If you have invested in sales or sales management training, you probably have not been satisfied with the results. In many cases, after spending tens of thousands of dollars on sales training programs, there was no positive change in behavior or no measurable improvement in sales results.

Why Most Sales Training Programs Are A Waste of Money

The methods of the training program itself is the main reason for these ccostly mistakes, not the size of the investment or the skill level of the participants. As reported in Dale's study, the average person forgets 90% of what they hear in a lecture based training seminar. Yet most sales training seminars are still held with participants sitting at a board room table, while listening to a lecturer as he writes on a white board.

Lectured based sales training is the same as asking a “facilitator” to speak to your professional baseball team, and then sending them onto the field expecting them to win. Can that really happen, just because you hired some expert to talk about how the sport should be played? That doesn't make much sense, does it? So why then do so many companies believe they can train their sales people by sending them to sales training courses where they only listen to a lecture for a few hours and expect them to be able to sell when they hit the streets the next day?

People learn best when the training takes place over time and when a new skill builds on a previous one learned. Think about it. Sales is a process that can be repeated, but no one is going to learn that process in one afternoon.

The second reason many sales training programs fail is that the purchaser doesn’t know what it is exactly that he needs to get out of the training seminar In other words, they don’t know what it is they need to learn. What is it that you want to achieve from your sales or sales management training course? Are you struggling in one particular area of the sales process where you need a concerted effort?

Since no two sales or sales management training courses are created equal, you need to know exactly what your goals and objectives are before you buy. You must also know what particular competences you wish to acquire by completing the training.

Don't act too quickly however. You will want to be sure that you are concentrating on the actual problems and not just symptoms of the problems. For example, is it that you are not making enough prospecting calls to be successful, or is it that your prospecting approach itself that needs work? Is one of your problems that you are not asking the right questions in your fact find meetings, or is it that you are not [meeting with the right|are meeting with the wrong] contacts in the first place?

Before you buy sales training, be it for you or your staff, you should know why most sales training programs fail, so that you can avoid these common mistakes, and make a wise buying decision.

Aim Higher!

Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Connections

Author's Bio: 

Susan A. Enns, author of several sales training courses, is managing partner of B2B Sales Connections, a sales coaching website with free sales resources, online sales training, a specialized job board & free resume listing services for business to business sales professionals. With over 22 years of direct sales, management and executive level business to business experience, she has a proven track record of success. Susan currently serves as President for the trade association, Sales Professionals of Ottawa For more information or to contact Susan directly, visit B2B Sales Connections