Choosing a Sales Training Program - Finding the Right Training Program For Your Sales Trainees

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In the competitive marketplace that we live in today, differentiation many times comes simply from the quality of salespeople on the street. How effectively they present themselves, build value, drive the sales process and meet and exceed their customer expectations can be the difference between getting a sale and failing. Training should be a vital part of your Sales Management philosophy. However, I find that there are misconceptions about what sales training can and cannot do. Many Sales Managers believe that sales training is the answer to their problems - train my salespeople and they should sell better. I understand that logic considering the investment many make in these programs - facilities, trainers, materials, lost sales opportunities while salespeople are in the program, travel expenses, etc. These costs can surely add up. The expectation that there will be an immediate ROI can leave some weary of making such an investment.

Here are several ideas to keep in mind as you consider investing in a sales training program.

Personalization - Generic training is not as effective as personalized training. The salesperson must understand how they perceive and engage the consultative sales process. Their "uniqueness" as a salesperson must be infused into the sales training in order to make it real to them. If your salespeople have to make a mental leap in attempting to connect with the material, then there's a good chance they won't learn it or apply it at all. That's too costly for you as a Sales Manager and your company. Find out if the program provides in-depth, personalized assessment tools that provide personal feedback about the salesperson inside of the sales process. Also, find out if they can customize the course material to your specific industry, company, language and culture. This will connect the salesperson to the training material and help them understand their strengths and areas of development much better.

Reinforcement - If the training is not reinforced, the learning is lost. Be sure the program you select has sufficient tools and resources to keep the content of the sales process in front of your salespeople consistently over a long period of time. The training concepts must be transferred from the salespersons short-term memory into their long-term memory. The internet, along with a variety of digital learning tools, makes reinforcement much easier today. Check out the reinforcement tools built into the program - if they're lacking, or flat out don't exist, move on.

Coach Salespeople After the Training - After the training program ends, the real work begins. As a Sales Manager, you're also a "coach". Part of your responsibility is phone or field observation. Are your salespeople applying the knowledge learned during the sales training program? Are they using it correctly? What do they do well? What do they need to improve? What action steps will you take to help them? Keep in mind that a good training program will not attempt to turn you, the Sales Manger, into a sales trainer. That's not really your job. However, you should make it a part of your weekly objectives to observe and "course correct" each of your salespeople in alignment with your new sales methodology.

Hold Salespeople Accountable for the Training - Finally, a good sales training program should offer you the tools for accountability. What if your salespeople don't learn the material? What happens if they don't apply it? How should you respond? Likewise, what rewards should your salespeople expect for going through a training curriculum that requires more time and energy from them? Testing and measurement are excellent ways to determine if what was taught was retained. Observation enables you to actually see their learning in action. In either case, formal accountability plays a vital part in your Sales Manager role.

There are many other factors to consider when assessing a sales training company to train your salespeople. Consider the costs and the realistic expectations you have associated with the training. Determine what will work best for you and make the investment. Remember, regular sales training and daily sales coaching should be part of your competitive strategy to help your company grow. I hope these ideas help you make that happen.

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Barrett Riddleberger has 1 articles online

Barrett Riddleberger is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of sales assessments, customized sales training, sales recruitment and sales consulting. He also is founder of Resolution Systems Inc., a strategic sales consulting firm. His book, "Blueprint of a Sales Champion," details how organizations can find, train and retain top performing salespeople... even in a highly competitive market. An accomplished author and sales consultant, Riddleberger is also highly in demand as a business development and motivational speaker for organizations seeking to drive their sales force to greater levels of performance. For more info visit or call 866.880.5175.

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Choosing a Sales Training Program - Finding the Right Training Program For Your Sales Trainees

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This article was published on 2010/03/27