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:
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:
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
4 Tips to Keep Your Team Engaged
Top 4 Sales Leadership Mistakes to Avoid
A Better Way to Set Strategic Priorities
How to Better Handle Office Politics
How to Ensure Smart Talent Management
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!
Director of HR
I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.
Director, HR Business Partner
Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.
President and Chief Executive Office
LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.
Vice President Human Resources
VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.
Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources
What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.
Director of HR
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.
VP of Human Resources
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.
Firmware Engineering Manager
LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.
Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources
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
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.
Vice President, Information Technology
Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.
Human Resources Business Partner
The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.
VP of Human Resources
Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.
Vice President of Human Resources
Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.
VP Human Resources
Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.
Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations? Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.
Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.
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.
Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.
Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.