One of our trusted advisers, who has been in the sales performance improvement (aka sales training) industry for decades, has told us that over $9 Billion is spent on sales performance improvement every year but 92% of those initiatives fail to produce any measurable impact! We did not believe it at first, but when we looked into it, he was right! Dozens of research papers have confirmed this outcome.
That’s an amazing statistic. Why do you think sales training fails to produce impact? How could something be so important yet destined for failure? Take a second and comment below. We’re interested in your thoughts.
Since the IES was created, we’ve met with hundreds of sales leaders and have seen every possible frustration they face. One of the biggest challenges we hear most often is the fear of selecting the wrong sales training provider. They’ve heard or experienced the horror story of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars training sales teams that are ultimately no more successful than before the training began.
And most of the problems, it seems, were associated with simply picking the wrong provider from the start.
Possible reasons for selecting the wrong provider could have been:
- Ignorance on what to ask
- Not understanding what they really needed to fix
- Not knowing how sales training should be implemented to be successful
- Or simply choosing a vendor that was not particularly good at what was needed
Since the IES is of service to selling professionals and leaders, it became apparent that the IES needed to help companies choose the best training resources to meet their needs.
We embarked on a journey to conduct independent evaluations of as many sales training companies as we could identify. We have no dog in the fight so our mission was to be as independent, intelligent and agnostic as possible. We wanted to find out what the training companies excelled at, which parts of the sales process they knew best, and what was unique (if anything) about their methodology.
This investigation has equipped the IES to be your independent “safety net” when you make the once-in-a-decade choice of who to hire to improve the performance of your team.
THE RECEPTION TO THIS WAS POWERFUL FROM THE START
We had seen this as a desperate need in the market and have been offering recommendations to companies informally for the past few years. For example, we got a call from a sales leader at a $100+ million company that had never engaged an outside sales training vendor and did not know where to start. They had 25 outside and 50 or so inside sales reps.
After meeting a few times, we agreed that his sales people were calling too low at their targets and were not skilled enough to call higher. His company had recently overhauled the product offerings and they now needed to call higher. There was more complexity in the product suite and more people were involved in the buying decision. The customer’s C-suite was now involved with the purchase and the reps had no idea how to engage them.
It became painfully clear that the sales organization was not comfortable selling at the higher levels. It also meant the reps needed to be trained how to manage a complex tech sale with many decision makers.
We reviewed the sales training companies we were familiar with and approached two that would be a good fit. Because of the trust the company had in the IES, we were asked to manage the complete interaction. We took that on, set up the contracts with the provider and created the engagement process. The training provider we selected had an exceptional curriculum for selling to the C-suite. The program they put in place for the sales team had rich on-site content, smart online components for follow up, and rich metrics to determine where to shift once the initial training had been completed.
The IES sales vendor review and referral service had begun. We brought them the right provider and their reps were effectively trained.
WE FORMALIZED A REVIEW PROCESS OF THE TRAINING PROVIDERS
We take the wonder out of managing a sales organization’s training needs. We’ve found that most people who need sales training have never hired a firm and don’t know how to make the right selection for their needs. This could be a once in a decade purchase for them.
The providers all look alike and seem to offer everything. Our research and understanding of the training industry has shown us that companies are usually good at 1-3 areas at the most, yet seem to present themselves as knowing everything. The truth is that some providers are exceptional at training on prospecting or filling the funnel. Others are great at negotiations or sales operations training. Others might be better at the marketing function. We know where each one has a unique brilliance and how to ensure that sales leadership chooses the best provider to address their critical needs. We take out the guesswork.
We set to identify all of the training providers that had created unique processes. We determined that perhaps 30 companies had created unique training intellectual property that might have been based on science, analytics, and real world data. We contacted all of these companies, interviewed many of them, and recorded and classified their responses.
We then transcribed the responses and sent them to an independent group of advisors for confirmation. We then put a process in place to review the content regularly to stay fresh with the providers and their development.
Sales leaders have told me that the IES fills a void in the market. Our sales training review and referral service is becoming one of the most valuable things that we have brought to sales leaders.
You see, good sales training is not inexpensive. Costs can range from $1-3K per person so sales leaders shouldn’t have to pay a price for making an uninformed selection. The IES mission is to ensure that we’ll get the best provider per a company’s unique requirements. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.