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Why train sales people in a recession? Shouldn't they rather be out there selling?

The Global Financial Crisis has made most companies review what they offer and how they offer it. The outcome of what decisions are made now will set companies on the road to sustainability and growth, or ultimate failure.
However, there is a challenge enroute, and that is the role of atrophy.
 
Atrophy
We live in a world that needs constant input to prevent it falling into disrepair.
If cars aren't serviced they tend to break down at inconvenient times. If houses aren't maintained, they fall into disorder. Where lush grass grew, weeds will take over and thrive.So in order for things to remain constant, effort is required.
Some experts say as much as 50 percent effort is required to just manage the status quo.
And, if all things are equal, then to improve will take much more effort than before.
And this is no different when selling in the present Global Financial Crisis.
At the beginning of every year, in an increasingly competitive marketplace, 1000's of sales people leave their offices with the hope of winning bigger deals and exceeding their new targets.
HOWEVER, statistics show that in the present Global Financial Crisis (GFC) this is not likely to happen.
Why? Atrophy
Over the last decade the bench strength of the sales function in many companies has weakened. For years the economy had been booming and achieving targets was relatively easy.
Some have depended upon their relationships to get deals across the line, others on product or company reputation.
The GFC has changed all these rules.         
Customer and clients have more power over what is on the negotiating table - and what is not. Discounting, 'confidential rebates', add-ons, etc. are going to become more of the norm. Margins are being squeezed.
Add to this the way decision making has changed.
The upshot is that the decision making process is shifting from ' internal champion of our cause' to often a panel of decision makers, or someone else unknown and more senior in the client organisation than before. 
Someone is now making the decisions based on objective fact and competing priorities...In essence the game of buying and therefore selling, has been turned upside down.                       
The option of sending ill-prepared sales people out into a predatory marketplace, hoping that market share, customer loyalty and/or superior product will underpin exceptional sales, no longer makes cents (sic).
What does make sense is for sales people to keep their skills up to date.                                                  To be on top of the latest methods of selling. To keep motivated and passionate, lest atrophy set in. The need to develop sales skills and have effective sales processes has moved from being important to being critical to survival and underpin company growth.

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