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Product Training v. Sales Training

In the November/December 2010 issue of SalesForceXP Magazine, there’s a short article that highlights the results from a pretty interesting McKinsey & Co. study. It polled US and European B2B Buyers, asking them to identify the “most destructive” selling activity.

Here are the results:

  • 35% - Too much contact (in person, by phone, or by e-mail)
  • 20% - Lack of knowledge about either their products or those of their competitors
  • 9% - Lack of business/industry knowledge about usefulness of their product or service to my business
  • 8% - Sales style is too aggressive
  • 8% - Forgotten and/or ignored after contract is signed
  • 20% - Other

That means that as much as 80% of the activities that bother B2B buyers the most have absolutely, positively nothing to do with product knowledge. And yet, most of the training offered to salespeople is [insert drumroll] product training!

See the missing link?