Don’t Throw Away Your Sales Training Investment
Are Your Sales Training Investments Paying off?
Solution selling training can be one of the best sales investments you’ll ever make if you want to raise the level of your sales team’s performance. It can also be one of the worst.
Don’t Waste Your Sales Training Dollars
Your company resources—both time and money—are precious and should be used wisely to support your overall business strategy. It’s a big mistake to think that more sales training alone can cure whatever is holding back your sales team from hitting critical targets.
Why Training by Itself Does Not Work
We have measured more than 800 sales training programs over the last 20 years. Even if the training is highly customized to meet your solution selling needs, only 1-in-5 participants on average will change their on-the-job behavior and performance.
Five Ways to Make Your Sales Training Investment Pay Off
Here’s what makes the difference between a worthwhile sales training investment and a poorly conceived one.
- Targeted and goal-oriented
You should be absolutely clear on what solution selling skills are needed for success for your unique sales strategy and sales culture. The sales training program you choose should focus on those critical few sales skills, the top ten sales scenarios where they matter most and on those sales reps that need to learn or improve them.
- Customized and practical
The more relevant, experiential and realistic the training, the better. But, in addition to utilizing exercises that directly involve participants, the role plays should reflect their real world of everyday selling.
- Simple and straightforward
Whatever sales training you provide, make sure it is relatively simple to learn and apply on-the-job. That way, your reps are much more likely to remember the new process and to be ready to give it a try. Overly complex sales techniques are quickly discarded and lost.
- Supported and tracked
For any sales training to be taken seriously, it must be supported and monitored at the highest levels of the organization. There must be post-training accountability to ensure that the new skills, behaviors and processes are adhered to. Unless there are rewards for implementing “the new way” and consequences for holding fast to “the old way,” the desired benefits will be squandered.
- Reinforced and coached
This is where the rubber meets the road. Sales managers need to follow through to encourage and guide their reps along the path toward improved performance. Observe your reps in the field, give them constructive feedback, and hold regular conversations on progress.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, it is too easy to roll out a sales training program and check off the box of “doing something good for the team.” If you want your sales training investment to pay off, treat your next sales training program as a change initiative, not a one-time training event.
To learn more about getting sales training right, download The 6 Top Reasons Business Sales Training Initiatives Fail