Thursday, 17 June 2010

Traditional Sales Training Doesn't Work!

Traditional sales training doesn't work.

Sticking people in a room for a few days just doesn't get the long-term results that either the trainer or the client hope will happen.

Even those of us who provide it have always lived with the hope that something will stick, some change will happen, one magic point will get through that can change at least one person to make a greater difference to the bottom line.

But both clients and trainers have to face the fact that it is  behaviours and habits (as well as skills) that most need to change and that takes time to change - something a few days in the training room just won't change. For example sales confidence and motivation are not sustainable from just one training day. Real change comes from internalising lessons and creating new habits and behaviours.

There has to be a new way of engaging sales (and management) teams to learn - especially in times of greatest challenge (although it never ceases to amaze me that companies that rely on sales for survival and growth still cut sales training budgets as if it should be part of the same budget as admin or IT training - but that's another story).

My view (and now my approach for my clients) is that a 3-stage 'blended-learning' (a mixture of live facilitation and courseware materials such as on-line surveys, CDs, DVDs, workbooks etc) works best and that 3 stage (or what I call the '3m Method') engages the Manager (so that he or she is intimately involved in their own development as a manager while also facilitating the development of their team), is Modular (delivered in small modules that can be understood, digested and most importantly, applied and assessed and become part of their behaviours in the future - and also that such modules can be repeated without the need of an external facilitator) and finally should be based on developing Mutual Trust both between the manager and their team and between the team and their clients.

Perhaps it's time for a general review of traditional training and how we deliver results for our clients in our own commitment to delivering excellence.

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