Your sales team are the face of your company, instrumental in creating a long lasting impression in the mind of your customers. But according to Forrester Research as few as 15% of sales professionals are capable of articulating their true value as it relates to the customer’s problem.
In order to enhance the calibre of salespeople to influence the decisions of prospects and convert them into loyal customers, companies must invest in developing the skills of their sales people.
Yet many companies fear spending money on training believing that either they don’t get a good return on investment or that their trained people will leave. Neither of these are good enough reasons for not developing your people.
As a sales expert and sales performance trainer, I would like to share reasons why so many sales training programmes fail and how to avoid them:
- Failing to assess the learning needs and goals - Without assessment of skill gaps and learning styles, training will fail to deliver its content at the right level of sophistication for your audience. Be serious about making sure the learning approach is rigorous enough to do its part in producing behavioural change and getting results. I use a ‘mini module’ approach, that enables to deliver flexible and customised content each and every time.
- Applying static sales models: Facing ever-changing buyer mindsets and organisational complexity, the days of running standard sales training courses are behind us. It is now about customer-focused problem solving and strategic prospecting. Follow an agile and flexible approach and ensure that training content is always state of the art.
- Missing processes and methodologies - Many sales training programmes neglect to provide a consistent process and methodology that salespeople can follow in order to systematically move prospects through the pipeline. Without such systematic processes, new ways of working get forgotten and salespeople fall back into old habits. Top-rated sales processes, such as the proven methodology ‘Selling at a Higher Level’ enhance lasting behavioural change.
- Non engaging training sessions - Too often sales training can be boring. When training is not applicable, not delivered at the right level, and too focused on lecture versus practice it can have a negative impact on sales team morale and won’t result in behavioural change. Being a sales professional first and a trainer second I am eager to delight people with a vast array of work-based examples, interactive exercises and practicable tools. Visit our training page >>
- Lack of management buy-in - No matter how good a training event is, approximately 90% of learning is lost within 30 days if it is not reinforced. Adult learning is an ongoing process and “practice makes perfect”. But you also need the buy-in of the line management. By building programmes that involve and excite all levels of staff you can ensure new ways of selling stick.
- Absence of coaching - You cannot hit your number by managing processes alone. Coaching represents vital opportunities for training follow-up and on-the-job learning. Under the pressure of achieving sales quota, sales managers usually don’t find time for coaching sessions. If this is the case, consider third-party organisations with experienced sales professionals who deliver coaching on your behalf to ensure that goals and action planning actually happen.
Get in touch if you need any kind of information about effective sales training and coaching programmes or if you are looking for new ways to increase business revenue.