Billions of Euros are spent every year training sales people to improve skills in programs run by experts in their field. Most sales training companies are very good at delivering seminars that are liked by sales people.
Yet most companies are dissatisfied with the result of these training programs.
For the sales professionals who went on this expensive training, there is an all too familiar pattern. Here are some comments I have been hearing over and over again:
“We received an email about a training program we must attend. So we show up expecting nothing. But, I actually get some value out of it and the location, food and catching up with my friends were all great."
"My manager asks me how it was and what I learned. Then we never speak of the training again. Dozens of emails, reports and sales pressure....!”
“Still, I try out some things. It is exciting. I can see the chance to improve my skills if I can just keep it up. But now I have to do another report for someone at corporate”
“It is like the company doesn't really care about the training and I should just go back to how I was doing things before.”
Now, on the other side is management; questioning why they do not see the results they expected from training.
Research shows best-in-class companies do something different.
Top performing companies value improved performance through leadership, coaching and development. And they have the processes in place to connect training to success criteria and performance evaluations. Becoming better is not just a check the box mentality were sales professionals are expected to learn and implement on the spot because they were sent to training.
Top companies have a culture that supports the development process. For sales professionals, this is a sales coach. Someone who works with them to improve soft skills in the art of sales and the new, more data driven skills known as the science of sales. These companies focus first on improving the coaching available to their sales professionals. They know the best managers are sales coaches first who can improve their team's performance and they vastly improve the sustainability of sales training.
End the insanity of sales training! - and implement an active Leadership, Coaching and Development culture in your organization.
by Chris Houghtaling, MBA