Is sales training an expense or an investment?

In most cases, it’s an expense that does your company almost no good at all. Tom Bird and Jeremy Cassell, authors of the Financial Times Guide to Business Training bluntly say:

Business training doesn’t work.

And that umbrella term includes sales training!

For the most part, they note, it ends up being a fun trip to a hotel. At best, employees learn how to do some tasks better. At worst, it’s more of a vacation than anything else.

So yeah, in most cases, sales training ends up costing your business money without giving you any good return on value.

What Do You Do Instead to Boost Sales Performance?

Just follow these tips:

1. Train Your Employees, and Use a System for Making Sure they Use Their New Skills

The problem with most sales training is that it’s a one-time event. Your employees do learn new skills. But after 2 weeks, they forget them all and go right back to their old behaviors.

To learn a new behavior and keep it in place permanently, people need to keep practicing it. If you have a successful sales team member or manager, have them teach their techniques…and even coach other team members on a weekly (ideally daily) basis.

The key is that whatever you do, it has to be regular and ongoing. Otherwise, the change slowly falls to the wayside.

2. Don’t Play the Blame Game!

Blaming is the easiest (and worst) way to deal with any problem. If you simply blame someone or a group of people that don’t perform, then you avoid the real problem in most cases.

The real issue could be they’re a good sales person, but maybe they freeze up a little when closing. There’s many other problems out there. See where your sales team struggles and implement a systematic process to correct the problem.

3. Have Case Studies with Precision Facts Ready

“Facts tell and stories sell,” say successful marketers. When you tell your prospects a believable story of how you solved a problem similar to theirs for another customer, that boosts your credibility a ton.

As you tell the story in excruciatingly explicit detail, they’ll realize similar hurdles they face now and recognize you have the expertise to help them.

The results at the end of the story are just a nice bonus that add a touch more of credibility.

Better yet…have 2-3 stories ready.


4.  Celebrate Successes

In any business and profession, the majority of the communication that goes on is constructive criticism. Doesn’t that get stressful and draining after a while?

You do have to address the big issues with constructive criticism. But after you address the big ones, keep the majority of your communication positive and upbeat.

That energizes your sales team, and you’ll get better performance.

Change Doesn’t Come Easy…

But if you commit to doing it day in and day out, your sales team’s performance will improve. It’s only a matter of time.