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Benefits of Sales Training

Question:

Discuss about the Impact of Sales Training on sales force actitvity.

The objectives of this project study are to provide a view on effect of sales training on the sales force activity. The project study also highlights on how the provisions of sales training offered by organizations increases overall productivity of sales force. Training refers to the field that is mainly concerned with activities of the organization aimed for improving the performance of the groups as well as individuals in the company’s settings. Training usually focuses on the activities that help in developing the employees for their present jobs.  The objective of providing training and development to the employees is to ensure that they perform their job effectively through value addition. It also refers to as the process of transferring information as well as knowledge to the workers. Training also presents the opportunity in expanding the base of knowledge of the workers (Nasri and Charfeddine 2012). It also benefits the organization and the employees as it facilitates in making the cost as well as time worthwhile investment.

Nevertheless, there are some potential drawbacks of training and development. This means that if the workers miss out their work time for attending sessions of training, it might delay in project completion. Sales training facilitates aspiring sales personnel develop the skills they require in succeeding and enhancing their level of confidence (Piercy, Cravens and Lane 2012). The purpose of sales training also helps in improving overall competence of sales employees that is generally tackled by the sales managers. It also helps the trainers in improving the marketing skills and understand their customers in better way. It also reinforces the selling system of the organization and improves the sales force activity.

Importance of providing training to sales personnel and its impact on sales force activity

The organizations in the present competitive business environment face several challenges and thereby training their sales personnel is usually high on agenda of most of the companies. As stated by Topno (2012), sales training is generally a challenge to most of the organizations amidst rapidly varying global economy. The entities are spending huge amount on training their sales personnel in order to gain competitive advantages despite their production cost. Sales training programs facilitate the sales managers improve their sales force activities, satisfy their consumers and outperform their rivalries. Little (2012) opines that, well-executed training programs also increase probability that a sales personnel receives good quality training.

Potential Drawbacks of Sales Training


Sales training mainly contributes to sales personnel’s knowledge, skill level and higher performance. Most of the companies invest huge amounts of money in training their sales people for increasing laborers productivity and profitability level (ilo.org 2008). As competition becomes stronger owing to globalization in the market and technology becoming highly advanced, these changes are met through improved skills of the sales personnel that are attained through training. As stated by Kuruzovich (2013), the different dimensions of variation in selling environment apt in creating demands on the sales personnel that requires them in processing, internalizing and managing increase in information loads. From the perspective of sales training, the sales person who perceives supportive training environment towards the program will recognize the vital role that this training might have improved their performance in this field. In addition, this training plays a vital role for the initial development of the sales personnel and hence organizations make considerable investment in training their sales personnel (Johnston and Marshall 2016). Therefore, the bigger the investment in sales training, the better the performance of sales force activity. As the activity of sales force improves, it enhances the financial performance of the organization.

Effectual sales training programs help the sales personnel in developing their skills as well as build on present abilities for improving the performance of business through enhanced productivity and profit margin. Better sales training program leads to rise in level of sales force activities and sales volume (Guenzi, Baldauf and Panagopoulos 2014). There are few added benefits to training, which includes enhanced retention of sales force, motivation of employees and higher receptiveness to variation. In addition, knowledge about the market as well as customer allows the sales personnel to recognize prospective customer needing commodities and services provided by the organizations as well as offering sales personnel with resources for understanding buyer’s needs. Subsequently, these sales people ought to be highly customer- oriented through the sales training provided by the organization (RomaÂn, Ruiz and Munuera 2001). Moreover, sales training also facilitates the sales personnel in adopting with the new technology, which in turn improves efficiency of the sales people in doing their activities. This however enhances the total productivity in the business and hence improves the company’s financial performance. Sales training leaders also plays vital role in providing training to the sales personnel. Creativity of the training leaders as well as leveraging technology helps the sales management in meeting the targets and future demand of the commercial organizations. Furthermore, training also helps the sales force develop competencies in the competitive market environment. These competencies includes-

  • Meeting the training requirements of the rising global laborers and contributing to the talent development
  • Fostering collaboration as well as culture of connectivity through implementation of new technology
  • Demonstrating the affect of learning from training by utilizing metrics and data analysis for measuring effectiveness as well as efficiency of development
  • Matching proper technology o the particular learning challenge

Sales Force Activities

The sales force activities mainly consist of events and tasks including meetings that enable the sales management for improving the productivity of sales. These are basically separate marketing as well as sales activity records, which are created according to the re            quirement of task. They are usually used in the reporting the activities or triggering workforce rules in sales force (Tan and Newman, 2012). Training programs helps the sales force in planning and managing the activities efficiently.  It also helps them in employing various marketing tools that includes lead generation; call back scheduling, contact management and tracking the performance (Nasri and Charfeddine 2012). Among these tools, performance tracking is vital as it permits sales managers in tracking the productivity of sales People


Besides this, sales training also has direct impact on both the customer orientation and the sales force activity. There are basically three stages of sales training, which includes-

  • Assessment- This stage represents the establishment of training needs as well as objectives
  • Training- This stage reflects selection of the trainers, facilities of training and its methods, content of the program and implementation.
  • Evaluation- This phase includes assessment of effectiveness of training program

Nowadays, the sales forces utilizes impressive array of various sales equipments for taking vital sales roles that includes- collecting of market data, attaining prospect trust, providing good customer service and building strong relationship between buyer and seller. Therefore, these sales equipments are generally defined as the devices or methods that sales personnel utilize for facilitating in plying their commerce. Moreover, the sales personnel also carry out different experiments with this adoption of leading edge technologies for improving their efforts of marketing activities effectively. It has been highlighted by Johnston and Marshall (2016) that, the training provided to the sales personnel enhances their knowledge base as well as skill level, which in turn result in higher performance of sales force activity. The effect of sales training varies among the organizations and hence they impose the sales strategy according to it. This in turn helps the companies in optimizing resource allocation and improves their financial performance. In addition, the training provided to the salespeople also helped them in improving their capability in adopting with the new technology (Ingram et al. 2012). Therefore, the learning that the salesperson gains from training has the potential in leading to competitive advantage of the organization.


Little (2012) stated that training provided to the sales personnel plays vital role in sales management. This means that the operations of the sales management improves, which results in increased sales productivity as well as profitability. The effectual sales strategy along with the sales training facilitates the sales person meet the customers demand with the marketing models. As the sales environment in the present world has been very intense as well as highly competitive, it is important that each organization must provide training to their sales person for meeting their sales targets and consistently growing the business. Besides this, it is also necessary that the sales manager should have the ability to communicate with their team members efficiently as well as effectively. Delegating as well as setting manageable goals are vital skills for the sales managers to possess. In addition, proper training also helps the sales manager apply the SMART method for increasing sales of products in the organization and expanding the business (Basarab. and Root 2012). Therefore, the SMART objective adopted by the sales manager includes specific, measurable, attainable, realistic as well as time bound. Specific means that the sales personnel must make an action plan of selling the product. Measurable denotes that the sales supervisor measures the progress of the sales operation and also adjusts their objectives according to the sales target. In addition, the training facilitates the sales manager to set the sales target that can be attainable. Realistic means that the goals set by the supervisor are realistic. Time bound signifies that the sales supervisor also sets a particular time frame while setting their sales targets. However, these objectives help the supervisor in improving their sales performance of the organization.

Sales Equipments

The training provided to the sales personnel aids them to focus on adopting customer-oriented approach, which improves the sales force activity. This approach facilitates them in solving the customers’ problem, provide opportunities and add value to consumers business for a specified time period.  The successful adoption of customer orientation approach requires that the sales personnel must have necessary knowledge as well as skills that are provided through training (Attia and Honeycutt 2012). However, these skills and knowledge helps them in gathering knowledge about the purchaser through effective communication. In addition, it also helps them in analyzing the customer’s problems and tailor their offerings according to customer needs. However, the organization provides sales training along with high- tech methods for improving their sales force activity.  In addition, these high –tech procedure might be effective as they are flexible and involves direct participation of salespeople as compared to traditional training procedure.

In the present competitive marketplace, the personal selling is vital for the success of various organizations. This is why improving the performance of sales personnel has been one of the vital task that the sales managers performs. Therefore, the role of the sales personnel further expanded beyond sales generation and build relationships with their customers. It has also been noted that, the bigger investment in sales training also leads to better performance in sales force activity. Furthermore, subsidized training has reduced impact on the sales force performance in comparison with non-subsidized training.  The sales personnel who have higher training levels tend to be use their knowledge in the sales operation. This reflects on their performance, which in turn has direct effect on their sales force activity.


Some organization uses external consultants for sales training for either designing the program or providing proper training. These external consultants might adversely impact on the sales training activity as they might send mixed messages to their employees. Johnston and Marshall (2012) cite that, the productivity as well as efficiency in business might reduce owing to time spent on attending the training sessions. This in turn impact on the operating expenses for the material provided used in training sessions. Li and Mao (2012) found that unskilled manager might adversely impact on the trainees performance and training activities. Sometimes the sales person is not properly trained and this might create job dissatisfaction to them. As a result, this might result in discourage the sales person in quitting the jobs (Sager et al. 2014). For this reason, the sales manager is also given training in order to improve the sales training activities. Thus, proper sales training also helps the organization in improving employee’s retention and turnover rate.

Training for Improved Sales Management

Conclusion

From the above related literature, it can be concluded that the training provided by the organization to the sales personnel helps in improving the sales force activity and the sales performance of the company. This training also helps the sales supervisor in adopting SMART approach in the sales operation. Moreover, it also facilitates them in improving on their communication skills with their members for increasing their sales product. It also helps the sales people in focusing on customer-oriented selling in order to satisfy them and attain their trust.  Customer- oriented selling mainly evolves from the marketing theories, the management philosophy that defines that the organization must strive for satisfying the needs of customer through co-oriented activities. This in turn also allows the organization in improving their brand value and reputation by achieving the sales objectives.

References

Books

Basarab Sr, D.J. and Root, D.K., 2012. The training evaluation process: A practical approach to evaluating corporate training programs(Vol. 33). Springer Science & Business Media.

Ingram, T.N., LaForge, R.W., Avila, R.A., Schwepker Jr, C.H. and Williams, M.R., 2012. Sales management: Analysis and decision making. ME Sharpe.

Johnston, M.W. and Marshall, G.W., 2016. Sales force management: Leadership, innovation, technology. Routledge.

Andzulis, J.M., Panagopoulos, N.G. and Rapp, A., 2012. A review of social media and implications for the sales process. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 32(3), pp.305-316.

Attia, A.M. and Honeycutt Jr, E.D., 2012. Measuring sales training effectiveness at the behavior and results levels using self-and supervisor evaluations. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 30(3), pp.324-338.

Blocker, C.P., Cannon, J.P., Panagopoulos, N.G. and Sager, J.K., 2012. The role of the sales force in value creation and appropriation: New directions for research. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 32(1), pp.15-27.

Boles, J.S., Dudley, G.W., Onyemah, V., Rouzies, D. and Weeks, W.A., 2012. Sales force turnover and retention: A research agenda. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 32(1), pp.131-140.

Guenzi, P., Baldauf, A. and Panagopoulos, N.G., 2014. The influence of formal and informal sales controls on customer-directed selling behaviors and sales unit effectiveness. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(5), pp.786-800.

Kuruzovich, J., 2013. Sales technologies, sales force management, and online infomediaries. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 33(2), pp.211-224.

Lassk, F.G., Ingram, T.N., Kraus, F. and Mascio, R.D., 2012. The future of sales training: Challenges and related research questions. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 32(1), pp.141-154.

Li, L. and Mao, J.Y., 2012. The effect of CRM use on internal sales management control: An alternative mechanism to realize CRM benefits. Information & management, 49(6), pp.269-277.

Little, B., 2012. Identifying key trends in sales–from a training perspective. Industrial and Commercial Training, 44(2), pp.103-108.

Nasri, W. and Charfeddine, L., 2012. Motivating salespeople to contribute to marketing intelligence activities: An expectancy theory approach. International Journal of Marketing Studies, 4(1), p.168.

Piercy, N.F., Cravens, D.W. and Lane, N., 2012. Sales manager behavior-based control and salesperson performance: the effects of manager control competencies and organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 20(1), pp.7-22.

Sager, J.K., Dubinsky, A.J., Wilson, P.H. and Shao, C., 2014. Factors influencing the impact of sales training: Test of a model. International Journal of Marketing Studies, 6(1), p.1.

Tan, K. and Newman, E., 2012. Sales force training evaluation. Journal of Business & Economics Research (Online), 10(2), p.105.

Topno, H., 2012. Evaluation of training and development: An analysis of various models. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 5(2), pp

Ulaga, W. and Loveland, J.M., 2014. Transitioning from product to service-led growth in manufacturing firms: Emergent challenges in selecting and managing the industrial sales force. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(1), pp.113-125.

Zoltners, A.A., Sinha, P. and Lorimer, S.E., 2012. Breaking the sales force incentive addiction: A balanced approach to sales force effectiveness. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 32(2), pp.171-186.

org. (2008). Skills for improved productivity, employment growth and development. [online] Available at: https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_092054.pdf [Accessed 16 Dec. 2017].RomaÂn, S., Ruiz, S., and Munuera, J.A., 2001. The effects of sales training on sales force activity. [online] Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Salvador_Ruiz_de_Maya/publication/235274597_The_effects_of_sales_training_on_sales_force_activity/links/0c960532b2ed199da1000000/The-effects-of-sales-training-on-sales-force-activity.pdf [Accessed 23 Nov. 2017].
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