53% of Reps Tap Their Peers’ Expertise

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Your sales reps don’t have everything figured out. When they run into their next problem, an automated sales coaching tool will deliver the answer. Currently, 53% of reps tap their peers’ expertise. The best-​in-​class sales coaching tools could provide a much better outcome. These tools also feed your reps quick tips based on their individual sales skills, behavioral tendencies and workplace characteristics.

Where Reps Seek Training

With eight to 10 reps clamoring for your attention every day, you don’t have the time necessary to coach each rep on how to improve their greatest weaknesses. They often turn elsewhere to get the help they need. If they aren't reaching out to the peers in their network, according to a HubSpot survey on this topic, about 35% of reps find value in the training resources you provide to them. How effective is this strategy?

It depends, in part, on the sales rep’s gender and on their background. The HubSpot survey data suggests that only 30% of female sales professionals made a conscious decision to enter the field. For men, the number is 47%. Your sales reps largely studied business at college (24%). However, 17% of these professionals don’t have a formal degree.

Without an educational background in sales, reps need a few go-​to sources. Interestingly, reps who always intended to enter the sales profession appear to be more committed to improving their skills and knowledge. To hone their skills, they use the following training resources:

  • Sales networking events 38%
  • Company sponsored sales training 36%
  • In-​person sales conferences 35%

The Path of “Unintentional” Sales Professionals

Unintentional” sales professionals, as HubSpot analysts label them, may not seek out the training and coaching they need. This reluctance to tap available training may be happening because they plan to leave the profession. However, when these reps seek help, their top choices are company sponsored sales training (36%) and one-​on-​one coaching with peers (27%) or their manager (25%). Female reps in particular, (53%), believe their manager is particularly valuable in helping them improve.

The length of service in the sales profession also impacts who the reps seek out for advice. Professionals with three to four years of experience in the field (56%) prefer to speak with their manager. Senior sales reps, those with 10 or more years in the field (56%), reach out to their peers or network when they run into an issue they can’t resolve on their own.

Resistance to Change Increases with Tenure

In another interesting finding from this survey, analysts report that 59% of sales reps who know what works for them don’t change their strategy. Unfortunately, times change. In your role as manager, you may need more efficiency from your reps. To get there, your reps may need additional training on using automation to write emails and enter information into the CRM. Currently reps spend 21% of their work time preparing email and 17% on data entry.

Reps Tap Their Peers' Expertise

Encourage your reps to improve their sales skills by accessing the microcoaching tips provided in CoachFeed. The strategy will be more effective than letting your reps tap their peer's expertise. Of the sales reps who voluntarily left their position recently, 17% did so because of a lack of meaningful coaching and 19% cited a lack of training or professional opportunities. 

You can fix this problem by making an automated sales coaching tool available to your team. Reps who need help with a specific sales skill can quickly review their weekly feed to learn about how to improve. 

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.