Sales Training without Reinforcement Should Be Unacceptable
Based upon over 800 sales training measurement projects, we know that sales training by itself – even if it is highly customized – only changes the on-the-job behavior and performance of 1-in-5 sales reps. And the 20% that do change behavior and improve performance were already likely to do so without much help. The difference maker? Sales training reinforcement.
Good Intentions with Minimal Results
While most organizations invest in business sales training with good intentions to improve sales skills, grow profitable revenue, and improve customer loyalty, most are wasting their time and money. The acquisition and adoption of sales skills, actually any skill for that matter, takes far more than standalone training. In fact, our research found that the most likely benefit from standalone sales training is nothing more than awareness, insight, and appreciation of the opportunity to learn.
While all three of those things can be a meaningful part of a career development and employee engagement plan, neither has a direct correlation to revenue growth, profitability, win-rate, portfolio mix, cycle time, or customer satisfaction. For solution selling training skills to stick and actually make a difference in performance, they must be methodically monitored, reinforced, and coached.
What Type of Sales Reinforcement Matters?
When we compare the business results of companies that reinforced sales training and those that did not. Top performing sales organizations are consistently more likely to:
These high performing sales teams consider training as an ongoing way of selling and serving customers, not as a one-time event.
Five Additional Sales Training Reinforcement Best Practices|
Continuous and reinforced sales learning shows up in real business results. Don’t handicap your company’s future by not applying what works. Here are what we consider best-in-class sales practices beyond the training event:
Before you invest in any sales training, make sure that you have a clear and believable sales strategy and that how work gets done – your sales culture – is one hundred percent aligned with that strategy.
For example, your sales culture needs to help, not hinder your strategy for success. That means that how marketing, finance, legal, HR, services, and product development get work done needs to accelerate and support the sales strategy, not make it more difficult to win deals and serve clients.
Keep it current by regularly assessing its effectiveness and tweaking it as needed.
The Bottom Line
Don’t just check off Sales Training as done when the initial skill building workshop is over. The real work of sales skill adoption is what counts. As a sales leader, you can make huge performance improvements when you follow up training with a common methodology, supportive sales tools, continuous and shared learning.
To learn more about sales training reinforcement best practices, download The Transfer-of-Training: How to Connect the 2 Biggest Adoption Disconnects
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