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NOBODY WANTS “SALES TRAINING”….until there’s a problem!

 

Other than “Marketing” I would say “Sales Training” in most organizations is the most thankless profession….let me be more harsher it’s seen as a waste of money…..until….. 

 

Sales Training when begrudgingly instituted is only utilized when there’s a problem, an other words it’s the band aid to ills when the complaints rollout as to why sales reps aren’t driving more business. Having been in the sales training business for some years I speak from a place of frustration so I apologize for the vitriol but I sympathize with my training brethren. My heart tells me everyone agrees “training” to do almost anything in life is critical, and that no one jumps out of the womb being a qualified physician, lawyer, teacher or….salesperson so why is training routinely placed on the back burner or treated like a burdened on the checkbook? One of the companies I used to work for was an exception when it came to it’s interest around training, which is probably why I cherish the discipline so. We use to promote the best of the best from the field sales team to come inside and do a rotation in training, and that was a part of that person’s succession planning….we took sales training very seriously. Today companies look at the sales training department as a scapegoat when sales reps do poorly, it takes all the blame and rarely praised when sales are doing well. Now, let me say this I’ve seen “Sales Training” and “Sales Training” departments that are absolutely TERRIBLE, and quite frankly an embarrassment to the profession. When training is uninspiring, unrealistic, and incompetent it certainly doesn’t help our message which is “Sales Training” should be treated as a critical asset to a company’s bottom line”….however when it sucks that message rings hollow.

The process of “Training” has been a part of our fiber as human beings for as long as we’ve been on this earth and for some reason it’s afterthought regarding it’s importance. One of the greatest challenges the training profession has to deal with is this whole idea of “How Do You Measure Training Efficacy”? Yes, there are ways you can gather certain metrics on the impact of certain training initiatives….but in most cases those metrics can be subjective at best. Being in the sales business for as long as I have I know what’s important to me and I’m sure many other sales professionals can concur is “Sales Results”…concrete numbers/black & white statistics. Most sales professionals are not too interested in the warm and fuzzy numbers or what I call “grey area statistics”….we are driven on quotas, sales numbers, and widgets sold. Training obviously can aid in making those sales numbers happen based on improving a person’s competency, but the argument has always been is it the training that contributed to that person’s success..or is it the person’s “god given talent”.

I am an advocate for “Training” partly because I’ve been in the training profession, however, I’m struggling on how to bolster training’s importance in business and why it should be a HUGE priority…because it truly helps others to succeed!!!

A couple of years ago I invited an expert in the field of training on my internet radio show “The Sales Professional Network”, and the perspective from this guest was simply outstanding. Please take a listen to the podcast, afterwards I bet you’ll have compassion for this extremely important discipline. 

 

NOBODY WANTS “SALES TRAINING”….until there’s a problem!

 

Checkout the podcast, click on link:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aharrell2000/2012/03/07/training-salespeoplewhy-is-it-often-placed-to-the-side

 

Andre’ Harrell

AH2 & Beyond Consulting

www.ah2andbeyond.com


5 Comments

Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance · March 1, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Training, and the implementation of training processes and programs, have become quite challenging. Having the money to conduct such training (recource material, professionals in the field, time to conduct training, etc.) has pushed it back on the priority list. Fortunately, technology has advanced in such a dramatic way that training can be conducted anywhere, at any time. But, more important than conducting the training, a company needs to establish parameters and criteria that will gauge the impact on those being trained. A good organization will build training into the tasking of the employees, as it is important to put training into practice; train like you operate.

aharrell2000 · March 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I agree Dale! First, thank you so much for reviewing my blog and you always provide great commentary on my entries….so thank you again!!

I can’t agree with you more it seems to always be a resource/financial issue…however my question still stands as to WHY does training get short changed financially? Why is it that training doesn’t get the percentage of expenses on the audit sheet?
I agree with your last point as well: “But, more important than conducting the training, a company needs to establish parameters and criteria that will gauge the impact on those being trained. A good organization will build training into the tasking of the employees, as it is important to put training into practice; train like you operate”.

    Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance · March 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I think companies still see training as important. Their hands are tied, however. MONEY!! But, if they take a few dollars and harness the technology that exists for training across multiple platforms, and implements a ‘hands-on’ approach to training in the field, they will put training back on track. Companies should appoint certified trainers who can partner with individuals and teams to conduct field training on-the-job. Laterally, these individuals would work with supervisors and middle managers to strenthen the organization. I think the days of classroom or seminar-oriented training are behind us; and, for good reason.

aharrell2000 · March 1, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Good point!! I still favor Face -to – Face training….but realize the financial burden of that.

Thanks Dale!

aharrell2000 · March 7, 2012 at 1:44 am

Checkout my recorded show: “Training Salespeople…why is it often placed to the side”?
Talk Radio: http://bit.ly/ycAGG3

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