What Challenges Does Your Sales Training Practice Face?

Updated: On Wednesday, December 7th, at 12:00 ET, ESR delivered a complimentary webinar for sales trainers only. The subject was The State of The Sales Training Industry.

There are several relevant and important subjects that we covered, including a review of 2011, leaders in 15 different categories.  You know by now that ESR doesn’t believe there is a single “best” sales training company.  In fact, pursuing that line of thinking has gotten many companies seeking sales performance improvement in a great deal of trouble.

We also looked at the changing sales training buying patterns, the impact of technology on sales training, and a look at 2012 and beyond.

I discussed the challenges faced by sales trainers and sales training firms of different sizes.  Of course every training firm is different, but here are some generalizations:

Among the challenges for firms with less than $1 million in sales are:

  • The trainer’s need to build equity.  Since there is only so much one trainer can make training, speaking and consulting, trainers look for additional sources of value though books, virtual learning programs, etc.;
  • The difficulty in having enough money to invest in marketing. Guerrilla marketing is cheap, but you often get what you pay for; and
  • Getting past the $500k/year ceiling. ESR has some proven insights and strategies for growing smaller training businesses.

For firms from $1 million to $15 million in sales, some of the challenges are:

  • Developing and executing a serious growth strategy incorporating services, products, geographic and market expansion, and scaling the sales and delivery function;
  • Deciding on and recruiting professional management;
  • Allocating the funds and making the right strategic investments in technology;
  • Getting invited to more evaluations; and
  • Balancing life style versus company growth.

For those sales training firms over $15 million in sales, among the challenges are:

  • Continually innovating to keep the content relevant, compelling, and competitive;
  • Having plan for achieving market domination;
  • Slowing down old customer attrition;
  • Maintaining margins during tough economic times and low-ball competition; and
  • Leveraging alumni (in some cases numbering over a million).

These points were chosen from a much larger list accumulated through interviews with more than 150 sales training company owners and principals.

The archive of The State of The Sales Training Industry is here. (Free registration required.)


Photo source: Fotolia.com

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  1. says

    Very relevant. I can relate to the challenges faced by the <$1 Million firm as well as the over $15 Million in sales. This unique position is because we are a relatively new firm, distributing the training tools and processes for companies like Miller Heiman.