Sales Training – Short on Results
Many companies looking for the best sales training classes to help them increase sales. And while that’s the optimal outcome, many sales training classes fail to produce either short-term or long-lasting results.
Industrial psychologist and sales researcher Neil Rackham reports in a landmark study that sales results typically went DOWN after traditional, non-customized sales training classes were implemented. Why?
Shortcomings of Sales Training Classes
- Sales training class materials were not sufficiently tailored to the client company or industry. Consequently, salespeople selling products like computer networks were using techniques more appropriate to other industries such as insurance and financial services. The use of suboptimal, less-than-successful sales techniques resulted in a higher level of objections and lost sales.
- Sales training classes used outdated techniques, like classical closing and appointment-setting methods popular in the 80’s and 90’s. Prospects’ everyday exposure to older and commonly-used sales techniques helped them easily identify someone as a “salesperson.” Indeed, when salespeople are “tagged” as such, they are often “screened” and prevented from reaching decision makers and making sales.
- The sales trainer(s) hired to present the training program lacked credibility with the salespeople they were training. In fact, many of the trainers spent little time prior to the training session learning their clients’ businesses or interviewing program participants. This knowledge gap was readily apparent to the salespeople who, in turn, failed to believe in or adopt much of what was presented in the training.
- When initially trying out newly-learned sales techniques with customers and prospects, salespeople often felt “awkward” and failed to successfully use the new techniques. Consequently, their sales results often went down. Due to a lack of success applying these new techniques, the most common reaction was to revert back to their old style of selling. Many sales training classes lacked the post-training sales team coaching needed to help salespeople through this “awkward use” phase so that they were consistently and successfully applying the new sales techniques.
Indeed, for sales training classes to produce measurable results, it is essential to tailor the training to each company and to select a sales training speaker and facilitator who can gain credibility with the sales team. The Sales Alliance customizes all sales training classes and, to further boost results, can tie training outcomes to company compensation, incentives, coaching, post-training reinforcement and “best sales practices.”
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