Sales and Sales Management Blog

November 12, 2009

Big Changes Coming to Sales Training?

I usually don’t use this blog as a forum to comment on posts on other blogs, although I do reference other posts when appropriate.  However, I want to point out a discussion that Dave Stein is having on his blog about the issues and changes currently taking place within the sales training industry and its corporate customer base.

To date Dave has posted two pieces of the discussion (I don’t know whether he intends to continue the discussion although I hope he does as I think he can flesh out many of the issues and potential solutions more fully and maybe bring in some other perspectives–possibly from large and small training companies as well as buyers). 

The first installment of the discussion is an interview he did with Tom Martin talking in fairly general terms about some the changes that need to take place to make sales training more effective and user friendly for companies and for trainers. 

In the second post, Dave delineates 9 major obstacles sales training, and more specifically sales trainers and training consumers, must overcome in the coming months and years such as the reactive nature of sales training consumption, moving consumption from the purchase of “tips” training to effective process training, and the necessity of trainers to be more insistent on post event coaching as the necessary element for the training to have the desired impact on the sales team.

As a lone wolf sales trainer that generally works within a narrow area—prospecting and personal marketing, I’ve certainly noticed the need for change within the industry.  There is still a significant segment of the market—whether talking about individual sellers or corporate purchasers—who are looking for the magic tips and tidbits that will magically change their pipelines.  They don’t want training, they want a motivator to come in with lots of hype and few tips and then they expect change.  Foolish? Yes, but also very common.

Equally frustrating is the discussion with buyers about follow up coaching or a training the coach segment.  Seems that many trainers are not educating prospects on the critical nature of managed follow up with training event attendees to make sure the appropriate behaviors are being instilled.  For decades one of the primary complaints from training buyers has been that training is in general ineffective.  That I believe is because of a misunderstanding of what a training event really is.  A training event is nothing more than information exchange but the goal is ultimately behavior change.  The behavior change doesn’t happen during the training event, it happens afterwards when the seller is back in the field—but it won’t happen for the vast majority of sellers unless they have support and guidance that must either come from the initial trainer, the seller’s manager, or the company’s training department.  Even though we know the result of training without follow up coaching, few are insisting that coaching or training the coach be a part of the contract.

Head over to Dave’s blog and spend some time there—both posts and the comments are well worth the time spent.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dave Stein and Christian Maurer, GoodSelling. GoodSelling said: Big Changes Coming to Sales Training? […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Big Changes Coming to Sales Training? « Sales and Sales Management Blog -- — November 12, 2009 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by GoodSelling: Big Changes Coming to Sales Training?

    Trackback by uberVU - social comments — November 13, 2009 @ 12:00 am | Reply

  3. Great point. Sales organizations that think production first and advancing the sale second lose most of the time. Many sales managers are self-trained order takers by way of poorly designed comp plans so it follows they are drawn to look for the magic bullet point that will close a sale. There is no such thing. A successful sales method works to help the prospect solve problems they have with their customers.

    Comment by Tobias Bray — November 13, 2009 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

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