“Bang for your Buck” Sales Training

How much does your company spend on sales training each year? No matter what your answer is make sure you’re getting some Bang for your Buck. Bang

If you feel your training investment falls short relative to the return to your bottom line you must examine how motivated your team is for training success.

As a sales executive or manager IF you can answer YES to the following four questions you’re set for sales training success. If you answer NO to ANY of the four you’re not ready to spend the first dime on training.

Does your organization have a culture that truly supports continual learning?

Does your management team reinforce the training that is delivered?

Do you provide the technology to assist your sales team to effectively utilize training?

Do you have reasonable expectations of the impact and results of sales training?

The key word is does and do, and not would or will.

Setting your team up for training success is more important than any training session that can be delivered.

As a leader if you are ALL IN your sales team can be ALL IN. However if you are HALF IN your team will most likely be HALF IN or worse ALL OUT.

I don’t mention the above to advocate or advertise myself as a sales trainer. I mention it because I’ve been in a past situations I would had answered NO to all four questions.

Surely I’m not the only person that had the immediate supervisor that was one big “road block” to allowing a culture of learning. I was both fortunate and unfortunate to have “Barry” (I won’t use his last name, his first might not even been Barry – but it was in hopes he does read this – not to hold grudges) as my first and worst manager. This guy was a bumbling idiot that had one seriously warped perception of his value to the company. Years later I understood it wasn’t his fault that the organization put him in his role as a branch manager. Yes he was a real – ick (insert the lead letter(s) of your choice if you can relate) but the company failed me and a few unlucky others by having Barry in place. Though it was only for a little while I recognized I was not in an environment that supported the opportunity to learn, grow, and contribute. Barry got fired before I left the company and the company failed (no longer exist) largely because they didn’t support a culture of continuous learning. Without learning you can’t have improvement and without improvement you have no chance to stay competitive or much less on top.

I’m sure I’m also not the only one that has found myself surrounded by my sales peers in a nice meeting room at a fine resort for that “annual” sales meeting. You know the one the company spared no expense with travel, accommodations, lunch, dinners, and “happy hour”. Only to be back one year later trying to remember “what the ___ was it they trained us on last year?” So the next time after the great sales conference/workshop that everyone leaves enthusiastic and confident about the next move is yours because inevitably your sales people are going to ask you WHAT’s NEXT.  What needs to come next is your actions and not your words.

Sales is a battle if not an all-out war. The competition never retreats and keeps coming at you from every direction. Being well trained just gets you in the game but being well prepared isn’t ever going to be enough to win it. You have to be smarter, faster, and have the right tools and resources. I’ll just say the “Never take a BB Gun to a Gunfight” addresses the technology question. There’s efficiency and then there’s cheap. I’ve worked for the “cheap” ones and the best you can hope for is they over achieve just enough to get acquired. But if that doesn’t happen try to stay close to your competition because someday sooner than later you will be interviewing with them.

How big are your expectations of sales results as it relates to sales training? All sales training seminars or workshops have an expiration date when it comes to shelf life. The impact of results from a sales training seminar will show in small increments. Small increments are good because cumulatively they will consistently grow future sales, revenues, and profits. As a manager if you find yourself trying to measure the results of one training seminar you’re wasting your valuable time. The bigger payoff comes when you spend more time supporting the implementation and execution of what was learned, not measuring it. My experience has been the closer sales training is aligned with sales goals the gap narrows and favorable results are produced.

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About Richard Scudder

I possess a passion to see others succeed in sales. After 25 years of sales and sales management it is with confidence I say “it is direction, not perfection” that counts. I partner with organizations to improve the performance of their sales associates. My clients and I share in common investing in their greatest resource “their people”. I facilitate motivational training that is fun, unique and creates a positive impact on sales performance. For more information on training sessions or speaking before your group contact me. scudderperformancepartners@gmail.com 615-440-7219

Posted on June 16, 2013, in Sales Training and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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