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Two Crucial Things You Must Do for Sales Training to Be Successful

Two Crucial Things You Must Do for Sales Training to Be Successful - Janice Mars, SalesLatitude

Two Crucial Things You Must Do for Sales Training to Be Successful - Janice Mars, SalesLatitudeYour company decides to spend a large amount of money on sales training. Months go by while they evaluate multiple options and select a sales enablement firm to help. There’s talk of formulating a pilot group so the sales training can be vetted, providing assurance that it will be relevant and a valuable use of everyone’s time. So, what could possibly go wrong? A heck of a lot.

Will Your Sales Training Stick?

You have all the best intentions, but it’s not like the sales team was not successful before. Who’s to say that the sales training you’re investing in will fix the multitude of issues that management is trying to fix? Honestly, who knows?!

Many of us have heard this before. Training for training’s sake is just that. Your sales people will pick up a thing or two, and maybe (just maybe) they will incorporate it into their repertoire. But more than likely, just a few days after the training, they will go right back to doing things the way they always did.

Do These Two Things First

There are two key things any sales organization can do to ensure that the sales training “sticks” and provides long-term value.  

1. Assess Your Sales Organization. Most sales experts recommend starting with a sales assessment evaluation. There are many good ones out there.

At SalesLatitude, we use Objective Management Group’s Sales Effectiveness and Improvement Analysis (SEIA). It takes a large amount of data specifically on the people, systems and strategies in your sales organization, and sheds light on potential areas of improvement such as:

  • The effectiveness of your sales management efforts
  • Whether or not your salespeople are capable of executing your strategies
  • How comfortable your salespeople are with your model for going to market
  • Business being lost as a result of weaknesses among your salespeople
  • The quality of your pipeline
  • Sales hiring criteria

The analysis also identifies the salespeople who should be performing better and what you must do to help them reach their potential. And it will provide data on who is trainable, how much training they’ll need, and the kind of help that will get the best results for each sales person. This ensures everyone is either in the right position and/or has a succession plan.

This detailed data can provide a tremendous amount of insight to ensure that the sales training you select truly addresses the specific areas where improvement is required, whether in the short, medium or long term.

2. Get Your Leadership Engaged. We have all heard this mantra a million times. Executive management has to be a big part of the change management process. The truth is, sales training can bring about significant changes throughout an organization. Executives have to look at how to best augment or complement current processes or tools, and make the “new ways” part of the sales team’s DNA. KPIs to monitor progress and executive management oversight are excellent ways to ensure you get the most out of your sales training.

Do Your Homework

Sales training can take a ton of time and money, and sometimes incur a host of unexpected, disruptive changes throughout an organization. Many programs fail to yield desired results or have a lasting impact. But with a clear assessment of improvements that are truly needed, and buy-in from the executive team, you’ll gain a deep understanding of your sales team’s strengths and weaknesses, and be able to select the best sales training resource or program for the job.

Janice Mars, Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude, is a sales performance improvement consultant and change agent focused on growing top performers to impact bottom line growth. With more than 30 years of experience as a senior business and sales executive, she helps companies build successful sales teams by maximizing their time and resources, selling from the buyer’s point of view, and strengthening the effectiveness of leadership. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter


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