UK organisations ‘failing to support their marketing and sales staff’

Jan 13, 2020 | Online advertising, Skills

A quarter of British organisations are failing to carry out any kind of training or coaching for their marketing and sales staff.

Showpad research has revealed that as a result, they are not equipped for selling complex or high value products and services, losing out on potential upsell opportunities with existing customers or failing to bring in new customers.

This is despite half (51%) of UK companies admitting that training and coaching was important or crucial for their business.

According to the study, only 16% of firms offer the continuous and ongoing training and coaching necessary for sales teams to keep up with the increasingly sophisticated products, services and AI-driven solutions across their industry.

“Organisations today are selling incredibly complex propositions,” commented Iain Masson, Director of Sales at Showpad. “If staff are simply being trained when they join the company, or when a new product comes out, they will be taking an ineffective approach – or worse, missing out on deals, upsell or cross-selling opportunities.”

The study revealed a disconnect in how organisations are empowering their sales staff with content, training and coaching (sales enablement) with 51% of organisations admitting that training and coaching was important or crucial but many companies failing to train effectively.

In fact, 65% of companies admitted to using training methods such as lectures, presentations, demos or group discussions, when studies from the NTL Institute have shown that these methods help learners retain 50% of the content at most. Only 16% of sales staff are using highly effective methods, such as learning, then having learners teach others, which results in a 90% information retention rate.

“Sales is a complex role,” concluded Masson. “Although staff will learn from their own experiences, it’s better to share these learnings across the organisation, then track and use analytics to understand the best ways of selling and how to shorten the sales cycle. There is certainly optimism – 79% of staff believe that training and coaching is better than it was five years ago – but it’s crucial to accelerate such sales enablement initiatives if organisations are to make the most of new budgets in the new year.”


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