When sales training isn't Good training
Sales training is an essential
part of the sales industry, but like much training, it is debatable as to the
value it adds. Individual sales training sessions can vary from brilliant to
When sales training isn't
What is called sales training is often actually product training, with the focus
being on training the sales people on how to demonstrate products. Although
this is essential, it is not really teaching people how to sell.
Sales Training traps
Sales training often focuses far too much on what the sales person is saying
and doing rather than what the other person is understanding and deciding.
Sales training often fails because
it confuses attitude with process. To learn to sell, you need to understand
the process. Some sales training gets you all pumped up, but doesn't tell you
what to do next. It's like giving you a gun and not telling you how or where
to use it.
No magic bullet
Sales scripts are often taught as magic bullets. You blindly use the words,
phrases and complete scenarios and the sale is supposed to drop into you lap.
Some chance. Use anything blindly and you'll be lucky to get anywhere near the
target. The main casualty is likely to be you.
that follows fads, lurching from one new sales system to another,
either confuses sales people or turns them into cynics.
Good sales training
To make sales training effective, it first must teach people how to fish, not
how to be fish. It is surprising how many sales people are suckers--feed them
a great line and they'll believe it.
It's about understanding
Influence International's sales training manages the paradox
of both teaching a coherent process whilst avoiding the 'one true way' religion.
The people should come out understanding how the system works, not just understanding
how to work the presumably-magical system.
The approach in any sales situation should be (a)
understand what is going on, and then (b) apply learning that works in this
situation. Good sales training thus provides lots of case studies and
practical exercises where the student gets to try out the new learning in a
A bite at a time
There is a good balance to be found between teaching too little and teaching
too much. Each student should come away from a sales training course with enough
learning to make a difference to their selling. If you swamp them, as some (especially
internal) sales training courses do, rather than getting them up to speed in
minimal time, they'll end up learning next to nothing.
A good sales training course fits
itself to its students, rather than expecting students to rigidly follow the
party line. This makes a lot more work for the sales trainers, but in doing
so, they are modeling how sales people should fit their approach to their customers,
rather than expecting customers to change their buying process to fit the sales
Good sales training has a sales coaching follow-up
as a part of the package. All Influence International
Courses include coaching as an integral part of our sales training.
Setting targets for sales people.
Action plan for using new processes, skills and behavior learnt on the sales
Post-sales-training evaluation and reflection
Am I using new behaviour
Revision of action plan.
Further tuition as necessary.