When_Sales_Training_is_Not_the_Answer

 

The end of the quarter is approaching quickly.  As a Regional Sales Leader, you might make or miss your number.  But some of your reps/managers are going to miss it for the quarter and the year.  You want to help them.  Your first reaction is to implement a revenue acceleration plan for those team members.  And your first instinct is to train your reps. 

 

Why?

 

Sales training is an easy answer.  Sales Enablement has some training programs already designed and ready to go.  You think, “We can just pick the ones that are important and get working.  Should be easy-right?”

 

Most sales training has little impact on sales teams.  It doesn’t work because:

 

  • It is not integrated into an overall strategy.
  • It can’t be applied to a sales methodology.
  • Most methodologies are seller centric.
  • The sales strategy is also seller and not buyer centric.

     

Do you want to understand sales strategy better?  Download SBI’s Annual Research Report. The report takes a closer look at when and how sales training is effective. Specifically, it highlights how top performing sales organizations implement a sales training strategy. And how a sales team can identify any gaps and build a sales strategy.

 

All details on the report can be found here.

 

Missing the number is a result of many reasons.  Considering that most Sales Leaders have little budget, what should we do?  If sales training is available, how can we use it to be effective?

 

Three Ways to Make the Number with Sales Training (and little budget):

 

  1. Get Buyer Centric Immediately: Focusing on the buyer proves again and again to be successful. But this means focusing your reps on how the customers buy. Not on how they sell.  This is accomplished through mapping the customers buying process.  Download an overview copy on our website here to get you started.
  2. Wrap Sales Training with Sales Adoption: Just training on a product or skill doesn’t work. You must incorporate the training into an overall adoption program.  Note this fact from the CEB.  88% of all training content is lost within 30 days if not reinforced.  This means each piece of training must be coached by your Sales Managers consistently.

     

    • For example, being behind on the number means training on advancing late stage opportunities. The training class would be about what the customer is thinking and feeling.  Especially during late stage buying. The adoption program would be focused on late stage deal reviews.  And coaching to the activities needed.
  3. Tactics Win Over Strategy: When trying to make the number, actions count. Focus your reps on getting advances in deals. Pick a couple deals and do a win/loss analysis.  This will give the actions you did or didn’t do to be successful.  Remember, incremental gains always win over big advances.  When training, get specific with deals on activities that advance sales. 

     

    • For example, ensuring that every customer interaction has a call plan with objectives. Every decision maker is identified highlighting their objectives and needs.  And every deal is identified as to what stage it’s in the buying process.

       

Oh, get out in the field too.  Riding with your team to customer meetings ensures strong adoption.

 

Your Next Steps

  • Download SBI’s Annual Research Report. Understand how Sales Training plays a part in an overall Sales Strategy. And why without a Sales Strategy your Sales Training will be ineffective.
  • Identify ways your team can make up the gap. Actions such as Big Deal Strategy Sessions or Sales Manager Revenue Boot Camp. But these should primarily include sales training topics that involve the three steps above.
  • Develop a Sales Adoption plan to increase the trainings effectiveness. Coaching to these actions will be the way they become adopted.

 

Sales training doesn’t have to be ineffective.  But without incorporating it into an overall strategy, it will be wasted effort.  You can’t afford to lose valuable time to make the number.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Perry

Intensely focused on helping sales and marketing leaders in B2B companies make their numbers at SBI.
Learn more about Dan Perry >

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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