All training is not alike. To train or not to train is a common dilemma in corporations around the globe. How do you choose? What makes one better than another? That is up to you and your goals. Here are some important things to think about when considering training. Training your people keeps everyone on the same page. It makes it easier to manage the team if they all have a similar process and goals can be set not only by revenue but by activities as well. The question of To Train or Not To Train is a discussion thrown around corporate America today. Training isn’t always the answer. The answer is the RIGHT Sales Training.
Important vs. Effective
Ask yourself the following:
- How does my sales organization really compare to others?
- Where is our sales leadership strong and where do we need help?
- How effective have we been thus far in hiring and growing our sales force?
- Do we have the best people in place to move to the level I want us to reach?
- What are the real reasons we are falling short?
The reality is most leaders don’t completely understand the answer to these questions. They often think they do. Training alone doesn’t solve issues. The bigger issue is hiring right, but I will discuss that in a later post.
Training is an intricate and ongoing part of salesforce development. Not only initial product training but ongoing sales process training to include; prospecting, calling at the top or the right level of an organization, closing, and the activities it takes to get there consistently.
“To have growth in products, you need to have growth in people”
Steven Reinemund, CEO PepsiCo. Inc.
Training is an interesting subject. Most organizations believe at least at some level, that training is important. And most organizations believe that they have training in place. Typically when they say they have the training they are referring to product training. Product training is the training of how the actual product(s) works. Though it is important to understand this information, we tend to spend lots of time learning the ins and outs of product knowledge but not much time on how to take it successfully to market.
No ‘Features and Benefits’ training anymore!
Most executives believe that “presenting” the features and benefits of the product and showing the knowledge of their product will sell it. It is only one part of the process and if I told you it was the less important of the two I am sure you would disagree…but it’s true. The other and most important part of the process is the ability to ask the right questions to get your prospects to “self-realize” that your product or service is a fit for them. This is not a natural way to approach selling; therefore training is an essential part of success in a sales organization.
A majority of sales organizations say they don’t have a sufficient amount of time to train and develop their sales teams. Another “reason” training doesn’t happen is that executives believe the sales manager has the responsibility to train. That is only partly true because training properly takes specific time and energy placed on the training task.
Often organizations overlook their greatest potential source of power-the power to increase sales performance by developing their people.
Executives attempt to solve sales training issues by hiring an ‘experienced’ salesperson. Someone that has been in sales before and just let them ‘do their thing”. This is an issue because we don’t know how successful they really were in the past and no matter how closely aligned your products or service is to what they sold before, it becomes difficult for them to break out of that mold.
If this issue is present it will show itself in many ways; one is each salesperson is working as an island, meaning they all have their own way of selling, their own process-or lack thereof. The difficulty with that is management can’t appropriately coach each individual without a process. Though each person has their own personality and their own style, a consistent process helps keep the entire sales organization on track and adds the ability to forecast and coach for continual success. If your team is presently not hitting any of the benchmarks you’ve set look at their process. Is it broken?The question alwa