“Not another training session,” say many salespeople when they hear there is sales training being scheduled. In fact, the people that say this are the people that likely need the training the most.
If you’re asking the question about whether sales training can help make you more money, though, you’re likely not in the group that dreads training. You are in the elite group of salespeople that are more interested in making more money.
High performing sales teams provide regular sales training two times more often than low performing teams. There’s a reason for that: sales training works*.
Eliminating The Asterisk
If you’re wondering why there’s an asterisk after that last statement, it’s because sales training only works if you understand what it’s designed to do and how you need to approach it. Sales training is not designed to bring low-performing sales team members up to basic performance levels. If your team members are horrible at the basics or foundational sales competencies, that’s more likely a hiring issue. If your team doesn’t know what to do, that might be an onboarding issue. If your team isn’t performing the tasks you are assigning them to do, that’s more likely an accountability issue.
Sales training is designed to provide your sales team with a competitive edge and close more business.
Get Motivated To Sell!
Often, we find that it’s not the training that’s lacking, it’s the motivation of a salesperson that needs to change. It’s up to you whether training can help you make more money. Do you have the self-motivation to put the ideas into action? If you go into training with an open mind that demonstrates you want to learn and improve, you will be more motivated to learn.
Most motivated salespeople embrace new ideas and strategies because it can put more money in their pockets.
In an interview with real estate agent Greg Murphy, he said that when he moved from a salaried sales role to a self employed real estate agent his motivation to increase the number of listings and sales completed increased exponentially. This same motivation can be achieved through incentive structures and the correct training processes.
Making Sales Training More Effective
Sales managers can help make sales training more effective by monitoring and measuring how the team responds. Motivating the team to put in practice what they’re learned takes buy-in and accountability from management. By showing it’s important to you, you are letting them know it’s important. That means that everybody needs to buy-in to the program.
When there are successes based on the training, it’s important to recognise and share with other team members. When salespeople believe something works for them or their clients, they will embrace it.
In any sale, you have to determine whether it’s the product, the price, the presentation, or the salesperson that won the day. Measuring just the bottom line can be misleading. You might have the best product out there. Your price point may be lower. You may have hit the right business at the right time. There can be a lot of reasons a sale occurs. Measuring the impact of sales training is important, but you need to do it the right way.
Will Sales Training Make Me A Better Seller?
You can’t just judge sales training solely by the bottom line. Great salespeople can do everything right and still not get the sale every time. Even poor performers will sometimes close a deal.
In evaluating whether sales training is improving your sales skills and making you more money, you should measure sales training success by activities, objective, and results. This means evaluating the type of training you will receive, setting up goals before the training takes place, and then measuring them afterward.
Establish Baselines Before Sales Training
It’s important to establish baseline measurements before the training starts so that you can adequately measure whether putting the training into action is getting you the results you want.
Here are three ways to establish baselines to evaluate whether sales training is effective:
1. Sales Activities
You should be able to track activity based on the specific training your received. In fact, the more closely you can track activities back to the training, the more you will increase your effectiveness. If your training is about making high-quality presentations, monitoring and assessing presentations can help determine if the sale training made an impact.
2. Sales Objectives
There are many sales objectives that have to be met before sales occur. Another way to rate sales training is by tracking these objectives. For example, let’s say your training is on doing a better job of prospecting and qualifying customers. By tracking the prospects and pursuing qualified customers based on your sales training, you would expect your close ratios to improve. If your training is about leveraging social media in selling, track your sales leads.
3. Sales Results
Everybody would like to see the bottom-line increase after sales training. Unfortunately, there are plenty of outside factors that can impact things. Marketplace forces, competitor products, and the general economy all play a role.
Tracking performance against benchmarks and business outcomes may be a better indicator. For example, you may be hitting your monthly budget and think things are going fine. But would you feel things were going well if you were at 100% of budget and all of your competitors were at 150%?
It Takes Practice
Football teams practice for days before the big game. They go through the basics over and over. They practice drills they’ve already done thousands of times before. Even at the highest levels of sport, they go over the fundamentals. They will add in new strategies, but they’ll always keep a sharp eye on the basic things they have to do to win. On the field, it’s all about building up muscle memory.
In sales, we want the same thing to happen. Sales training can build on the fundamentals to help give you actionable tools to improve your performance.
No Sales Training Will Work If…
No sales training will work if you don’t put things into action. Do you want to make more money after attending sales training? That’s up to you.
Hear a great idea? Write it down and make it happen.
Want to grow your book of business? Set a goal and determine the process it takes to meet that goal.
Want to make more money? Commit to a plan and follow through.