Is Sales Training a Waste of Money?
I read an article the other day written by a friend of mine from the states who said categorically that he thought group sales training is a waste of time.
He went on in the article to describe a couple of different examples of how he has worked with companies where very little of the team had implemented what he had taught them and as a result they had a minimal shift in their results.
And while I agree that he definitely has a point about the implementation of training that I have definitely experienced, what he didn’t touch on was the often over looked 3 missing but critical pieces of the puzzle.
The parts that can dramatically increase the cut through when you introduce training in an organisation.
And the parts that unless you address, really can mean that your investment in sales training is wasted.
What we are really referring to here is addressing the social dynamics part of the equation.
Which really means this…
you can’t just barge into an organisation as an outsider and tell a whole team of salespeople (who often by nature have large egos) how to suck eggs.
It’s just not going to work. You’ll end up with a whole room of people with their eyes glazed over and their arms crossed saying things like “yeah well it was a really good refresher”
It is also unlikely to work if they are in an internally competitive environment like a real estate office or any organisation where sales people are competing for the same clients.
(the only way real estate agents will act on the training is if they are actually paying for it themselves)
For two reasons, 1 – they don’t want to share their secrets and 2 – they have no buy in
Culture, Alignment and Involvement
In my 14 years experience training corporate sales teams, if you don’t include the following in your training planning process, you can waste a fortune on ineffective training.
The 3 biggest missing but critical pieces of making sales training work.
I will never forget a conversation I had with a client where we were talking about an incentive program he was putting together for his team and in that conversation he said to me “what I realise about my team now is that unless you get the culture right, you can put the greatest incentive system in the world in place and it still won’t work”
What he means is that, if there is friction, uncertainty and unmet expectations in your team, putting a training or incentive program in place will be like trying to put paint on top of rust – it just won’t stick
You need to have clarity within your team and a focus on the core behaviours that underpin great results before you even start talking about training.
When I am talking to a client, if I even get the slightest sense that they culture within the team is not where it should be, we run an alignment program first, before we even think about sales training.
The third one is involvement. Your team are unlikely to commit to any type action unless they have been involved it it’s creation. Having a process that actively enrols your team (especially the key leaders) in the creation of any type program will dramatically increase the likelihood that it will be effective.
Once you have these three elements in place, you can feel 100% confident that your training will be received and acted on in the best way it possibly can with the highest possible uptake within your team.
If you’d like to talk about what that might look like for your business, drop me a line at this link – we can have a look at your business and what an effective sales development program with the highest ROI possible might look like for you and your team – here’s the link again