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The Evolution of Sales Training & Changes

When I was a kid, my teachers would often ask what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Upon receiving this question, my mind often thought of many exciting professions. First I wanted to be a professional athlete, a firefighter, then doctor and so on so forth.  Never once did the thought cross my mind to say hey “I want to be a salesman!”.  My pathway to becoming a salesman was like how many other get into the profession… I “tripped” into it.  After graduating with a degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition, I obviously was ready to sell computers for a living.

Although today sales curriculum is being taught at more colleges and universities than ever before, it is still a profession that is far behind when it comes to professionally preparing individuals to begin their careers in sales.  I was fortunate that the first company I sold for had an amazing sales training program.  Unfortunately, most companies do not have formal programs so sales professionals are having to play catch up when it comes to honing their sales skills.

In addition, the way we sell today is and continues to change.  Technology has changed the game!  With the advent of the internet (which looks like it is going to stick around), the power has shifted from the salesmen to the buyer.


Change Is Coming:

Technology Has Changed Everything:  When was the last time you had to talk to a salesman to gain information about a product?  Before Google if someone wanted to know about a product or service they had to contact sales to learn more.  Now within 30 seconds you can have any product information (specs, speeds, feeds, videos, reviews, pricing, etc.) you want.

The Power Has Shifted:  Salesmen used to be the gatekeepers of information, which gave them the power to control the sale.  Technology has now shifted that power to the buyer.  A good example can be found in the car dealer industry.  A buyer can go through the whole sales process without ever stepping foot into a dealership or talking to a salesman.  Buyers can know what the car was purchased for, reviews on the dealership, have competitive bids, know all factory incentives, etc.

No More Show “Up and Throw Up”:  Sales professionals used to be able to get away with spouting features and facts about their products/services and say “want to buy”.  With the change in the buying process, this no longer works.  Even the most transactional of sales needs a different approach.

It’s a Group Thing:  The day of the sole decision maker is over!  Many organizations are relying on decision to be made as a group.  Yes, there are still main decision makers but influencers are a key part of the overall decision making process.


Even though the way buyers buy changed, the way most organizations train (if at all) sales people have not.  If an organization does provide sales training, the problem is that most of the training is still based off of sales techniques and methodologies from the 80s and 90s.


Today’s Sales Training Needs the Following to Be Effective:

Aligned with Today’s Buying Process:  As discussed above, the days of “show up and throw up” are over.  Today’s training needs to incorporate important sales skills such as asking good questions, listening, building rapport and more.

Easily Digestible and Actionable:  In the past sales professionals have paid to sit through three days of sales training in a large ballroom.  Although these training’s were content rich, the typical sales professional could only retain a fraction of what they learned.  In addition, most of the training could not be applied right way.  Sales training today needs to be easily digestible and actionable.

Accessible from Anywhere:  With the use of tablets and smart phones about to surpass desktop computers, this proves that sales training needs to be accessible from anywhere at any time.

Automatically Pushed:  We are in an age where information is fed to us…. Twitter, Facebook, 24-hour news channels.  Sales training needs to follow the same delivery method.  It needs to be pushed out to its students and not expect them to go and find it.

Affordable:  With the rise of startups and small businesses, most organizations and sales professionals don’t have the resources to spend tens of thousands of dollars on sales training.  


Over the past 12 years, Acquirent has been refining it sales training program to keep up with the changing sales landscape.  We are proud to announce the launch of our Online Sales Training platform.  We believe the content is aligned with today’s buying process and that it is in a format that works for today’s busy sales professionals.  The following is the link to our new training site: Acquirent’s Training Site.

Happy Selling!