Training

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Fri Jan 08 2010

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An organization's sales force drives the bottom line - and effective sales training is the bedrock of a successful sales program. The ASTD/Intrepid/i4cp State of Sales Training Study explores how today's organizations are approaching sales training. The report helps to illuminate the strategy, processes, and commitment that is required to enhance and increase sales performance.

The State of Sales Training Study revealed that today's sales trainers are now focused on more "softer", people-oriented selling skills, rather than the "hard-sell" persuasion and negotiation skills traditionally associated with sales professionals. About six in 10 survey respondents said that their selling skills training includes consultative-selling skills (60.5 percent), listening (59.8 percent) and relationship building (58.7 percent) to a high or very high extent. The study's findings also shows that roughly half of respondents say their organizations include training (to a high or very high extent) in approaches that get sales teams members more involved with customers, such as adapting the sales process to specific buying processes and problem solving diagnosis.

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The research also included a correlation analysis to evaluate which of these variables were most strongly related to higher sales performance in the sales reporting area. The strongest correlation was observed for presentation skills, and three other elements shared the second - strongest correlations: problem solving and diagnosis, adapting the sales process to specific buying processes, and listening skills. Adapting the sales process to specific buying processes was associated with higher sales performance, highlighting the importance of customer knowledge and flexibility as important tools for sales team members.

Source:State of Sales Training(ASTD/Intrepid/i4cp)

Click here to learn more about ASTD Research.

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