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ATD Blog

Now Is the Time to Double-Down on Sales Training

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Due to the pandemic, sales organizations—and sales enablement teams, specifically—have been navigating a world where requirements and expectations have shifted (in many cases, more than once).

With so much change going on, setting the right priorities is key. Here are two reasons why sales training should be at the top of the list.

Selling—and Selling Skills—Have Changed

We’ve heard numerous times during the past few months that the skills required for many sales roles have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Nearly every article about how selling has changed emphasizes that the skills and competencies reps need to be successful are different.

This goes beyond making sure reps have good lighting on their video chats. It’s about the way reps sell and their interactions with buyers. In fact, certain client-facing roles have been redefined.

Take field sales teams, for example. Most field reps can no longer be out on the road meeting clients face-to-face. As a result, a lot of skills that you would see from inside sales teams or business development teams are now being transitioned to field reps and account executives.

This includes skills for remote presentating and calendaring as well as the coordination and logistics of presenting as a remote team. In a remote selling world, everything that goes into virtual presentations needs to be improved and polished in a way that may not have been necessary for field sellers in the past.


And that doesn’t even get into the new messaging, value props, and pitches that many sales organizations have had to pivot. Add it all together and you’re left with several obvious opportunities for upskilling and updated training programs.

The Sales Tech Toolset Is More Important Than Ever

Because many teams are stationary at home, many reps now use the sales technology stack more than they did before. This includes solutions like:

  • Sales engagement and outreach tools
  • Social media tools (such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator)
  • Research and data tools (including ZoomInfo and Dun & Bradstreet)

There’s more time for teams to dig into these tools. For a lot of organizations, this is good news. It means that their reps are going to be taking advantage of these technologies to the extent they had always imagined.


But, of course, for it to matter, sales teams need to be prepared to effectively use these tools. If yours is like most companies, high-level use of sales technology is inconsistent at best. Improving this takes training and coaching; consider refresher courses about what reps may have learned before as well as new process to optimize their efforts for the current remote-centric world.

Is It Time to Double Down?

Maybe you have sales roles that have been somewhat redefined over the past few months. Or maybe there are just new skills and technologies that your teams need to improve upon.

If this sounds like you, and you’re dealing with a lot of change, that could be your answer to why this is great time to double-down on sales training.

Of course, for some, the sales training process may look quite a bit different than it did a year ago. That’s where the right sales readiness platform can help—whether it’s for delivering on-demand courses, virtual coaching, or keeping tabs on the learning progress of remote teams.

About the Author

Brendan Cournoyer is a content marketing manager at Brainshark, Inc. Brainshark’s cloud-based technology lets business professionals create, share and track online video presentations that can be viewed on computers and mobile devices, and meet training needs. Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brencournoyer and Brainshark at @brainshark. For more tips and ideas on using PowerPoint and video to enhance your e-learning and training program, visit the Brainshark Ideas Blog.

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