Sales training is a very large business. 5 billion in the US alone as estimated by Dave Stein in his published article, “Sales Training: The 120 Day Curse." Stein also states, between 85% and 90% of sales training has absolutely NO lasting impact after 120 days. So a cool 4.25 billion dollars simply being thrown away and it happens year after year. Why?
Training can be disappointing when months down the road, results return to the same place they have always been. Sales people are blamed for being highly motivated and energized in the beginning but not being able to sustain that level of momentum. However, maybe it isn’t about salespeople at all. Maybe ( gulp) it really is about you, the manager, coach and leader.
In a post by John Doerr, on Rain Selling Blog he believes the single most important reason that sales training succeeds or doesn’t, is the degree of commitment from senior management.
At EcSell Institute, we are in perfect alignment with John’s thinking and you may be as well when you stop to consider that when it comes to increasing sales team performance, the largest gains to be made are in the development of the sales manager, not the producer. Understanding and focusing fully on what the sales manager is doing day in and day out is the key to truly moving the needle, versus trying to sustain an artificial level of energy in your reps.
Benefiting from sales training is not just a matter of choosing a great sales trainer ---even excellent sales trainers are of no benefit to companies that don’t take a strategic approach to sales training.
You need a strategic approach to sales training but that strategy surprisingly should be more about you the manager, not a regurgitation of sales skills and techniques. Research is solid on coaching and the difference it makes when done on a consistent and methodical basis. And there is evidence that many sales methodologies can provide equally great results across the board, when the manager is committed to sustained, focused and consistent coaching.
Therein, is where the problem resides. You can’t reinforce training, make the education stick and see an ROI on the training investment you made if you don’t have a way to measure, track and analyze how you coach.
Learning more about how to execute coaching against what research shows are the 5 high pay off activities and behaviors of your reps and doing so on the frequency basis you have determined is most effective for you, will produce results. Going one step further and utilizing a sales coaching cloud technology to put that information directly at your fingertips, will be a bit of an eye-opener when you begin to discover as the manager coach:
- Where you are spending your time
- How much time you are spending in certain activities
- Exactly how effective that time being spent is
And until you can measure that and see the effectiveness in action as it applies to the relationships with your reps, it is very difficult to drive change with any sales training program that you choose.
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