I've been at the ASTD International Conference and Exposition since Sunday. This is my first one. A few observations:
- In many companies, corporate training has a long way to go to be seen as valuable by their sales organizations. On the other hand, when left to their own devices, many sales organizations continue to get very little long-term benefit from their tactical approach to sales training. There is a big gap that needs to be closed.
- Brian Lambert's Sales Training Drivers unit of ASTD is making great strides. I sit on a committee with some very dedicated and knowledgeable sales training professionals. Sales Training Drivers is an organization to watch.
- Brian, Tim Ohai and Eric Kerkhoff's new book World Class Selling has been published. It's a groundbreaking foundation for building an effective sales function within any company.
- There are overn 5,000 attendees at this conference. The amount of Twittering from the conference is minimal. I tweeted:
One reply I received:
- There was an interesting panel this morning including Howard Stevens (CEO of HR Chally), Neil Rackham, Dave Roberts (formerly of OnTarget, now on the faculty of UNC), and Brian Lambert. The main subject was raising the level of professionalism of selling.
- Sandi Edwards from the American Management Association said, "Generic sales training doesn't work. It must be relevant to their jobs."
- Dave Roberts, "We need salespeople who can sell business value."
- Howard Stevens, "There are no (zero) people in the world with a Ph.D in sales."
- Neil Rackham, "IBM Global Services spends $480k to pursue an opportunity whether they win or lose."
- Howard Stevens, "Sales hasn't professionalized." There are no minimum standards for sales people."
- Howard Stevens, "50% of graduating BA's will become salespeople."
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