Since 2003, I have worked with more than 175 different companies and seen a wide variety of companies produce massive gains in sales effectiveness and revenue. But it has not been all sunshine and daisies, during this time I have had a number of companies ask me to provide sales training that I could predict would fail. In fact, over the past 15 years, I have learned that sales training will predictably fail for 4 specific reasons.
First, sales training will not succeed if it is a one-day event. Good sales training is an ongoing process. Imagine going to a one-time golf lesson or a one-time class on speaking Spanish. How well do you think that would work? The way adults learn is through repetition. If you are unwilling to commit to ongoing reinforcement of sales training, you should not waste time or money starting sales training.
Second, sales training will not succeed if business owners and leaders do not participate. Everyone from the top of the organization down needs to fully support the changes necessary to really transform a sales culture. Effective sales training is much more than just training workshops. It’s addressing the mindsets, the behaviors, the techniques and the strategies that are proven to succeed in selling. Without having managers and all leaders reinforce the concepts they’re learning in training sessions; salespeople will not follow through.
Third, sales training will not succeed when it is strictly an intellectual process. Imagine taking a golf lesson. The instructor walks in and plays a powerpoint presentation about the golf swing. The stance, the grip, the backswing, the follow-through. And then says ‘okay our lesson’s done. See you next week’. You would immediately look at the instructor and say, “time out, aren’t we going to hit some golf balls?” There’s no better way to learn than to do. Whether it’s golf or selling. Training doesn’t work because people are exposed to it one time, in a strictly intellectual process and then they move on to the next chapter.
Fourth, sales training will not succeed if there is no objective measurement of training needs. Everybody is different. Your salesforce has challenges both culturally and individually that are keeping them from succeeding. If you begin sales training without a clear objective measurement of the weaknesses you are attempting to fix, there is a zero percent chance you will address the right end of your sales problems.
Of course, these aren’t the only reasons why sales training doesn’t work. But these are the key common mistakes companies request when asking to begin sales training. I’ve seen salesforce development programs with training and coaching as elements, completely transform sales forces. I’ve worked with companies for 16 years and watched as some companies soar because they effectively adopt measurement, practice, participation, and reinforcement as key philosophies supporting their sales training.
Ready to transform your company’s sales process? We should talk, call Matt Nettleton at Sandler Training DTB in Indianapolis at 317-678-8800 or click to schedule a call.