Can Solution Selling Training Improve Sales Performance?

by Sep 8, 2015Solution Selling0 comments

When you need to boost sales performance, is solution selling training the answer? Yes…and no.

In our two decades of experience in the learning and development industry, we have learned the sad truth…that training alone is not the answer. How can you expect true behavioral change on the job if according to:

  • Corporate Executive Board Research, 87% of what is learned in training is forgotten in 30 days.
  • LSA Global Research, only 1-in-5 people change their on-the-job behavior from even well designed and customized stand-alone training.

You may have built a top quality business sales training program that targets the specific skills you’ve determined your team needs to succeed; you may have selected well-experienced and effective facilitators; you may have taken advantage of various modes of learning that have proven effective. And yet, for training to stick you need relevance, adoption and impact.

  1. Relevance Must be High. The desired performance improvements must be relevant to the participants, their bosses and the business when compared to other priorities.
  2. Adoption Must be Built In. The related systems, processes and practices that support the learning need to be securely in place and practiced for adoption to occur.
  3. Impact Must Be Measured. The difference between high and low adopters must be tracked and reported so people and their bosses know what is working, which obstacles to remove and where to focus their coaching efforts.

Let’s assume you’ve done your homework and have determined that raising the level of your sales team performance will have a direct impact on revenue and, since raising revenue is a critical part of your overall strategy, building a high performing sales team has true relevance to the participants, their bosses and the company as a whole.

Then you need to determine if it is a lack of key sales skills that is keeping your team from consistently winning. Check other common barriers to sales growth like…poor sales management, inadequate or poorly designed compensation programs, ambiguous value propositions, unclear target clients, weak product and/or service offerings, misaligned marketing plans, unbalanced sales territories, confusing pricing strategies, burdensome legal or administrative processes, ad hoc sales processes and methodologies, lack of support from leadership, misaligned sales structures…and so it goes.

If, after digging deeper, improved sales skills are what your team needs, be sure you focus on the critical few that will make a difference based upon how your ideal clients buy. Once you narrow it down, look for a program that can be customized to your industry, sales strategy and sales culture while focusing only on the key buying scenarios that will move the needle.

After you, the target audience their bosses and leadership are clear upon the performance objectives and desired results, design and conduct the training. But don’t stop there. Set up an ongoing sales performance coaching program and hold individuals accountable for measured results.

Training by itself is not the answer. RELEVANT Training PLUS is what will set you and the team up to succeed.

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