6 Ways Sales Training Can Go Wrong

Ways Sales Training Can Go Wrong

There Are Many Ways Sales Training Can Go Wrong
Are you thinking about putting your sales force through customized sales training to boost their sales skill levels and increase your revenues? Beware of the obstacles and the many ways sales training can go wrong on the way to your goal of a high performing sales team.

Sales Training Can Be a Waste of Time and Money
Investing in sales training by itself can be a huge disappointment and a waste of your resources. We have learned a lot over our almost two decades of implementing hundreds of sales training initiatives. Here is our summary of the most common mistakes organizations make as they roll out a sales training program.

Six Ways Sales Training Can Go Wrong
There are six sales training traps to avoid if you want your training initiative to succeed…and why wouldn’t you?

1. Unprepared Participants
Business sales training is ultimately designed to change specific behaviors in order to increase desired sales performance. We know that people typically resist change unless there is a strong willingness and need to change. Make sure that you spend adequate time in preparing participants and gaining their understanding that behavior change is needed and why it is in their best interest.

Share specifically how the sales training and new skills will help them to:

  • Achieve their personal and professional goals
  • Learn proven principles for more effective selling, i.e., building relationships, uncovering customer needs, articulating value, overcoming resistance, negotiating effectively, etc.
  • Practice and become proficient at the critical few sales scenarios that matter most for their success

2. Unprepared Sales Managers
What happens after the sales workshop is as (if not more) important as what happens before and during the workshop. During a well-designed sales program, participants observe, absorb and practice the critical few sales skills that will best help them to increase revenues, margins and win-rates. But, unless they are held accountable for and coached through the new sales behaviors, they will quickly slip back into the old ways of doing things.

Sales managers are the front-line leaders who need to be role-models and skilled sales performance coaches for the new sales behaviors and desired sales competencies. Ongoing reinforcement is the only way the individuals will reach new performance levels.

3. Ineffective Sales Success Metrics
Measurement is critical to sustaining both sales training and sales  results. Start with defining the two to three business metrics that you want to improve. Typical business sales success metrics include:

  • Revenue
  • Margin
  • Win rate
  • Portfolio mix
  • Deal size
  • Sales cycle

Once you know where you are headed from a business perspective, it is time to identify sales performance and sales learning success metrics linked to your business metrics. At the end of the day, make sure that you can measure if sales people are using the new sales skills and behaviors and if they are making a difference.

4. Inadequate Top-level Support
Senior sales leaders need to be on board with the sales initiative.  Not only to model and encourage the behavior changes but also to hold people accountable while providing the support and resources to ensure long-term adoption. Make sure you have leadership “buy-in” for each and every change.

You will need top-down commitment for the sales training to succeed in transforming the sales team and in building the business.

5. Lack of Focus
Beware of trying to do too much at once. You don’t want to overwhelm sales reps with too many processes, practices, skills or knowledge. From an instructional design perspective, if there is more content than practice and skill building, participants are unlikely to become more proficient.

Make sure that you ruthlessly focus only on what matters most to the sales force, sales leadership and the company as a whole.

6. Insufficient Customization
Too many sales managers plug in their “pet” sales training program or sales methodology without fully appreciating the root cause of under performance or without creating full alignment with the overall sales strategy or sales culture. No sales training program should be delivered until you are sure that you will develop the core selling skills required for your company, your solutions, your customers, your team and their sales roles.

The Bottom Line
Ensure your sales training programs are a success by avoiding the six ways sales training can go wrong and by transforming your sales organization in a way that will bring peak performance.

To learn more about taking your sales team to the next level, download How to Optimize Your Sales Force in the Face of Increased Performance Pressure

Share:
Facebook Twitter Google+ Email LinkedIn

Comments are closed.

The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

Robert Breckner
Firmware Engineering Manager

We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.

Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

Deanna Rudnitsky
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

We signed up with LSA early on–as their 22nd Member! Since then, our organization’s learning needs have increased and decreased and increased again with the changing times. The beauty of the LSA business model is its flexibility…when we needed to supplement our own internal resources, we used LSA services knowing that we could depend on the outstanding quality of the leadership development and management training programs they provide.

Margie Bunting
HR Manager

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.

Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources

PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.

Ken Boehm
Vice President of Human Resources

LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.

Ken Boehm
VP of Human Resources

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

The Managing Virtual Teams program was extremely valuable. Your consultant/ facilitator’s fundamental knowledge of Synopsys as a company provided an incredible base to build upon while tackling the complications of managing and working with globally distributed teams. My team walked away walked away with highly useful practices and tools. It was an excellent use of our time.

Debra Martucci
Vice President, Information Technology

Each program is preceded by an assessment of the participants. The course is then designed to fit the specific parameters and needs of the group. The highly interactive delivery is provided by recognized experts in their fields. On the spot coaching is provided during the program and each participant receives individual follow-up after the course. Courses can be delivered in-person or virtually. Given the nature of Cisco’s business and the way we operate, these remote workshops are a must for anyone who joins our company. Their work is eye opening. Great content and fantastic delivery.

Frank J. Kuypers
Business Development Manager

Harmonic has worked with LSA for over 8 years. We have found their partnership extremely beneficial. We recently implemented a Management Development Program that was designed and customized to support our company’s strategic initiative of hiring, building, and retaining key intellectual property and human talent. We worked closely with LSA to target and implement the right solutions with the greatest impact. I would recommend LSA to any company that’s looking for a trusted training and development partner.

Janice Passarello
Director of Human Resources

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More