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Checking the Sales Training Box

From phone calls we keep receiving it’s apparent that there is a boatload of sales VPs out there who still don’t understand that long-term sales effectiveness improvement doesn’t come from shrink-wrappedA Speech Doesn't Get the Job of Training Done. speeches or out-of-the-box, stand-alone, sales training programs.

I spoke with the distressed training director of a large company who told me that he was given a mandate to find a sales training company on very short notice and wanted our help. Evidently the VP of sales felt his people needed training, but at all wasn’t interested in what firm would be chosen, how they would be chosen, or in providing that firm a list of needs and requirements so they could get the job done.

After asking some questions and getting a pretty morose picture of what was going on there, I found that the training director wasn’t even authorized to take the time and effort for a requirements definition.

By now, they’re off on a path which will result in wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more. What is really upsetting is that the training director knew precisely what was going on. He said, “All that VP wants to do is to check the sales training box.”

Several of the leading sales training companies won’t take engagements with companies that just want to check the training box. They know that no real performance improvement comes from stand-alone, shrink-wrapped, event-based training.

If you can’t invest in the process to determine the right sales training firm for your company, at least follow these five basic guidelines:

  1. Define your requirements and find a company that can meet them.
  2. Redeploy and replace any sales person that isn’t suited to the job.
  3. Have a selling methodology in place before you train.
  4. Install a solid coaching process.
  5. Measure the results of everything you do that impacts sales performance.

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