No Gas in the Engine – Canadian Sales Teams Aren’t Being Trained Nearly Enough

By Thomas MacIntosh  |  

3.5 min read

No Gas in the Engine – Canadian Sales Team Aren’t Being Trained Nearly Enough

The Canadian Sales Professional Association released a ground-breaking research study in 2019. “The New Sales DNA Report,” a study of over 500 sales professionals, took a broad look at the Canadian sales environment; an industry with over 1.2 million professionals representing 6.6% of the overall Canadian workforce.

Translation: It’s a lot of people, and a big industry. An industry that is rapidly changing.

The big takeaway: Companies are having difficulty finding and developing talented salespeople. This is mainly due to a talent gap, and lack of training. Think of the last time you encountered a sales person: did you leave with the feeling of “I could have sold that better than they did.”?

Some context may be needed to make sense of this need. When the dotcom bubble burst in the early 2000s, it was easy to see away with the, “tech revolution.” These companies had outrageous stock prices built solely on their possible future value. Once this bubbles burst, and investors realized the smoke in their mirrors, it would have been easy to say, “that is the end of internet-based companies.” But it wasn’t. They came back stronger than ever, and now you can be a salesperson at a million different start-ups selling the next SaaS revolution.

Tons of jobs for salespeople means the war for talent is underway. A good salesperson can make or break a start-up, or any company for that matter. It seems sort of odd then that the main area where companies are lacking is in training their sales people. Sort of like wondering why the car isn’t moving when you aren’t putting gas in the engine.

The CSPA review took a look at small, medium, and large enterprises across Canada. The interviews were conducted with both salespeople and sales managers. They found some numbers that are a little troubling for any seasoned sales manager.

40% of sales people have received no formal training in the last 12 months. 38% of companies in Canada don’t even have a formal in-house sales training process. Imagine that number in any other industry – 40% of the professionals having no formal training. Now is this because anyone can be a salesperson, and thus, you need no training? Not at all. Just the same as every other profession in the world, certain people are, at the DNA level, better suited to some jobs. In fact, there are science-backed behavioural models for determining if someone can be successful in sales. Boston-based behavioural analytics company The Predictive Index has an entire test that can determine both someone’s behavioural-fit to a sales position, as well as their selling strengths and weaknesses.

These sales managers understand they need to be providing training to. When asked what they would do with extra time in the day, a third said they would use it to have their team undertake sales training. The issue with sales training is that it can be expensive and difficult to develop in-house. You need the experience and time to develop a program for your sales team that can be completed by all new hires. After all that is complete, the sales manager has to hope it was effective and worth the extra expense.

Customer Focused Selling

At Predictive Success, we realize that sales teams may not have the money or time to invest in this sort of training. We also realize that it is, none the less, crucial to the success of a sales team.

Our one-day Customer Focused Selling session gives an analytics-backed practical sales method designed to increase close rates and decrease time spent selling. Participants receive insights into the sciences of behavioural selling, a practical an actionable sales plan, and follow-up meetings with our scientific selling experts.

Don’t just take our word for it, our data shows the methods work. CFS-certified teams see a 44% increase in revenue, 33% increase in close-rates, and 25% less time to close.

To learn more about CFS, call Hannah Harrison at 905-430-9788 x 107 or email


“The New DNA Sales Report” by The Canadian Preofssional Sales Association. 2019.

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