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Your Untrained Sales Force Could Literally Be Dangerous

Jan 16th, 2017


If sales training isn’t a mission-critical initiative at your company, this story may persuade you to reconsider.

WIRED headline: Car Dealers Are Dangerously Uneducated About New Safety Features

The headline would be more accurate if it read “Untrained Car Dealers Put Customers in Danger.”

If you read the article, you’ll see that many automobile salespeople aren’t sufficiently trained on the latest car safety enhancements, such as crash avoidance, lane keeping, adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring technology.

In addition to being held accountable for the performance, quality and service of the vehicle, dealers are now partly responsible for driving vehicles. This responsibility stems from the auto industry’s recent rounds of safety enhancements that literally steer and stop the car.

In the best cases, car safety technology saves lives and prevents painful injuries. In the worst cases, when salespeople misinform buyers on how the technology works, it can become very dangerous.

The WIRED article describes a study in which 17 car salespeople were asked about car safety technology. While an admittedly small sample size, only six salespeople could “thoroughly” describe it, four described it “poorly” and at least two provided “dangerously incorrect information.”

This begs the question — why aren’t dealers and manufacturers better training their reps to accurately educate buyers about new car safety technology?  

There are always consequences to poor sales training

Safety risks aside, untrained reps can also have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line. It’s unreasonable to expect consumers to buy vehicles equipped with industry-leading car safety technology if salespeople can’t accurately communicate the value of these enhancements.

However, salespeople that are properly onboarded, continuously trained and well-coached can have an incredible impact on an organization’s bottom line and – in this case – make an immense difference in the satisfaction and safety of its customers. But as the article states, “This isn’t easy for anybody.”

Obviously, there’s a big difference between salespeople at your local car dealership and the typical B2B sales force. Fortunately, more B2Bs don’t need to worry about their sales team putting customers in harm way. But the moral of the story in universal – bad training can lead to bad results.

Similar to how car safety technology is disrupting the auto industry, sales enablement solutions are disrupting sales organizations, optimizing onboarding, training and coaching initiatives. The power of this technology drives — no pun intended — better results for reps, managers, organizations and customers alike.

For more information on sales onboarding, training and coaching, read B2B Sales Has Changed – Why Your Training Should, Too.