Why is sales training mostly a waste of time and money?


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Attractive, great to use but totally feckin useless.

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Imagine a sales coach asking that question; well I just did and for good reason.

How many times have you witnessed talented sales coaches or trainers being hired, everybody being washed through an expensive training day and then raving about how great it all was afterwards? Loads, I’m guessing, but how much did their behaviour change as a result?

Well for a short time the answer is probably “quite a bit” but if the environment they work in remains the same it is inevitable they will gradually revert back to their old ways of working but perhaps retaining a few tips and hints from the course. Not a very good return on investment, I think you’ll agree.

Now let’s look at when training works well. Somebody in the team is not working in the same was as everybody else and needs to be brought into line. They receive the appropriate training; come back into the workplace and have a compelling reason to use their new skills. Bingo! The working environment is the key.

As you may be aware I specialise in business development coaching for lawyers and accountants who, as professions, tend not to have very strong sales environments so coaching often results in no significant change and everybody’s disappointed. So here’s an alternative plan: –

  • Build a robust, systematic and organised sales environment.
  • Find and implement a suitable CRM system and deploy a Dynamic Pipeline Model onto it.
  • Put somebody in charge of sales not just a coordinator but somebody who has some real power over events.
  • Run structured and properly chaired sales meetings not just talking shops
  • Coach people how to work in this environment after it has been implemented!
Only by working in this way can you really get some traction around sales and therefore avoid having to face up to the sad fact that your training budget is doing as much good as the average government health and safety law.
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Make a difference: build a sales environment!
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Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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Mike Ames

Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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