Just Go Sell Rocks

There are twice as many colleges that offer geology degrees than sales degrees, yet for every 164 sales jobs there is just one job in the geology-related fields. Sales, unlike rocks, are a major growth engine for our businesses and economy. What's really going on here? 


"There is a disconnect between the demand for sales skills in corporate America and the formal training available either through academic institutions or within companies themselves," said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America.  "Two-in-five sales representatives don't have a formal degree in sales, and of those who do, most have a general Business Administration degree.  On top of this, sales training budgets are not as robust as they should be with a large percentage of sales leaders reporting their companies spend $10,000 or less on sales training in a given year.  If companies want to see better top-line growth, there has to be a greater investment in educating sales teams on critical skills on an ongoing basis."


CareerBuilder and Indiana University's Kelley School of Business have joined forces to create cloud-based solutions for corporate career training and development. Deemed Moneyball, this sales training solution plays off the concept of the popular book and movie Moneyball, which shows a statistical approach to building a successful baseball team.


"Structured sales training not only lends itself to better customer relationships and an increase in new contracts and higher renewal rates, you also see a positive correlation with employee motivation and morale," said Rasmussen. "Working with the Kelley School of Business, we're bringing together leaders in education and human capital management to help address a training issue that has plagued sales organizations and has greater economic implications."


In conjunction with the sales training announcement, CareerBuilder also released the following facts:


Fact:  One-in-six sales managers in firms that have missed revenue goals in the last year cited a lack of sales training as a cause.


Fact: Fifty-five percent of sales leaders said their companies spend $10,000 or less on sales training annually. 


Fact: While 75 percent of sales leaders said they offer formal training to their staffs, one-in-five of these leaders (22 percent) rarely offer it or only offer it once a year.  Twenty-five percent of sales leaders don't provide formal sales training at all. 


Fact: Of sales leaders who offer formal sales training to their staff, 64 percent reported that training at their firms is only somewhat effective.


Fact: Fifty percent of sales leaders said candidates for entry-level sales jobs are only somewhat prepared or not prepared at all.