What’s your experience with sales training? Here’s what I hear from business owners, decision makers, sales managers and professional salespeople. For fear of readers thinking that this edition of THE PROSALESGUY BLOG is nothing more than spam, I welcome you to feel free to hire someone else. I would simply like to offer you insight into making some smart decisions regarding sales training that has long term results. Here’s what I hear from people who have taken sales training in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria.
I’ve taken some good sales training programs before, but I’m not using the material
Virtually everyone in the sales industry says this. We all learn some great techniques and tips in Group Training, so why aren’t we applying it? Most sales training programs offer little to no reinforcement in the field. This leaves you having the following experiences:
I tried some of the techniques, and it didn’t work for me.
I don’t know enough about these techniques to have the confidence to try them.
There was no follow-up from anyone to see how I was doing two weeks later.
Since the training isn’t working for me, I am going back to what I was doing before.
Do not hire a sales trainer that doesn’t believe in practical application and followup with your management team and your salespeople. Repetition and reinforcement are keys to learning. Is this going to cost you more money? Yes. Would you rather spend a small amount of money training and get little out of it or invest a larger amount and actually see an increase in your revenue reports? Stop taking the inexpensive route expecting incredible results.
Sales training has one end purpose
It’s increasing revenues. It starts as an expense and turns into an investment if you see trackable, positive revenue growth. This is common sense to decision makers. Ensure your potential sales trainer is on the same page.
Management didn’t reinforce the training.
Time for a reality check. Management is too busy to reinforce the training. Ask a sales manager what their duties entail. You’d be shocked. I was one for many years. Driving revenue, hiring new salespeople, dealing with company matters, and answering too many emails per day can leave little time left to reinforce the sales training with the sales team.
Let’s be fair
Consider this. Has management been trained to reinforce the sales techniques offered in the training? Are they experts in the subject matter instructed? Many sales managers are promoted into the role after being successful salespeople. Many of us learned by trial and error by applying ourselves based on experience.
If you’re going to invest in training your salespeople, strongly consider training your sales managers first. They need to be on board with the sales techniques of the sales trainer. Your sales managers are the people reinforcing the training on a daily basis. They need to be skilled in the art of empowerment to bring out the best in their staff.
The sales trainer’s style was different from mine.
It is the job of the sales trainer to work with the style of each of your salespeople. Your salespeople should not have to adapt to the trainer. The sales trainer you want to hire is capable of adapting and working with each individual by giving them what they need to take their billings to the next level.
This requires the sales trainer to have the ability to relate to many different personalities and approaches. Most senior salespeople are leery of sales training. They feel that they have to abandon everything they have learned in their career to listen to what the trainer says.
Ask your potential sales trainer to explain their philosophy and approach with veteran salespeople. The right sales trainer will encourage experienced salespeople to build on what they have already learned. After all, if veteran sellers were not successful, they wouldn’t have a made a career in the sales industry.
Making the decision to invest in sales training rests greatly with the experience and abilities of the Sales Trainer your hire. Do what you would want your Salespeople to practice with their clients – due diligence, research and ask the right questions.
Dave Warawa PROSALESGUY
PROSALESGUY TRAINING offers Group and Individual Sales Training, Sales Management Mentoring and Consultation, and Business Consulting Services in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. Training can be done on site or via web conferencing.