Why Learn?


1. The half-life of a Sales Professional is 3-5 years. That means that in 3-5 years, half of what the person knows about selling is obsolete. Sales technology is advancing at a radical pace.

2. Experience alone will not be enough to keep up with the changing market. What would you do if the physician said, "I haven't read a book or been to a seminar in medicine since I graduated from med school 20 years ago." Sales technology is helping professionals keep their skills state of the art.

3. Why do the very best of every profession spend so much time in training?

4. Top sales producers spend approximately two weeks per year in training.

5. "The success of current business strategies and the development of innovations frequently hinge on the skills of the sales force. Customer Service strategies are impossible unless the sales force is well-trained in this arena."

- ASTD, Annual Research Report.

6. A new salesperson's enthusiasm will carry them for the first 90 days, then selling skills must be in place or a dramatic drop (or total failure) in productivity will occur. Without skill reinforcement, in 12 to 18 months another drop (approximately 20%) will occur.

7. 80% of first year sales people develop fears of selling and fail because they lack the basic skills of selling.

8. Past experience and formal education have no correlation to success in selling.

9. Make your sales calls count. "Companies with less than ten salespeople report an average sales call cost of $336.00."

- McGraw-Hill Research

10. "Sales people completing a selling skills intensive training program show increases in productivity ranging from 35% to 1665%. Yet, an estimated 70% of companies provide no selling skills development at all."

- ASTD, Annual Research Report.

11. Companies often lump product knowledge, motivational "rah rah" sessions and technical skills development under the heading of "sales training." Yet none of these actually help the person sell skillfully.

12. We see training as insurance on our biggest asset - human resources. Find me a company without that insurance, that has stopped training its salespeople, and I'll target that market and that company and have its business by year's end. David Barcusee of Bergen-Brunswig.

- Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, January 1990.

13. "95% of the training that's done on the job is done so poorly that the job suffers measurably. And both the trainer and the trainee agree that it's the trainee's fault, but it isn't."

- Training Magazine June 1993

14. "Great salespeople have an edge because they are able to let go of obsolete ideas..."

- Donald Trump - Personal Selling Power, September, 1993

15. After one year on the job, it costs approximately $125,000 to replace a Sales Professional.

16. After the first 90 days, the enthusiasm of a new job wears off and reality sets in. Without skill development, 80% of "new to sales" people will wash out of selling within the year.

17. How important is contact management? Industrial Distribution's study found that neglect and/or an attitude of indifference are the causes for 82% of customers to go over to the competition.

Go to top of page


1. Sales managers are primarily responsible for obtaining results through the efforts of their salespeople. Their payoff comes through the development of others. Yet, sales managers spend less than 15 minutes per month per salesperson in actual skill development.

2. "...Selection and training of field sales managers has become one of the most acute problems facing top management."

- Harvard Business Review.

3. "50% of Sales Managers surveyed have never read a job description of what they were supposed to do."

- American Management Association

4. "78% of Sales Managers were dissatisfied with their training or had never received any specific training to equip them for their roles as Sales Managers."

- American Management Association

5. "Only 1 out of 44 companies surveyed had any kind of company sponsored sales managers training program."

- American Management Association

6. Using the right interviewing and hiring techniques can reduce the number of inappropriate people being hired by as much as 40%.

7. "Top managers today make more decisions in one month that their grandparents made in a lifetime."

- Kenneth Blanchard - Training Magazine June 1993

Go to top of page


1. "Based on research of 1554 small, medium and large companies, the median amount spent on sales training amounted to only $1767.00. Five percent of the respondents spent $10,000+."

- Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, January 1990.

2. "Over the past 50 years, investments in job related training have consistently outperformed investments in machine capitol. Quite simply, a trained workforce produces more productivity gains than capital investments do."

- Training and Development Journal, January 1990.

3. "The average 1.4% of payroll that U.S. companies invest in training reaches only 10% of the workforce. Japanese and European owned companies in the U.S. spend three to five times more on employee training than American companies do."

- Training and Development Journal, January 1990.

4. "By the year 2000, 75% of all workers currently employed will need re-training. Technological and societal changes are reshaping jobs in every industry."

- Training and Development Journal, January 1990.

5. "75% of the people who will be working in the year 2000 are already in the workforce. The only way they will have access to training is if companies like your's supply it."

-Training and Development Journal, January 1990.

6. "The surplus labor supply of a few years ago has dwindled to almost nothing. Companies won't be able to buy talent, instead they will need to create it with training."

- Training and Development Journal, January 1990.

Go to top of page


Objection: My boss won't authorize anything.
When?: Early closing after presentation.
Probable Cause: [Missing Buyer Belief] Buyer does not believe he/she has authority.
Objective: Identify people who play the various decision making roles.

Prevention Strategies

1.. Identify from your lead source (i.e., referral, directory, etc.) who most likely (by title) would be in each of the different decision making roles. See your Profile of accounts for this particular market segment and size company to identify high potential decision makers.

2. During your initial contact with the receptionist, ask who are the people who would make decisions about those products/services that are used in ... (specify area). Ask about typically involved decision makers (profile). Ask, who would make the decisions about performance specifications. Who would decide the necessary level of return on investment before a product/service could be pre-approved for purchasing to order?

3. When closing out this step in the call say, "I guess one of our next steps will have to be to make sure we do a thorough cost justification so that we can support your efforts with your management, what will be the approval process for this type of project?"

Go to top of page


Objection: My boss won't authorize anything.
When?: Early closing after presentation.
Probable Cause: [Missing Buyer Belief] Buyer does not believe he/she has authority.
Objective: Identify people who play the various decision making roles. Responses

1."That I understand, my boss won't either, unless" I have some pretty strong cost justification for at least reviewing a project, is that about where he/she is?

2. "I can certainly understand how you feel, I'm in the same boat, but if this makes sense and we can cost justify it, what other information do you think we need to take it to the next step?"

3. "Won't authorize anything?" (Clarify the circumstances under which authorization can be obtained.)

Go to top of page

© Copyright 1997 Sales Training International