Sales Training Tips: The High Level Recipe for Success:
- Sales leader standards – Minimum acceptable leadership & development standards to guide all motions
- Defined sales leader competencies – sales manager self and leader assessment of competencies
- Sales leader customized training and coaching curriculum – to embed sales leader standards and develop skills and competencies. “Coach the coaches.”
- Required time – 6 to 12 months
- Establish sales leaders standards and define competencies
- Develop and deploy customized sales leadership training and coaching curriculum
- Coach sales leaders for 3-4 months after initial training efforts.
- Add additional training to taste or as required
- Now you’ll be ready for salesperson training
Sales Training Starts With The Sales Leaders.
A hypothetical situation to illustrate my point –
If you owned a factory that was suffering from ailments such as:
- Low labor productivity
- High labor turnover
- Product quality issues
- Inability to meet customer order requirements
Would you focus your remedial efforts on the factory floor workers?
Or, would you focus on the front-line supervisors and plant managers by:
- Determining if you have the right floor supervisors & plant managers
- Ensuring that supervisors are capable of training, coaching and leading the factory floor employees
- Confirming that you are measuring and managing the right metrics
- Leaning out processes or establishing new processes that would enable the supervisors and managers to manage the factory floor better?
You would, of course, start with the front-line supervisors and plant managers.
Yet, many companies today decide to invest in salesperson training with expectations that the training will help solve problems that can’t practically be solved by salesperson training. (reread the sentence).
We see the situation all the time, where companies run salespeople through new product or skills training (in-person, virtual, online, etc.), expecting that the product knowledge, or certification, will help them sell the product to the desired customer segment. Yet, the efforts rarely deliver the expected results.
What’s missing most often is a sales playbook and sales leader standards, skills, and competencies necessary to incorporate new product or skills training into the existing sales effort.
If sales leaders aren’t equipped to lead and coach the right sales team behaviors, there is virtually no chance that the salesperson training will pay off. Let’s go back to the factory example from the beginning of this post. You can invest in training the factory floor employees, but without the plant managers and supervisors trained first, you’ll struggle to achieve meaningful improvements and ROI.
The high-level recipe we recommend for achieving success with our sales training tips and ROI at the top of the page will provide positive return in your sales training.
Salesperson training can deliver significant improvements in revenue and profit growth if the investments are supported by a sales leadership team that is prepared to lead and coach the sales organization. How do you know if your sales leaders are ready and capable? Well, you hire a third-party to conduct an assessment.
On a final note, one thing I’ve never seen is a salesperson outpace the sales leader when it comes to doing things right and doing the right things.
Get your sales leadership team capabilities in place first, then consider our salesperson training tips.
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