Sales training sure has changed over the years. I started with flip charts and El-Markos, and VHS recordings. Training was just sit there and do as I say. Not very effective.
What do you see as the biggest challenges today? And what are Best Practices in training today?
Let's get a dialog going here that will lead into a F2F discussion next Thursday at Georgia LEARNS.
I would like to see sales training become sales performance assurance. This means there would be a tangible deliverable - ideally deals won - and at worst - deals advanced during the "training."
So - rather than reducing spending on "training" in the fourth quarter or when "behind" on sales we would actually increase spending - because we were confident of experiencing immediate results.
I know this sounds "impossible" but it is worthwhile! And - if we don't even try - then it will be impossible!
We are all selling something so being good at it matters. Sales training, therefore, matters even more. I do, however, still love a good flip chart and colorful markers! As far as challenges, I think many sales people don't think they need training. What can we present to them that increases their productivity and, by extension, their income? Authenticity is a key element in sales. How do we train for that element?
Your thoughts on this is very interesting, Donna. What particularly stands out to me is the comment on "many salespeople don't think they need training." Is it possible they think training is not meeting them where they are? What I mean is training should be learner-centric, and if learners don't feel training meets their need, is it possible what we as trainers may perceive may not align with what they define as a training need for them? What are your thoughts?
The best sales training I ever got - was from the customers and prospects I called on - while I was calling on them.
The formal training I got was terrific for product knowledge and for mindset management. What it failed to do - because it cannot do it - was to teach me how to sell to a human being.
This is similar to teaching me how to be a parent. I can read, study and be educated about being a parent - and I prefer to be educated by someone who is a parent - and yet - I will not really learn how to be a parent until I actually am a parent.
Sales people by nature are confident folks. They have to be to take so much rejection. Most would agree that honing of their skills is always good. Its just that traditional training. AKA death by PowerPoint, doesn't help them sell more. My experience is that role playing with successful colleagues along with OJT are well received and beneficial. To the point made by Nathan, this is the definition of learner-centric.