Many companies spend a fortune on sales training each year to assess, develop and accredit the skills and techniques of their sales forces.
Within a few months of implementing the sales training, however, a lot of these firms are left wondering why the training has failed to embed the intended sales techniques in their people. At best, it made an initial difference to their approach to selling, but the effect did not last for long. Worse, it took their sales and business development professionals off the road for a considerable amount of time and introduced complicated new ideas that prolonged the sales process and saw a decline in the team’s rate of successful closes.
If sales training is to make a real and sustainable difference to your team’s sales performance, it requires a lot of commitment and effort from you as a sales leader. As with any change initiative, sustained success requires leadership skills that take a strategic approach to learning and development.
Sales training for your team should be chosen, planned, tailored, communicated and implemented as part of a clear strategy for shifting the selling skills, behaviors and attitudes of your sales teams. As a sales leader or sales manager, you should ensure that the sales development programme, underlying selling methodology, accreditation, and language used in the training is in line with your business development strategy and is communicated as a “critical success factor” for making this strategy succeed. Your sales people need to see, hear and feel the executive leadership team’s commitment to the program. Not just in terms of words, but also in terms of a high level of involvement and an ongoing commitment to making a lasting change within the organization.
Sales leaders should also ensure that they choose a sales training provider that:
Can tailor a solution specifically to the needs of you, your organisation and your target sectors.
Provides sales tools and techniques that can be modified and applied to your industry and the industries of your target sectors
Uses exercises that apply to real life situations in your industry
Will help you plan and implement 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 program, 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 forecasts! Isn’t that worth the effort?