Sales training is a topic that has been written about ad nauseam. So, it’s fair to ask why am I contributing to the abundant wealth of information? The main reason is that I just completed a project with a company and I was reminded again of the importance of the sales manager to make training effective.
For those of you who may not know this I am, among other things, a sales manager for hire. So back to the project. I was doing some typical sales training in the conference room. Each session ended with a commitment from the salespeople that they would use the techniques we discussed in specific sales situations they encountered. These situations were common in nature so we weren’t creating fake scenarios. Of course everyone promised on the St. James version of the bible that they would do this. Yeah, right!
These salespeople involved are not nimrods so I had some faith that they would follow through. Let’s put it this way-their intentions were good. I went to plan B which is the reason for the post. I put myself into each rep’s office one-on-one. The goal was to listen to their phone calls and if the call was a true sales opportunity we would discuss their use of the sales technique-after the call. It gave me an opportunity to listen to them in real time and coach in real time, which is the point of this post.
There is no point in spending the money or time for sales training unless the sales manager immediately follows-up with the salespeople when they use the techniques learned. This was one reason why I got out of the sales trainng business. I saw salespeople and managers go nuts over the techniques I introduced to them. They would sit there and expound on situations where the technique would work. A week later when we met again and I asked how it went with what they learned, all of a sudden people would start looking at their shoes!
The process works regardless of whether the salespeople use the phone to sell or are face to face. The key to sales training is the follow up from the sales manager or the owner to ensure that techniques are being used. How fast will the manager see results, as in increased sales? I can prove this from experience. Sales will grow within 3 months and often sooner, depending on the intensity of the follow up.
The Final Thought: “When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.” Chinese Proverb