Impactful Sales Training: An Endangered Species?

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In this economy, businesses are doing everything in their power to maximize revenue while reducing expenses. This includes reducing time out of the field for training events. While training mediums/modalities continue to evolve to support the need for virtual self-directed learning, training organizations are repackaging the “same old stuff” to fit the new mold of training. According to a recent ASTD study more than $15.5 billion is spent annually on sales training. Great news for Sales Training organizations right??? Not so much. The study characterized this expenditure as “a large investment to attain more mediocre results” – ouch!

Sales Transformation is not just a call to action for Sales Professionals; it is a call to action for Sales Training Organizations as well. To thrive in this marketplace and win more business Sales Professionals need to prove their value and differentiate themselves in the eyes of their customers. Sales Training Organizations need to follow this same call to action – we must prove the value and differentiation of programs we deliver if we are going to thrive. To ensure your Sales Training Organization isn’t contributing to the mediocre results characterized in the study, here are 5 questions to consider as you scope a training request:

  1. What is the desired outcome of the initiative? What business impact is the customer trying to achieve? ?
  2. What change is required to deliver this business result? What does the desired behavior look like and what skill and knowledge are needed in order to affect this change?
  3. Can training help drive the desired outcome? In some cases the issue requires management intervention or systems change and no amount of training will deliver the desired business impact.
  4. What has been done in the past? What has worked? Lessons Learned?
  5. Is there executive sponsorship for the project? Is leadership on board with the initiative? Financial support may not be the only commitment required, are they prepared to inspect the behavior they seek to drive?
  6. What reinforcement will support the training event?

By addressing these questions before the design of a program or launch of an initiative, we can make certain success is clearly defined and the ultimate program – irrespective of the training modality – delivers the intended business result.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Michelle Torres
Michelle Torres is the Senior Manager of Program Development for Axiom Sales Force Development, LLC. She leads all development projects focusing on retention, application and impact. She has over 13 years' experience in measurement, performance improvement, management, consulting, service and child advocacy. Her multi-channel background combined with specialized skills in sales skills, customer service, management, products and systems enables her to manage results with clients.

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