Sales and Sales Management Blog

April 4, 2009

For Sales Training to Produce Results, Management Must Change Their View of What Training Is


“We just don’t have any funds to bring in trainers this year.  Besides, we just haven’t had that much success with outside trainers anyway.  They come in and do their thing, but after they leave, we’ve never really seen much of an impact in our sales that we think came from them. “

“They come in and do their thing.” 

That’s the crux of the problem with training.  Companies and salespeople see trainers as “doing their thing,” that is, putting on a show and disseminating information, not changing the behavior of salespeople. 

If companies want to see real change in their sales teams, they must rethink what sales training is and how it is delivered.  Training isn’t just information exchange.  If it were, all the company need do is have each salesperson read a book or listen to a CD.  You don’t need to spend a small fortune to bring in the author of the book or CD if all he or she is going to do is give a verbal presentation of the same information contained in the book.  That’s nothing more than hiring a very expensive reader who presents the material in a bit more personal and entertaining format.

Training, at its core, is about changing behavior.  The information necessary to begin the behavior change is certainly critical, but it is nothing more than the beginning of the training process.  The real value of training is learning how to apply the information in the real world, that is, how to turn the information into the behavior that helps one sell. 

The world is full of salespeople who “know” what to do, but have no workable idea of how to do it, who have received the correct information, but haven’t received the necessary coaching to turn it from information into action.

The basic reason sales training has not had the impact companies, salespeople, and trainers have hoped for is the failure to address the long-term coaching necessary to have individual salespeople’s behavior change.

Sales training results will continue to be less than satisfactory unless the group training session is followed up with consistent, disciplined coaching.  And the coaching must be more than simply monitoring behavior and results with the subsequent admonitions or pats on the back.  It must consist of analysis, guidance, and individualized training.  Whether the follow-up coaching is done by the original trainer, the salesperson’s manager, or someone from an in-house training department, the coach must be thoroughly immersed in the what, how, and why of the behaviors to be achieved, and how to help the salesperson acquire and implement those behaviors.   

If you intend to hire a trainer and have them “come in and do their thing” and leave, save your money because you and your team will be disappointed. 

If you want to see real change within your team-and to your bottom-line–change your view of training from a session to a long-term process of changing behavior.  Yes, it will certainly cost more up front.  It won’t produce the overnight change many sales trainers have led companies to expect in the past-and that never materialized.  But it will produce the results you want and instead of wasting the money you’ve wasted on training in the past, your money will be invested in your company’s success, not spent on the trainer’s success.

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4 Comments »

  1. […] O­r­igin­a­l­ po­s­t:  Fo­r Sa­l­es T­ra­in­in­g t­o­ P­ro­d­uc… […]

    Pingback by For Sales Training to Produce Results, Management Must Change … « Sales Training — April 4, 2009 @ 2:53 pm | Reply

  2. […] For sales training to Produce Results, Management Must Change … If companies want to see real change in their sales teams, they must rethink what sales training is and how it is delivered. training isn’t just information exchange. If it were, all the company need do is have each salesperson read a … […]

    Pingback by sales training | Carl Davidson's Sales & Management Training Blog — April 4, 2009 @ 5:10 pm | Reply

  3. […] Go­­ h­ere to­­ see th­e o­­riginal­: Fo­r S­a­les­ Tra­in­in­g to­ Pro­d­uce Res­u… […]

    Pingback by For Sales Training to Produce Results, Management Must Change … « Sales Management — April 7, 2009 @ 7:31 am | Reply

  4. […] Go h­ere t­o see t­h­e origin­­al: For S­ales­ Trai­n­­i­n­­g to P­rod­uce Res­u… […]

    Pingback by For Sales Training to Produce Results, Management Must Change … « Sales Management — April 7, 2009 @ 7:31 am | Reply


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