Part 1 of this blog began with a statistic showing that U.S. firms spend just south of one trillion dollars on their sales forces. A portion of this spend is on sales training, which can be off-the-shelf content/training, custom training, or some combo thereof. We developed this two-part blog with the premise that your sales training is unlikely to hit its target if you don’t first define your desired outcomes (Step 1), your adoption strategy (Step 2), and your optimal modality mix (Step 3), all of which were addressed in 5 Steps to Find Your Actual Cost of Sales Training - Part 1. In Part 2, we explore the specific sales training investments (Steps 4 & 5), as well as a hypothetical example between off-the-shelf vs. custom approaches.
Annually, U.S. firms spend approximately $900 billion on their sales forces, which is greater than three times their total media ad spend and 20 times their spend on all digital marketing[i]. Based on various sources, there are between 4 and 5 million business-to-business (B2B) sales professionals in the U.S. and approximately $20B is spent on sales training alone, not including sales enablement technologies, tools, and aids.
As a firm that often develops customized sales training, we are frequently asked about the costs over and above our fees. As you can imagine, it’s not a simple answer, but this two-part article highlights the 5 steps you should take to define your cost of sales training and determine whether custom or off-the-shelf training is a better option for you.
After several of years of facing challenging sales targets, I realized my job had started to feel like a roller coaster, constantly sending me through extreme emotional highs and lows depending on my performance. Most professionals who choose sales or account management as a career path care about hitting goals, but the fact is that most goals are manipulated to stretch the sales rep just enough to encourage him or her to put forth extra effort in order to achieve their targets.
Like many business projects, sales effectiveness projects are often focused on the big 3 – Increasing revenue, cutting costs and/or reducing risks. When we talk to sales leaders, the primary stated business objectives of sales transformation projects usually tie back to increasing revenue – capturing new accounts, improving up-sell and cross-sell, increasing renewal rates, increasing revenue per seller productivity.
Over the last few years, one of the most popular pieces on the Symmetrics Group website has been this Whitepaper – a go-to-market strategy primer. It’s a topic that many companies struggle with, and it requires both quantitative justification and qualitative ‘color’ to be actionable.
When it comes to go-to-market related questions, we often hear the following:
- Should I start up or expand my inside sales team?
- Does my indirect sales channel actually cost less than my direct team?
- How do our customers want to interact with us – through which channel, device, etc.?
- Overall, how can I increase my sales productivity, while also lowering my cost of sales?
These questions and many more point to the challenges of developing a go-to-market strategy.
It is mid-2013 and the tenuous, yet positive, economic indicators keep coming: housing prices up by highest level in 7 years, positive job growth in the private sector extends streak to 40 months, unemployment continues to fall. For many of our clients, these indicators present a double-edged sword. First, the good - there is finally some growth and more strength and security in their business.