leadershipI spend a lot of time with division heads, sales managers and salespeople, and it’s not unusual for the topic of sales training to be discussed — especially in context of how important it is or isn’t. 

Does sales training really deliver better outcomes for sales teams?

I believe it does (I know, you expected me to say that, right?!)

Well, let’s look closer at this.  The role of the sales manager has shifted.  Sales managers are now handling so much that their time to really work with people is dwindling.  Often, sales training serves a vital role in helping establish standards, particularly “best practice behaviors.”

Salespeople won’t know what “best practice behaviors” look like if they don’t have the opportunity to learn them, observe them, practice them and ingrain them into how they sell. Sales training helps build confidence. Sales training, when done right, allows the salesperson to test for themselves the skills they need to exhibit on a regular basis.

Understandably, sales managers are not always in a position to deliver the sales training themselves.  Even so, I believe they still have an obligation to secure, support and reinforce the training.  What makes sales training so effective is the reinforcement that comes from management in the months following training.

I know this goes without saying (because some of you have lived it), but nothing kills the effectiveness of a sales training program faster than not having support from management.

If your company and team are not actively pursuing what it takes to establish “best practice behaviors” among the sales force, then there is definitely room to expand the role that training plays.  It’s vital in delivering better outcomes.

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

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