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Why Your Sales Training Just Hasn’t Worked

Posted by Robert Beckerman
Robert Beckerman
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sales-trainingYour sales team has been underperforming. So you figure it’s time to call sales training to the rescue, even though you know the bump in performance is only short lived. But why is that? If sales training’s job is to close the gap between your team’s current skills and the optimal skills needed for success, shouldn’t the training take care of the issue permanently? The problem with this traditional approach is that there’s no consistent support for the change in the behavior that your sales people have been trained to execute. Sales training alone won’t work - you need changes to your sales team’s workflow.

Sales management currently relies on activity metrics

As a sales leader, you’re responsible for meeting targets. So what do you initially do when your team is not reaching its goals? You review the activity recorded in your CRM system and ask yourself, are we making enough calls? Are we attending enough meetings? Since the only data being recorded in your CRM system is activity data, that’s what you push: more calls, which lead to more meetings, which hopefully will lead to more proposals and sales.

Moreover, the pipeline data you are forced to use for forecasting is subjective because each individual sales representative is responsible for determining when your prospect moves to the next stage and their probability of close. This lack of objective information handicaps the ability for a structured process to achieve improvements in sales effectiveness.  The fundamental data you should be focusing on is in your possession. It is, however, currently recorded as notes in your CRM system.

Insights are the new driver for success

Sales success will always rely on our ability to build relationships. Relationships are developed by uncovering insights, so that specific value and customized experiences can be created to influence the prospect’s behavior and drive successful outcomes. We train our sales people to engage in active discovery. So they uncover needs, interests, decision timing and process, competitive influence, budget and other key information that is needed for value alignment and effective solutions delivery.

We understand that this information is critical for success but we don’t track it or manage it. In fact, we encourage sales people to record this as notes in the CRM, which cannot be effectively aggregated for measurement or action. Those “hidden” insights are the fuel to create a new methodology for sales improvement that will supplement, if not replace, traditional sales training. We just have to bring them to light.

How to initiate the change

Have your sales representatives capture these insights in a usable form. This will ensure that they know exactly where they are in the sales process and how well they are doing. You will see in real time, where there are gaps and how to specifically help them in gathering key information, provide value, respond to issues and differentiate you from the competition. The Insight Sales Process™ has made this easy (in fact, most companies see immediate sales increases of 20% to 35% using this process).  It will give them specific guidance to help them understand, manage and improve their sales outcomes. Download Responding to the New Sales Reality: How Insight Selling Can Increase Sales Effectiveness for details on how Insight Selling can increase sales effectiveness.

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Topics: Sales Training, Sales Effectiveness, Sales Productivity, Insight Sales Process