Let’s cut to the chase quickly regarding sales training activities that doom any chance of success.

Biggest one is just thinking all you have to do is have the sales team attend a sales training program and voila, things will be wonderful.

Unless the salespeople attending the program have never been exposed to sales before and a whole host of other conditions exist, there is little chance of thinking huge gains are going to occur.

Second big mistake and almost as damaging is the belief if the salespeople attend, that will be good enough because there’s no reason for management or anyone else to attend and learn too.  Nothing will deflate the motivation of a sales team faster than knowing they’re expected to do something their management is not willing to do themselves.

3rd Mistake: Failure of management to support the training pre and post.

Again, if people are expected to attend, but management fails to provide the support to help promote and explain the training before it occurs and then follow-up and reinforce afterward, then it’s doomed to fail.

4th Mistake: Thinking if the salespeople attend a one-time sales training event or program, then that is all that’s needed.

Again, this is a huge mistake, as training has to be seen as a 24/7 activity.  There are times when the intense full-day or multi-day program is best, but to make them really work, there has to be continuous reinforcement using other sales training activities.

5th Mistake: The sales training selected doesn’t fit or is simply lousy.

You wouldn’t get on an airplane going to a location you don’t want to go to, right? You get on an airplane to go where you need to go.  Same thing with a sales training program — you select the one that is going to fit your needs.

6th Mistake: Failing to put in place a process to measure the results.

No business buys anything just for the fun of it.  Businesses only buy things because there is going to be a return on investment.  Same thing for training. If it’s expected to work, then develop a way to measure the return on investment.

7th Mistake: Because there is a risk the sales training program might not be effective, it would be better to not do any training at all.

If this is the feeling, then it’s time to put your head in the sand and think life is going to be just fine.  Sorry, the failure to invest in the development of people is one of the biggest reasons for employee turnover and low morale.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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