8 Reasons Why Sales Training Sometimes Fails

gettyimages 476975556 8 Reasons Why Sales Training Sometimes Fails

It’s a common understanding that investing in training for individuals on a sales team is a sound investment that will increase productivity and profits. Unfortunately, a lot of that training is wasted by focusing on the wrong areas. Whether you’re looking to revise your sales training processes or just get a few ideas, let’s take a look at several of the reasons why sales training sometimes fails.

1.) Valuing drive over technique and process

Don’t get us wrong, motivation is great and has an important place in sales. However, you have to establish technique and process in order to be truly successful. Harness the power of motivation once the sales process and adequate methodology has been established and perfected. Otherwise, you’ll have passionate, motivated sales reps chasing after the wrong sale.

2.) No reinforcement

Without systematic, ongoing continuation of learning and a reinforcement of what’s been taught, people usually end up forgetting what they’ve already learned. For this reason, reinforcement within sales training is crucial to its success. Don’t set up day-long sales training initiatives. Instead, break them out over a series of weeks or months, and keep them relatively short. That way, sales reps are more likely to stay focused and actually retain what they’re learning.

3.) Over-focusing on technology

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a solution that we obviously highly recommend businesses utilize to enhance their sales capabilities. With that said, salespeople need to still have the skills necessary to successfully sell. Obviously train your employees on how to best utilize CRM, but don’t limit your training to technology.

4.) Aloof sales management

We’ve written extensively about the need for a highly-effective sales manager, and that’s no different when it comes to sales training. Management needs to be actively-involved in the training process, and should be well-versed in sales coaching and training.

5.) Inadequate training content

Sales training that worked 10 years ago probably isn’t going to be as effective today. While there’s a lot of tried and true methods that haven’t changed much, there’s a lot that has, especially as buyer’s motivations have altered over time. In addition, younger sales reps such as Millennials aren’t interested in sitting around all day. They’ll likely want to have training on their own terms, and in ways that are easily accessible to them (mobile, video, etc.).

6.) Failure to address individuals’ attributes

One of the biggest mistakes a sales manager can make is assuming that everyone on the sales team is “equal” in terms of their talents, skill sets, and attributes. While in general it can be assumed that sales reps have a lot of the same attributes, this isn’t always the case. Some reps may be better suited for different types of selling, so it’s important during training to develop these specialities.

7.) Misunderstood sales process/methodology

As we’ve discussed previously, the sales process and methodology of a business must be understood by everyone involved in sales (and marketing as well). Without it, there’s really no point in trying to train your reps, as they won’t be able to see where mistakes are being made or where opportunities may be hidden. Bring everyone into the process immediately, and ensure that nobody’s left out of the big picture.

8.) Lack of measurement

Along with reinforcement, sales training needs have some form of measurement. Whether you’re measuring the productivity of reps through CRM or another tool, it’s imperative that you know who’s learning and growing and who continues to struggle.

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