Sales Training – Making Your Sales Training Really Stick!
Sales Training: By Steve Eungblut, Managing Director, Sterling Chase and Owner, Fortexia Services Ltd
Companies of all sizes spend a small (and often not-so-small) fortune on sales training every year to assess, develop and, more recently, accredit the sales techniques and skills of their people.
Six months after implementation, however, many of those companies are left wondering why the sales training failed in terms of its objective. At best, it made an initial difference but the impact just didn’t last, or worse, it took their people off the road for a considerable amount of time and gave them some complicated new ideas that made the sales cycle get even longer and the win-rate decline!
The fact is that if sales training is worth investing in, it needs some commitment and effort from you as a sales leader if it’s going to make a real and sustainable difference – and ultimately make your life easier. Just as it does with any change initiative, sustained success in any size of organisation requires you as the leader to take a strategic approach.
Effective sales training requires commitment and involvement from sales leaders.
The sales training and any associated assessment and accreditation should be chosen, planned, tailored, communicated and implemented as part of a clear strategy for shifting the skills, behaviours (and often attitudes) in the sales team – and that needs to come from, and be role-modelled by, you. In other words, as a sales leader, you should develop your own leadership skills to ensure that the sales development programme you are putting in place, the underlying selling methodology, any accreditation, and even the language that will be used in the sales training, is absolutely in line with your business growth strategy and must be communicated as a ‘critical success factor’ for making this strategy succeed. People have to see, hear and feel the executive team’s commitment to the programme – not just in terms of words, but also in terms of involvement and an ongoing commitment to making a change.
You should also make sure you choose a sales training provider that:
- Can tailor a solution for you, your organisation and your target sectors.
- Provides tools and techniques that can be adapted for and applied to your industry and your target sectors (and will use exercises that apply to real life situations in your industry.
- Will help you plan and implement in a strategic way that enables you to win the hearts and minds and drive real application and momentum in the results.
Sales training courses and events by themselves are not a panacea or a ‘magic bullet’. However, if you treat the implementation as a change programme, with the help of your training partner, you will be assured of success – a real and lasting shift in performance.
To make it work will require some commitment and effort, but very soon you’ll stop having to do all the high-margin selling yourself and you will be able to concentrate on leading your organisation forward. Your people will do the high margin selling for you – and you’ll be able to believe their sales forecasts! Isn’t that worth a bit of effort?
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