The sales department is the beating heart of your company. No other team in your organization has the same influence on your brand’s success or failure. If your sales team isn’t well trained and optimized to perform in the modern business world, your company will suffer.
The best way to ensure your salespeople are equipped for success is with a sales training program. Unfortunately, there are several pitfalls that will ruin the efficacy of your sales training. In this guide, we’ll introduce the top five reasons why your sales training will fail, and give tips and strategies to overcome these critical blunders.
Reason 1: No Executive Support
The success of any company, sales team, or training depends on robust leadership. An influential leader doesn’t just give orders, make rules, and set meetings. They must also be able to inspire their team, share their goals, and most importantly, answer the question “why?”
If your company’s executive managers don’t fully understand, support, and encourage the sales training, it will fail. From the President and CEO downward, every person in the chain of command must be able to explain why the sales training is happening. After all, if the CEO doesn’t understand why the sales team needs training, how can the individual sales representative be expected to?
Not only must executives believe in what they are doing, but they must also convey their vision and mission to their salespeople. If the sales department doesn’t understand why they should be paying attention and applying the training, the course won’t be effective. Successful sales training starts with influential leadership.
Reason 2: Low Expectations Lead to Low Results
If you believe the myth, “If we close two deals, it pays for itself,” then you are leaving money on the table.
If you want your sales training to succeed, you must have a clear, well-defined goal and vision for what you want to get out of it. For that to be possible, you must set your expectations accordingly. Many sales department heads and managers make the mistake of underestimating the power of their sales training and setting low expectations.
Your sales training shouldn’t just create a small boost in your numbers, it should change the way you sell! After all, if your company spends time and money on a comprehensive sales training program, you want it to benefit for years to come. When you buy sales training, you should be expecting a minimum of 10x return on your investment. Meaning, if you spend $10,000 on a sales training program, you should get a return of at least $100,000. If you have a team of more than five salespeople, you should be expecting even more!
Choose a sales training program that you are confident will bring you significant results, not just a small revenue boost.
Reason 3: You Don’t Learn How to Add Value
At its core, sales are all about showing the client that your product is the ideal solution to their problem. To do this effectively, salespeople must know how to add value to a conversation. Adding value means framing the client’s problem in a way that makes it urgent and explicit.
For example, if a prospect knows that they have a leadership problem in their organization, they might not immediately move to fix it. But if a customer sees that their difficulty is costing them $15,000 every month (or $180,000 every year), the matter becomes urgent. Adding a dollar value to your client’s pain is key to making them take action.
Unfortunately, not all sales training programs and sales coaches are equal. Oftentimes, sales reps, leaders, and trainers aren’t skilled or knowledgeable enough to effectively define what adding value really means and then teach the team how to do it. That’s why your sales training must have a specific exercise to teach your sales reps how to calculate the economic impact their customers face. If it doesn’t, your sales team will miss countless opportunities.
Reason 4: Generic Sales Training
Your brand is unique. It offers an exceptional product, unrivaled customer service, and an excellent company culture. You never settle for the bare minimum, so why would you settle for a generic sales training program.
If you want your sales training to succeed, it must be personalized to your sales team and to the challenges it faces and customized to your own customers’ experiences. To overcome this hurdle, many sales training coaches claim that their sales training is “customized,” when in reality, you get the same generic training as everyone else (just with a bigger price tag).
If a sales coach claims that they customize their training to your unique company, they should be able to clearly explain their strategy and approach to personalizing the program. If they can’t paint a clear picture of what they do, why they do it, and how it benefits you and your customer, chances are that you’re getting ineffective, generic sales training.
Take the time to research your sales training program and make sure that it will benefit your company. Skipping this step will cost you thousands of dollars and countless wasted hours.
Reason 5: No Reinforcement
All doctors have gone to medical school. But would you rather get heart surgery from a surgeon who has done hundreds of operations, or a physician who’s doing one for the first time? Learning something in a classroom is one thing, but applying it in real life is another.
Humans are smart, but the way we learn, memorize, and apply information in sales is still flawed. After your sales team does a training program, chances are that they don’t remember everything they learned. In fact, studies have shown that they might even forget up to 50% of what they learned after only 24 hours. How can we fix this, you ask? With reinforcement.
By having your salespeople consistently repeating and applying the principles they learned, they reinforce the good habits acquired from sales training. If your sales program doesn’t include at least three weeks of reinforcement and coaching, you are setting your team up for disaster. Do your due diligence when picking a course and ensure that the post-training support is just as good as the initial training itself! The best sales training programs will include reinforcement for your sales team and your sales leadership team.
Finding a robust, comprehensive, and professional sales training program can be a challenge. That’s why we created the 4 Week N.E.A.T. Selling™ Training & Reinforcement Program! In this course, your team will learn industry-leading techniques and tactics for discovery, prospecting, and qualifying in today’s fast-paced business world. Click here to learn more and find out why companies like Google and Zoom partner with us to supercharge their sales teams!