If you've invested in sales training for your salespeople, but haven't seen the ROI you were expecting, here are 10 potential reasons that this may be the case, and what you can do to make that sales training finally pay off.
1. You stopped doing it. Training will never "take," or produce long-term results, if it's a one-and-done undertaking. Just like anything, repetition in the mother of skill and "exposure" is not the same thing as training. Yet, more times than not, companies invest in a day, two or three of sales training, and expect their salespeople to "get it" and apply what they learned forevermore. Unfortunately, that is not reality. Mastery of any skill set takes time and repetition. Therefore, training must be a constant, ongoing and recurring event, prioritized, valued and embedded deeply into the company culture.
2. You didn’t define specific behaviors. Once your salespeople truly learn the principles of selling, and start to apply what they've learned in the real world of selling, consistency of execution becomes essential. Therefore, specific observable and measurable behaviors must be defined and embedded into the sales process. Without knowing what specific behaviors they must execute on to generate sales results, they will be "winging it" at best, and their sales results will be inconsistent at best.
3. You’re not coaching to the behaviors. Once you have identified and embedded these specific behaviors into your sales process, now you can coach and mentor your salespeople to those behaviors (leading indicators) instead of coaching and mentoring them reactively to the numbers or sales results (lagging indicators). This makes their selling experience, and your coaching experience, infinitely better because they know exactly what to do, and what's expected of them, and you can guide and lead them to do all right things that will produce consistent, predictable and profitable sales results.
4. You don’t have a well defined, proven and repeatable sales process. Believe it or not, more sales organizations than not, do not have a clearly defined, mapped out, sales process that is used consistently across the entire sales team. As a result, every sales person is doing their own thing, their results are hit and miss, and they can’t collaborate on best practices that would help the entire team strengthen and grow.
If you don’t currently have a sales process in place, the easiest way to get one in place is to map out specific behaviors that you believe will create success, and then glean the wisdom of your top performers to see what they’re doing consistently to succeed. Combine all of that knowledge and wisdom into one concise, clearly defined, proven sales process, and get every person on your sales team on board with using that sales process.
5. You're letting the inmates run the asylum. Of course there's going to be heartburn and pushback from your sales people when you introduce a new sales process Into the culture. However, up until now, chances are that your sales people have been doing their own thing, making it up as they go, and they've never really stopping long enough to pay attention to what's working, and what's not. In essence, the inmates have been running the asylum. As a sales leader, it is time to take charge, show them how a proven and repeatable sales process will help them to make more sales, and then help them to learn and acclimate to a consistent sales process that you can manage, coach to, and leverage to lead them to victory. Thank will thank you for it eventually.
6. You haven't established a culture of practice. Salespeople absolutely hate this, and that's probably why you've avoided it until now, but practice, in the form of consistent daily role-play, Is the best way to achieve mastery In selling. This doesn't have to be an unpleasant experience if it's done properly. In fact, once your salespeople have been to sales training, and you have specific behaviors mapped out in your sales process, role-play can become a fun, simple and enjoyable process.
The key to developing a successful practice and role-play culture is to make it a game, create an environment where it's totally acceptable to struggle at first, and always highly encouraging and supportive. That best way to do this is to take the lead, get in there with them, and let them see you struggle through practice and role-play. We call this "show coaching," and it's the absolute best way to get your salespeople on board. Remember, people do what people see, not what they're told to do.
7. Sales training is NOT enough. Sales training teaches salespeople how to do one thing - make a sale. While that is the ultimate goal of every sales organization, salespeople must also be taught how to recognize and leverage opportunities that result from a lost sale, because those opportunities can ultimately produce more, bigger and more profitable sales.
Therefore, it's important that salespeople also learn supplemental skills such as leadership, influence, negotiation and advanced communication to that they are fully equipped to deftly handle, recognize and capitalize on every single sales interaction in which they engage. Sales training alone can not help your salespeople achieve that outcome.
8. You’re relying to heavily on the numbers. While the numbers don't lie, they don't always tell the whole story. That's why it's important for you, as a sales leader, to be in the trenches with your salespeople so that you can help them to decode and fully understand where their customers, prospects and potential buyers are, until they can learn to accurately discern this for themselves. This is why mentorship is so vital to their selling success.
9. You’re not consistently sharing wins and opportunities. It's startling how seldom sales teams discuss the individual wins, losses, opportunities and lessons as a group. The adage "a rising tide raises all boats" speaks to the significance and value of this often neglected practice.
If salesperson A has a victory out in the field, and salespeople B, C, D and F can learn from their success, they become stronger in their efforts faster. The same benefit is derived when the whole sales team learns from the losses and failures of their peers.
10. Your salespeople aren’t taking ownership of their sales results or their sales career. For many salespeople, sadly, sales is a way to make some good money and collect a paycheck before they have to find another sales job because they didn't make their numbers, yet again. Even worse, as sales leaders,We must admit that we've played a significant role In creating this dynamic and culture in our organization.Why? By the nature the beast, we're held to results and numbers.
As a result, many salespeople have become jaded and refuse to fully engage in a profession that can be very unstable. However, we all know that sales has the potential to be the very best, and most lucrative, career of any.
Therefore, it is our responsibility, as sales leaders, to create an environment that encourages our salespeople to fully engage, accept responsibility, and take ownership of their results and careers .The number one way to achieve this desired outcome is to consistently communicate and actively demonstrate your support for them and the success of their career. This means having their back, building strong relationships with them, making sure they are well trained, and bending over backwards to make sure they have everything they need to be successful, and not giving up on them when they have a bad month, quarter or year.
If any of the above are true, and apply to your specific situation, the good news is that you now have a list of steps you can take to get an ROI for the money you invested in training.
If you have not recently (or ever) engaged your salespeople in a quality sales training program, now is a great time to do that. We may be able to help. Let's schedule a 30 minute conversation to discuss your specific situation, and see if we'd be a good fit for your sales team. If we find that we're not, we'll gladly refer you, or pint you in the direction of a resource that can better serve you.
Just give us a call at (225) 384-0693, complete the contact form on this website, or schedule a complimentary consultation with our CEO, Duane Huff. You can schedule that conversation directly, here on his calendar.