Many salespeople lack formal training in sales

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Thirty-five percent of employers reported that their companies missed revenue goals in the last 12 months. While a tough economy has hindered financial growth for many organizations, research from CareerBuilder suggest a lack of formal sales training may be one culprit.

According to CareerBuilder, the number of colleges offering a formal degree in sales is significantly smaller than other majors that have a lower volume of job opportunities.

“There is a disconnect between the demand for sales skills in corporate America and the formal training available either through academic institutions or within companies themselves,” says Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America.

“Two-in-five sales representatives don’t have a formal degree in sales, and of those who do, most have a general business administration degree,” he adds. “On top of this, sales training budgets are not as robust as they should be with a large percentage of sales leaders reporting their companies spend $10,000 or less on sales training in a given year. If companies want to see better top-line growth, there has to be a greater investment in educating sales teams on critical skills on an ongoing basis.”

In separate research conducted online by CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive, sales leaders voiced concerns over their sales training programs and candidate readiness. Findings are based on dual CareerBuilder surveys of 2,184 employers interviewed between Feb. 11 and March 6, 2013, and sales force members (301 sales leaders and 600 sales representatives) interviewed between Nov. 20 and Dec. 12, 2012.

Of sales leaders who offer formal sales training to their staff, 64 percent reported that training at their firms is only somewhat effective, and 50 percent of sales leaders said candidates for entry-level sales jobs are only somewhat prepared or not prepared at all.

“An estimated 50 percent of college graduates start their career in sales, (but) very few of these graduates have any sales training when they enter the workplace,” says Rosann Spiro, executive director of the Kelley School’s Center for Global Sales Leadership.


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