Slow Sales? Training May or May Not Be the Solution.

Is your company and/or sales team in a bit of a sales slump?

I know it may surprise you to hear me say this, but sales training is not always the solution.  Unfortunately, training is often pegged as the solution for everything.

Obviously, I do often see where organizations could benefit greatly from training.  Sometimes, sales training is exactly what is needed!  But not always.

So, how do you decide?

Well, before any training can be affective, you first need to explore these questions regarding the sales slump:

Is the poor performance based on poor attitude or lack of skill?

Is the poor performance based on the culture or leadership of the organization?

How much of the poor performance is due to factors the sales force can control?

For example, if you sense the poor sales performance is more so a result of poor attitudes among the sales staff, all the training in the world won’t adequately compensate for this.

Why?

Because people with bad attitudes are not receptive to training, and certainly not receptive to putting into practice the potential positive processes that come out of that training.

If you have salespeople who have poor attitudes, you need to honestly assess if they are worth keeping around.

What is the culture and leadership like in your organization?  Leadership support of sales training is absolutely critical to any success of a training program.  And when I say “leadership support,” I’m talking about long-term support.

Sales training is not a quick fix.  It needs to be reinforced and supported consistently over the long haul by those people in leadership positions.

Lastly, is the decline in sales due to factors outside the control of the sales staff or organization?  This is probably the more difficult situation to assess, because there are many variables depending on the industry, circumstances, etc.

Sales training cannot overcome some declines that are so closely tied to variables beyond the direct control of the company, especially if there are several of those variables at play.

Now, all the above being said, you can see that there are times when sales training is the solution to boosting sales.  Under the right circumstances and with leadership support, sales training can equip salespeople with the skills to succeed.

Sales training can have phenomenal long-lasting effecting on a company — including pulling it out of a sales slump.

So take a look at your company.  If sales are slow, training may or may not be the solution.

Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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