Often sales managers bring in sales trainers and make it mandatory for everyone to attend. And often the outcome is disappointing . . . not only are a good percentage of the salespeople, who attend, busy reading text messages and tuned out, but after the time and money is spent there is no noticeable change in behavior. Usually the reason for this breakdown is that different salespeople have different needs, so a salesperson who is already adept at persuasion is going to be bored stiff at a persuasion seminar, while the well-organized salesperson will perceive a time management seminar as a waste of time as well.
We are far better off developing a training “plan” with each salesperson based upon his/her individual strengths and weaknesses. This benchmarking can be accomplished through testing and through discussions with the salespeople which is also a great way to increase their motivation and buy in. People are much more likely to appreciate training when they have had a hand in the planning process.
Also, remember there is a big difference between bringing in motivational speakers and sales trainers. Motivational speakers can, indeed, provide a lift across the board. They generally will not change behavior alone but they can be valuable catalysts when brought in to accentuate a theme you have developed in the context of a larger workshop or retreat. Most people like to experience a good motivational speech. But when it comes to deeper sales training, forcing everyone to go through the same training can have unintended, negative consequences that can be avoided with some individual planning and discussions.
Dr. Christopher Croner and Richard Abraham are authors of “Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again” and developers of the proprietary and patented sales test, The DriveTest™, for Sales Candidates. For more information, click here.
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