Sales training has been a popular prescription for dried up pipelines and below-par performance. While effective when properly administered, there is ample amount of malpractices and over-promises when it comes to sales training.
Read on to learn about the top sales training myths and their counterpoint facts.
Sales Training Is Only One Part of Sales Enablement
Sales training and sales enablement are one and the same.
Think of sales enablement as a three-legged stool. One leg is supported by sales processes and buyer/seller activities. Another leg stands firmly with effective techniques for selling – and enhancement of the requisite skills. The third leg includes value messaging, where sales are enabled with a compelling solution value propositions including differentiation that an entire organization has aligned around.
Sales training is just one component that takes a seat on this stool, helping salespeople practice and embrace each of these components of enablement. There are many other bits and pieces that go into feeding overall revenue streams and involve the entire organization.
Sales Training Does Not Stop After the Sessions
A sales training session is good enough.
World-class professional athletes in sports worldwide have coaches and trainers who support them in both pre- and in-season workouts. They are continually perfecting their craft.
You would not expect the Super Bowl champions to skip offseason workouts and training camp in the heat of the summer and then flawlessly play their opening game of the new season. In fact, even with exceptional coaching, extensive physical training and exhausting workouts, these world champions still make mistakes in their first game.
Why would salespeople be any different? Why would sales leaders (akin to the general manager of the football team) neglect having frontline sales managers coach the sales professionals within the training session itself and not provide ongoing coaching and reinforcement in the field? A football general manager would NOT accept that. In fact, the general manager would expect, and even require, the coaching staff to allocate appropriate time for effective coaching to enhance and reinforce the training, as well as rehearse the professionals’ use of the skills and tools of their craft. For that matter, the athletes would demand it as well. World-class athletes seek out counsel and coaching on how to improve in every aspect of their game, especially in the areas where they are have weaknesses – known and unknown.
Sales leaders need to require the same level of continual improvement to help their sales professionals stay sharp and ahead of their competition. A few sales training sessions a year will not have the effect you think it will on your sales teams.
Sales Training Alone Will Not Save You
Sales training will enable your teams for sustainable revenue performance.
When selling organizations are failing to reach their quotas, salespeople are often the first to blame and sales training is often prescribed alone as the fix.
While training can improve pipelines and sales cycles, it rarely repairs underlying issues a company is accepting as status quo. Sales training too often is void of value messaging. Sales training cannot mend misalignment between product, marketing and sales teams. It cannot promise sustainable revenue performance.
What can is the Revenue Performance Blueprint™, a balance of demand progression, solution marketing, solution management, sales operations and sales enablement. These play out differently for every organization. It is not doling-out these titles per se but rather ensuring there are clear roles and responsibilities for each of these five revenue performance pillars. Because if even one piece of the Blueprint is misaligned, organizations are at risk for failing to sustainably feed their revenue engine. The Blueprint fundamentals are common sense, but not common practice.
Thus, sales training is just a small part of sales enablement, but it will promise no magical cures to a clogged pipeline or a disappointing previous year in revenue. Anyone who promises you that much from sales training alone is overselling and not serving.
At Mereo, we Seek to Serve™ in all we do. Learn more about our holistic approach to sustainable revenue performance and contact us when you’re ready to identify — and overcome — your company’s greatest barriers to an unfair share™ of the market.