Do_Sales_Training_Events_Really_Work

 

Imagine this picture in your mind.  You are in a hotel ballroom with 350 people.  It took an average of 4.5 hours for each person to travel here.  The company has spent over $500/person/day for each attendee to sit in the room.  The speaker on stage is training the sales team on a new and easier way to sell.   Or an easier way to prospect.  Maybe it’s about how to use big data in your sales presentation.  Your sales people seem engaged.  They like the material.  Your boss feels good.

 

But is all this effort and expense worth it?

 

Download our How to Make Your Number in 2015 Research Report to find out why. It goes into detail why Sales Training doesn’t work if you don’t enable it.  And what you need to do before you even start the training event.

 

Training events like these fail because of three major reasons.  Avoid these and the event will have a positive return. 

 

  1. No Sales Management Reinforcement: Most training events have no coaching reinforcement.  This has been proven to reduce the benefit of the training material. Without reinforcement the use of the material drops significantly within thirty days.  A systematic coaching program must already be in place before the training.  The new material then gets easily plugged into the coaching framework.  Only then can it be reinforced and used in the field.

 

TIP: Keep this simple and effective.  The main areas of focus are one on ones, field rides and sales meetings

 

  1. Little to No Refresher Training: Each portion of the training needs coaching.  You need to break down this coaching into mini refresher sessions.  For example, you might have a training session on financial acumen.  The learning of how to read and extract value of an income statement.  The micro refresher training session would be focused on Gross Profit.  You would re-train and test knowledge on what is GP and the value. The value to the customer and to the company. Then you would relate that back to a live opportunity to make it real.  Break these sessions apart into ones that last for 4-6 weeks.

     

TIP: Use technology to deploy the training.  Applications like Q Logic, SAVO and Bloomfire can have a daily effect on the comprehension and reinforcement.

 

  1. No Link to your Customers Buying Process: All training must link to how the customer buys.  The customers indirectly demand it.  Each training session should be incorporated with how to help the buyer purchase.  Tie it directly back into the buyer centric sales process.  This reinforces your sales process while enabling your sales people.

 

TIP: Link the Customer Buying Process to your Sales Process first.  Only after, you can incorporate training content into the Sales Process. Focus on outward-in vs. inward-out.

 

Call to Action:

  • Implement a Coaching Framework: This is a system for how your Sales Leaders coach.  Sometimes referred to as a playbook, it breeds consistency. Pick a model, establish cadence and implement.
  • Breakout each portion of the training into micro coaching sessions: Each major training component should be developed into a separate training session.
  • Install discipline and cadence into your reinforcement: Identify the activities and frequency of each activity.  Communicate this to the sales organization and hold them accountable.

 

TIP:  Click here to see recommendations for Sales Manager Activities.  Implement these into your everyday discipline and cadence to reinforce the training.

 

Companies spend on average $1202/employee on training each year according to Bersin & Associates.  That’s for every employee in the company.  Unless you link back to the three actions above it’s not worth the money.  Don’t waste your sales people’s time or the company’s money if you have not.  Download our report for how your sales and marketing strategy needs to compliment the training. And how to accomplish the training. Otherwise your will waste time, energy and money.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Perry

Intensely focused on helping sales and marketing leaders in B2B companies make their numbers at SBI.
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Dan approaches the idea of making your number from a unique perspective. Like many SBI leaders, he has walked a mile in your shoes. He comes from the industry side and has had to make his number to be successful. Perhaps this is why it’s wise to rely on SBI’s evidence-based methodologies. Though SBI is certainly an execution-based firm, Dan only implements strategies and solutions for his clients after they have been verified with before-and-after data. This leads to adoption of sales programs in the field, rather than shelf-ware.

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