Why Didn’t Our Sales Training Work? Where Are All the New Sales?

If your organization is not incrementally increasing sales after you conducted sales training, there are many possible reasons. It could be a competitive issue, a lack of strategic application of a sales process, a product deficiency, ineffective hiring practices or a price war.

While it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact reason or reasons sales did not increase, this may be an excellent opportunity to examine your training strategy to determine if your sales training is not hitting the mark. The answers to the following questions may help you identify if you need to make adjustments to your sales training or overall sales training strategy.

How Much Content is Delivered?

To be effective in sales, a person needs the right balance of knowledge, skill and motivation. Too much information delivered during sales training can throw this balance off. When there is five days of content crammed into two days of learning, the result is that the salespeople can’t change anything and don’t have the time to identify where they need to improve – knowledge, skill or motivation.

Is the Focus on the Content or the Learners?

If there are over 100 PowerPoint slides presented during a two-day learning session, the focus is on the content and not the sales people. PowerPoints do not help make sales but practicing in a safe environment and receiving professional feedback does help make sales.

Is Training an Event or Responsibility?

Is the training an event for the sales team to check off their to-do list? Sales training should be a development opportunity critical to their everyday processes and responsibilities. To maintain the development process after training, the sales people should be held accountable for their learning and their managers should be providing coaching to help the learning stick.

Does the Practice Simulate Real Sales Situations?

If the training is generic and teaches your sales team how to sell widgets, there is a good chance that they will not be able to transfer the learning on a real sales call. When someone needs to develop a new skill, it is very difficult to learn a new language or new information at the same time. Make sure the sales training supports skill development and learning transfer by focusing on how to sell YOUR products and services.

Does the Training Focus on the Right Skills?

An accurate needs analysis is critical to developing sales training that drive business results. If your training focuses on closing and your sales team does not have any prospect appointments booked for the next two months, your training investment might not bring the desired return.

Do The Trainers Have the Right Skills?

Your trainers should have both training and sales experience. If your team has a long sales cycle and the sale is somewhat complex, the trainer should have this type of experience to be able to give developmental feedback. If your sales managers deliver the training, they should be able to instruct, facilitate and coach.

Linda Berke is President of Taylor Performance Solutions, Inc. a New York based consulting and training firm. The Taylor team specializes in providing fully customized training to support business and individuals when they want to increase sales, enhance service, improve in-house training and develop strong leaders. All training and coaching solutions are designed to bring immediate business results and help you exceed your goals.

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Get Better Sales From Results Driven Sales Training Courses

Sales training is a great way to achieve more sales. But you have to first of all focus on what is lacking in your staff when it comes to their existing performance and then choose or design a sales training course for their benefit. This applies as to what ever industry or products that they make be selling.

The same thing applies generally for numerous other businesses. For example, with in the real estate business where purchasers getting on the property ladder were sometimes camping outside new houses developments overnight to secure home. You have to ask the question what amount of sales training skills would the real estate professional need in this sort of market?

Some companies offer incentives to help staff achieve better sales, however, this can act as a dis-incentive sometimes, with too much pressure being put on customers. This can result in a short term gain but a long term loss.More and more companies are making use of sales training courses to increase the skills their salespeople to close more marketing.

Top sales jobs require a number of advanced skills, with most falling beneath the broader categories of interaction, organization, and strategic planning. In order to improve your entire sales performance you will need to increase your skills in these things which is where sales training courses can help.

Sales training courses are effectively designed to ensure that the skills, knowledge along with attitude of your sales representatives are attuned and also aligned towards meeting the ever-changing needs on the marketplace. With new merchandise, services and selling techniques springing up on occasions, unless you train your sales agents with high grade sales education, you will not possess an excellent sales workforce.

There are a huge number of organisations that offer sales training whether it is at their premises or whether you would like them to provide in house training. When researching on the internet, please be aware that some companies may only offer training facilities at their offices which could be based in London or some other town, which doesn’t suit you.

Sometimes it is worth visiting each of their websites and reviews what they have to offer. If you are looking for some form of tailored or bespoke training course, (rather than a standard sales course), you will need to check this out first. You will also need to have decided whether you will require the service provider to supply the training at your location, or at their location. By traveling some distance you will be adding travel costs, as well as time taken to get there and return to your location.

If you decide on specialist or standard training course, and the required location, you can search through the potential companies, and eliminate those who are outside of this.Then you use your shortened list to make telephone calls, to identify your specific requirements as well as the cost of the training., Another good idea is find out if they provide any post evaluation service following their training that will help you ensure that the training has had a lasting effect on your staff, and that as a result of the training better sales performance is being maintained.

Having selected two possible providers, ask them to provide their offer in writing or by email so you have a clear record of their proposal. Review this carefully and make your best decision.

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Your Salespeople Running Out Of Gas? Supercharge Them With Neuroscience Based Sales Training

How Often Have You Heard Yourself Saying: “My Sales Team Has Talent, So Why Aren’t They Hitting Their Numbers???”

This is a problem that sales managers have been trying to solve since the dawn of business. You can almost imagine a merchant circa 1300 lamenting to a friend, “What stops my traders from calling on the bigger kingdoms and getting higher prices is beyond me!” This exact conversation is going on right now in the offices of sales managers and company presidents all around the globe. The commodity may have changed but the essence of the conversation is the same. What stops my salespeople from attaining the results I know they are capable of?

According to David Stein, the CEO of ES research group, an analyst firm focused on the sales training industry, “American businesses spend over $7B a year in sales training and yet the failure rate is over 80%.” ES Research’s data shows that sales training has a motivational effect that fades with time. Stein explains, “Most salespeople revert back to their original production level within 80 days unless there is some sort of intervention that reinforces the training.”

There are many approaches to solving this problem, most of which don’t work:

Reward success: Vacations, money, and public recognition work for some. For others there is little or no motivational value. Beyond that, there is ample research that says rewards start losing their effectiveness the more you use them.

Punish failure: This can be a great motivator for certain people, but overall it has a detrimental effect on the morale of the sales organization. And once again its effectiveness tapers off with repeated use.

Upgrade selling skills: The sales manager or a hired gun comes in and teaches the sales team sales skills that they usually already know. On occasion something new is delivered that makes a difference. Sales Training does deliver a boost in sales. Unfortunately, sales usually slide back to the normal level all too quickly.

Motivation: An impassioned speech from the CEO or a flavor of the month speaker can get the entire sales team fired up and ready to take on the world. Salespeople can usually maintain the fervor for days, sometimes for weeks, but eventually their fantasy collides with the reality. And the motivation fizzles out.

External Motivation is Short-lived – Internal Motivation is Permanent

One of the key elements of sales training is its motivational effect. There are two types of motivation; external motivation, which is transitory, and internal motivation, which stays with you no matter what. Unfortunately, sales training delivers external motivation. It’s no wonder that the “high” from a great sales trainer often fizzles out quickly. Furthermore, relying on external motivation means businesses constantly have to invest in ongoing sales training just to keep pace.

The key driver that determines sales success

Most sales professionals intrinsically know there has to be something more than traditional sales training. If we knew what the missing element was, we could transform training from just a motivational experience with short-term gains into one that provides a permanent change that delivers improved results.

Salespeople as a group are notoriously difficult to study because there is such a wide array of sales methodologies. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Even if a company standardizes on a particular sales methodology, an objective study is still challenging because the individual salespeople feel more comfortable reverting back to their native sales techniques. This creates a mishmash of techniques within a company.

Sandler Sales is a great sales training company that has hundreds of franchisees worldwide. These franchisees use the Sandler Sales system to sign-up new students. They also teach the system everyday as part of their job. They literally live and breathe this sales ideology. In fact, their commitment to the Sandler Sales System was so high they purchased a franchise ($60,000+). All of these franchisees are highly driven individuals who selling the same commodity, using the same methodology.

A number of highly successful franchisees are very comfortable charging twice as much for the same service. While other franchisees feel uncomfortable asking for a higher price. Keep in mind all of these franchisees would coach their students to sell on value and get the highest price possible while being fair to the customer. This means that the “weaker” franchisees know what to do but fail to take action when it comes to price. This highlights that what’s going on inside the salesperson’s head (the human element) is more powerful that their sales skill-set level.

With an empowering human element, a salesperson can attain results far in excess of what common wisdom would predict given their current skill level and drive. And conversely you can get a highly skilled and driven salesperson that gets less than stellar results because of a disempowering human element.

Sales training teaches new selling skills and provides much needed motivation to get out there and make things happen. Motivation can also temporarily overcome fear or inertia that hinders a salesperson’s success. The area where sales training misses the mark is in addressing the human element. This is a clear case of 2 out of 3 is bad. As long as the human element goes unaddressed, the only way to get a lasting performance boost is to engage in a never-ending cycle of sales training.

Understanding The Human Element

Salespeople are driven: they want to get better results, but sometimes it seems no matter how hard they try they can’t break the bonds of their human element. The human element trumps skill and drive every time. For lasting sales success it’s critical that we understand the human element.

The first thing you need to know is that humans have several neurological levels. At the deepest level is where we hold our beliefs. We have beliefs about being a man, the government, about selling, money, and self-worth; there is a belief about everything in our awareness. Researchers have discovered we have anywhere from 50,000 to a 100,000 beliefs.

Our beliefs shape our values, which sit on the next level. Values give us the rules of engagement that allow us to quickly navigate through our complex lives. These are the invisible lines that we will not easily cross.

On the next level we have our capabilities, where we define what is possible for us to do or not do. A good example of this is where others can clearly see person X has the capability to do something (ask for higher price) but they can’t even imagine it being possible for them (still cave-in on price). Paradoxically we call this prison the comfort-zone.

The final level is what we are most aware of our behaviors and actions. We can see the results our behaviors deliver. If one of the higher neurological levels like beliefs is out of sync with what our sales training dictates we will not do that behavior. If we do attempt it we will quickly revert back to the old comfortable behavior.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” -Albert Einstein

If you want to get better results, you have to change your behaviors. Changing behaviors is one of the hardest things on the planet to do, even if you really, really want to change. This is why sales training fails to deliver long-lasting results. In order to effectively change behaviors you have to go to a deeper level. The deeper you go, the faster the change, and the longer it lasts. In order to facilitate permanent change, you have to embrace neuroscience techniques to transform limitions in our higher neurological levels.

Change happens in an instant!

Change happens in an instant. People live under this illusion that change is hard to do or that change takes a long time. Another popular belief is that change is a painful experience. At one level, all of those statements are true because we try and facilitate change at the behavioral level.

“I wouldn’t give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity; I would give my right arm for the simplicity on the far side of complexity”-Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841 -1935)

Simplicity on the far side of complexity is where elegance resides. And elegant solutions are simple to execute and deliver extraordinary results. I know this sounds cryptic, so let me give you an example of what is possible when change takes place.

I met Kim at a party where she told me that she was hitting a glass ceiling. No matter how hard she tried, no matter how much more training she received, she seemed unable to earn more than $150K/yr. All of her efforts were focused on changing her behaviors without changing her beliefs. She felt frustrated and stupid because nothing she did worked.

It turned out that when she was five years old her father came home one Friday afternoon and discovered he lost his paycheck. That was the only time she saw her father cry. That experience created a belief about having to respect her father around money issues. Her father never made more than $80K/yr and here she was earning $150K/yr “disrespecting” her father. The old belief sabotaged her efforts to succeed.

Using neuroscience she was able to transformed the old belief to an empowering one, the more I earn, the more I honor my dad. This new belief shattered her self-imposed glass ceiling that her sales career once again took-off. With the right neuroscience tools sales training becomes highly effective because the human element is addressed head-on. Bottom-line is with the right tools change happens quickly and permanently.

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Free Sales Training For Sales Beginners, Self Employed, and Small Business Sales

Free sales training is the ideal way to start if you are a sales beginner. When you move to a sales role, or start a small business, sales techniques can appear complicated. Looking for sales training courses can be confusing with all the latest buzz words and technical terms in their adverts. They can be expensive and maybe that’s not what you need at this stage of your sales career. You need to consider which type of training will work for you, and where should you start your sales skills training?

If you are new to sales, or starting a small business and selling products or services, you need a basic sales training course that starts with the sales process. The sales process is the path your sale will follow from the introduction to the prospect, to closing the sale. You can find free sales techniques to build onto the sales process throughout the Internet. Once you understand these basic sales skills then you can look for more advanced sales skills training. Let’s start with a simple selling technique that you can start using today. It’s a simple sales training program that will show you how to sell in minutes.

Don’t underestimate this free sales training. These free sales techniques are the basis of all selling and are really effective for sales beginners and small business sales people. The process starts with your introduction to the prospect. There will be small talk, and a few minutes getting to know each other and feel comfortable. But once you get into the sale there are key sales techniques at each stage. Model your sales with your buyers on these stages of a sale.

Sales Introduction

Tell the buyer who you are, what your business is, and why you are there. No waffle, no talking excessively about yourself or your experience. The buyer wants information so they can decide if talking to you could be of benefit to them. Another key piece of free sales training advice is, don’t try and close the sale, or even present your product, at this stage. That comes later when you know what they want.

Sales Questions to find their needs

Ask them sales questions to find out what they want. Don’t ask them about the product or service that they want. Ask them about the end result if they made the ideal purchase. What are the benefits they are looking for? If a buyer wants to save money that’s an end result. Customers that want others to admire their purchase are telling you the end result they desire. Don’t get involved in talking about your product yet. This stage of the sale is all about them and what they want.

Sales Presentation

This is it, the sales pitch. This where many people new to sales, or just started in small business sales roles, present everything they know about their products or services. At this stage of this free sales training course I recommend that you should only present the parts of your products and services that will give the buyer the benefits they told you they wanted. Use the list of what the buyer wanted from the sales questioning stage as a guide to what you should present to them. Tell, and show them, how you can meet their wants and desires. It’s not about the features of your product, they are just a mechanism for delivering the required benefits.

Closing the sale

There is a lot of complicated rubbish written about closing sales. It can be very off putting to the sales beginner. There are sales books, and sales training courses, that talk about assumptive closing, alternative closing questions, and there’s even a George Washington close.

Here’s a free sales technique to close any sale, including small business sales. At the end of your sales presentation simply ask two questions. The first is to ask if your sales presentation has shown the buyer how you can meet the needs and wants they expressed in the sales questioning stage. If it hasn’t, go back and ask more questions and find out what else you need to do. If it has, move on to the next question. The second question is to ask the customer if they want to buy from you. They have agreed that your presentation met their requirements, so why wouldn’t they go ahead and buy from you?

Each stage of the sales process should be put into your own words and you should use phrases that sound natural coming from you. Too many sales training courses tell people what to say instead of showing them the objective of each stage and letting them choose their own words. Use the above sales process in this free sales training course and build your own words around it.

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Why Sales Training Doesn’t Work – Is Your Training Program a Waste of Time and Money?

Is your training program a waste of time and money?

Quick Quiz

Which of the following statements best describes your feelings about the training programs you have taken or have put your Sales Team through?

1 = Completely satisfied – training always yields visible and measurable results 2 = Fairly satisfied – training seems to be beneficial, but does not always yield the required results 3 = Unsure – The Sales Team is generally happy and business is moving in the right direction, but I’m unsure whether training is a contributing factor 4 = Fairly dissatisfied – training is something “nice to have” that my Sales Team could probably do without 5 = Completely dissatisfied – training is an expensive waste of time and resources

Common comments from Sales Managers

If you’re like most managers who arrange sales training for your Sales Team, you’re unlikely to report being “completely satisfied” with its worth.

We regularly survey senior Sales Managers in medium-to-large sized organisations and the following comments are, unfortunately, very common.

“They seemed to enjoy themselves, but two weeks later we saw very little change.” (Regional Sales Manager, Automotive Manufacturer)

“Overall the training was good, but the problem is in getting the guys to implement the new skills. Nothing really seems to have changed much.”(National Sales Manager, Building Industry)

“My people go on these courses and get pumped up for a day or two and then their performance slips back to what it was before the training – and in some cases even worse because they’re confused” (State Sales Manager, Retail)

If you’ve ever attended a training course yourself, it’s not hard to see the reasons why.

You enjoy the course and leave energised, with great intentions and a list of things you want to do differently once you’re back at work. But, by the time you get back to two days’ worth of unanswered emails, calls to return and proposal deadlines to meet, it’s another ten days before you even stop and think about the training. The moment for change has passed you by.

Training impact studies confirm that the knowledge gained at a seminar or workshop falls off significantly within just a few days of finishing the course.

And given the way people actually learn, this isn’t at all surprising. Even so, we continue to expect that the sales training event itself will make a measurable difference in light of strong evidence that this is unlikely to happen.

Let’s think about this logically. Would you send your child to a two-day course to learn to play the piano, and expect them to good enough to compete or pass exams with their new skill? Of course you wouldn’t.

Yet isn’t that the expectation we have when we send our salespeople on a two-day training program, our Sales Manager on a course to “Improve People, Productivity and Motivation”, or our Call Centre Manager on a two-day “Financial Management for Non-Financial Managers” course?

Why most sales training just doesn’t work

Whilst the right sales training course is a key ingredient in changing behaviour, the sales training event on its own is and can never ever be the “magic bullet.”

Change is a process; it’s not an event

Achieving a sustainable and real change in sales behavior requires much more than sending your salespeople off to be trained. To get salespeople to measurably improve and begin to do things differently requires a different approach. If we want to see “real” behavioral change and get a return on our investment, we need to use proven adult learning strategies and behavioural change tactics to boost their knowledge and enhance their capabilities. This means making a departure from the traditional way we approach sales training.

Historically, very little thought or effort was made in terms of preparing the participant to get ready to learn prior to the training event taking place. In most cases, when the participant returned to work, only “lip service” was given to the follow up process to make sure they integrated the things they learned during the training.

Generally, most of the learning is expected to occur during the sales training event itself. This is where the participant is exposed to new information, tools and tactics. Most Sales Managers live in the hopes that the sales training event will be engaging; the participant will emerge with a new vision of what is possible and pick up a few key tools that they will make a part of their sales routine.

Through its many studies and reports, the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has shown that after a typical training event, the participant’s performance actually tends to drop as they attempt to apply and integrate their new knowledge and behaviours back in their work environment.

The problem is that most sales environments are not set up to support the participant and it isn’t long before workplace pressure, and the individual’s natural resistance to change, pulls them back into familiar territory and habitual ways of working and selling. The new knowledge is quickly forgotten and it is not long before performance returns to former levels.

Is it possible to actually guarantee a return on investment from training?

For sales training to deliver on its promises, the “sales training event” must be seen as only one element of the learning process.

Here are the elements of a proven and results-oriented sales training system that guarantees ROI from sales training by blending five key pieces of the learning puzzle.

1. Relevance – Prior to any training being delivered, the content, case studies and exercises need to be vetted to ensure its relevance to workplace outcomes.

2. Pre-workshop preparation – Prepare the participant prior to their attendance at the sales training event to accelerate the traction of the new tools and learning.

3. Event Engagement – The sales training event must engage the participant, delivering both insight and inspiration to transform behaviour.

4. Post-sales training execution – The individual learning outcomes must be followed up on and coached to ensure integration of desired behaviors into the workplace.

5. Accountability and measurement – Fine-tune the learning effort, tweaking until complete behavioral change has been achieved.

1. Relevance

Relevance checking is the first step.

Adult learning theory tells us that adults want reality and that adults are motivated to learn and apply only that which is relevant to them.

Malcolm Knowles, one of the most respected names in adult learning and author of The Modern Practice of Adult Education, reports “adults are most interested in subjects that have immediate relevance to their job or personal life”.

Research by the Huthwaite Research Group reports that, “Learners remembered more than four times as much from sales training sessions that were perceived as highly relevant to their jobs than they did from sessions that were seen as low in relevance.”

Relevance significantly accelerates learning, increases retention and makes learning more fun and interesting.

Questions to ask when investigating relevance include:

o Can the sales training be customised?
o Does it validate learners’ current knowledge?
o Will it reflect learners’ on-the-job experience?
o Does it include relevant case studies?
o Does it allow learners to benefit from the knowledge of other group members?
o Will it reflect and reinforce your preferred business processes?

2. Pre-Workshop Preparation

Pre-workshop preparation begins the change process by helping participants to “buy in” to the learning experience up front, before the learning event.

It sets the stage for the sales training event by creating a context for the sales training and matching it with the participant’s performance objectives and selling skills gaps.

During pre-workshop preparation, the learner should be asked to gather data about their current challenges and successes, and any examples that can be used during the sales training session. When a salesperson is cognisant of their skill gaps and how those gaps impact their ability to write revenue, it helps to speed up the learning process.

Our experience shows that by completing pre-workshop preparation the learner is more likely to become an active participant in the training.

Pre-workshop activities may include:

o Research
o Reading background material
o Completing practical or written exercises
o Completing assessments, profiling or diagnostic tests
o Connecting the salesperson’s learning objectives with those of the course content and their job performance
o Identifying internal support and resources
o Formal activities designed for recognition of prior learning (RPL)
o Creating a “learning agreement”

3. Event Engagement

The sales training event itself is where most sales training organisations expend most their time and energy.

A training event will have most impact when:

o The topic is relevant to the learner’s needs and builds on their previous experience
o The training offers a new perspective that expands the learner’s concept of what is possible
o Participants can easily see how mastering the content will improve their workplace performance
o Participants are able to experiment and practice new behaviours in a safe environment
o Participants expand their network and develop learning relationships with other attendees
o Participants are inspired and motivated to change their behaviour
o Participants develop an action plan moving forward to begin to change their below par behaviours

On its own, the sales training event will not increase performance, but a powerful “learning event” can be the catalyst for organisational learning where individuals are inspired to share their knowledge and teach others.

4. Post-sales training execution

Organisations that are serious about achieving a return on their sales training investment make sure that the training content is integrated into the workplace. To help do that they make sure they provide individual follow-up and support.

This phase ensures that measurable results can be achieved. By providing follow up coaching and support to assist individual salespeople to implement and apply their new knowledge and skills, Sales Managers ensure that the time, effort and resources invested in the development and running of the sales training bears measurable” fruit”.

Post-sales training execution and follow-up tools may include:

o High-Performance Coaching
o Post-Sales training Execution Plan & Learning agreements follow up
o Post-Sales training accreditation, assessment and/or diagnostics
o Follow up, self-paced learning modules
o Follow up workshops
o Mentoring program
o “Teach others” program
o “Buddy-coaching” Program

High-Performance Coaching

Studies by Neil Rackham, the renowned sales effectiveness researcher and author of SPIN Selling, show that 87% of the learning from a workshop will be lost within thirty days if there isn’t a coaching intervention by the participants’ Sales Manager or workplace coach.

High Performance Coaching is one of the most significant post-sales training interventions supporting the learner to integrate their learning into the workplace.

A High Performance Coach works with the learner to provide them with instruction, guidance, positive reinforcement, and accountability in the achievement of their sales goals. Typically the coach is the learner’s supervisor or Sales Manager.

High Performance Coaching is an important business skill for those in sales leadership roles, with responsibility for writing top line revenue.

High Performance Coaching helps the newly trained salespeople to “buy into” the change effort and to develop the skills to effect meaningful workplace change.

What are learning agreements?

Learning Agreements are essential to achieve a return on sales training investment and to ensure that learning is integrated into the workplace

A Learning Agreement clarifies work performance expectations and spells out how learning will be integrated on the job. A Learning Agreement will list the following:

Competency Expectations
Results and Accountabilities
Resource Requirements
Signposts/milestones
Consequences (e.g. sales training payback)

Prior to attending the sales training event, the participant meets with their Sales Manager or trainer to document the desired results from the learning experience. They will also discuss consequences for successful or unsuccessful implementation of the learning.

The actual sales training event becomes more meaningful because the participant is being directed by the Learning Agreement and is focused on attaining the knowledge and skills required to fulfil it

Having attended the sales training, the learner meets again with their Sales Manager or coach to review the Learning Agreement in light of the information, skills and knowledge gained from the training.

The coach then reviews and redefines the post-sales training action plan with the learner in order to make sure the Sales Person will accomplish the desired performance objective/s

For an example of a Learning Agreement, please download this article from our website

5. Accountability and Measurement

There is a saying in management that “what gets measured gets done; what gets recognised gets done even better.”

The primary purpose of sales training is to improve an individual’s sales performance and ultimately the performance of the organisation. Therefore, sales training and development efforts must be tracked, measured and rewarded to ensure a positive impact.

To achieve ROI on sales training, we must first measure an individual’s competencies2 for their sales role and determine the gaps. Following the sales training we conduct a further “on the job” sales performance assessment following the sales training event.

Specific individual performance measures (KPIs) should be written into the Learning Agreement. For example, increased sales production, a reduction in time waste, improved customer retention, increased sales margin, improved teamwork or motivation etc.

The Learning Agreement then maps the competency improvement required to achieve a specific KPI, for example:

KPI = Improved sales conversion rate from 1 in 7 to 1 in 4 Competency required = Customer needs diagnosis (listening and questioning) Training requirement = Focus on customer needs diagnosis

Conclusion

It is an unfortunate fact that the majority of sales training conducted fails to deliver the expected increase in productivity or performance. Very few sales training programs actually change behaviour. Many sales programs are run as an exercise in “ticking the box” – Yes, I have officially trained my salespeople!

The simple truth is that if you are going to end your salespeople to a sales training event you are only likely to see a measurable return on your investment if you ensure that the material is:

o relevant and customised to suit your sales operation and market; and o each individual has been well primed and prepared prior to their attendance; o the sales training event engages and inspires; o you are prepared to follow up and coach the salesperson to ensure integration; o keep holding them accountable, measuring and tracking their behavioural changes as a result of the sales training.

As one of Australia’s leading authorities and coaches in sales management, Ian Segail has been involved in the coaching, training and development of sales managers and salespeople for over two decades.

Drawing on 25 years of experience in sales, sales management and leading an HR and training team, Ian brings a strong dose of fiscal reality and practicality to his works as a Sales Performance Coach.

Engaging directly with business owners and both novice and experienced sales managers alike, across a wide variety of industries and selling disciplines, the focus of Ian’s work is to transform sales results for companies by improving sales management practices.

Ian is the author of “Bulletproof Your Sales Team – The 5 Keys To Turbo-Boosting Your Sales Team’s Results” and a number of business articles, business reports and white papers including “The fish stinks from the head!” and “Why Sales Training Doesn’t Work.”

Ian has an insatiable hunger for studying selling and people management and has passionately pursued answers to the question “How come some people can sell and most can’t?”

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