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In the past 20 years what has changed in sales training?

New technology over the past 20 years has changed almost everything. How has it changed sales training or has it? - by realtor
I don't thing sales training has actually changed over time, as compared to the changes we've seen in the customer and how they buy.

Training has always been about motivating the student to look at things differently. Many times salespeople get into the rut of doing the same things over and over whether they work or not. Our job as trainers is to get people to start - as Tom Hanks said - using that thing three feet above our asses. The ability to get people to just start thinking becomes one of our biggest challenges.

Someone once said, "Insanity is going the same things over and over, and expecting a different result." Our job then becomes to persuade, influence and motivate people to look at things a different way.

The problem becomes that people need to become committed to change. We has trainers can't go out and do the work for them. Technology is great for putting on an entertaining presentation. But getting people excited about change is our greatest asset. - by Mike Whitty
For the last 10 years, training organizations at large and now medium size companies have been using technology to deliver sales training in a "blended" format.

This looks like online learning for pre-class development of new hires. They learn company specific terms and sales processes.

Classroom time is spent focused on developing sales skills, engaging in role plays, etc.

Post class reinforcement takes advantage of online delivery with some companies actually videotaping the students' role plays and making them available to all participants in that class.

As simulations begin to be more like "real-world" expect to see some online reinforcement being done via simulations.

In the long run we'll probably still see the primary form of sales development being done face-to-face. Selling, for most companies, is essentially a face-to-face experience. The more practice a persons get's to develop face-to-face skills, the better he or she can become. - by gstebbins
Many times salespeople get into the rut of doing the same things over and over whether they work or not. Our job as trainers is to get people to start - as Tom Hanks said - using that thing three feet above our asses. The ability to get people to just start thinking becomes one of our biggest challenges.

Someone once said, "Insanity is going the same things over and over, and expecting a different result." Our job then becomes to persuade, influence and motivate people to look at things a different way.

The problem becomes that people need to become committed to change.
I couldn't agree with you more, Mike.

Here are some other thoughts on the question at hand:

I think technology has changed training in the last twenty years in that you can now sit at your computer and participate in a webinar about selling over your lunch break, or download sales podcasts to listen to while you job. The training options have expanded greatly in twenty years.

Look at the SalesPractice forum? Twenty years ago, where would you have gone to "ask a sales expert" a question like this one? Here at SP, people can log on and get tons of sales information free. People can subscribe to my sales tips newsletter or zillions of other free resources whereas at one time you might have paid $79 a year to get a newsletter mailed to you. - by Skip Anderson
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