For our customers- the need for continual profitable revenue growth is always desirable- in fact it is the heartbeat of a company’s performance. So,it should sound like a great idea for L&D Managers to invest in sales training to up performance. Right? Not quite if one were to be mindful of extensive research in the field of training.
There are estimates that companies around the world spent close to US$ 356 billion on training in 2015
alone( Source: HBR October 2016 - “Why leadership Training Fails and What to Do About it”).
When it comes to Sales Training, estimates vary. $ 30 billion says one estimate. What concerns us, however, is how effective is the training??
While the need for growth in profitable revenue never stops- the growth of sales people, unfortunately does! This creates a Revenue shortfall- which is generally filled up by hiring more sales people or increasing effectiveness through Sales Training- which translates into Quantity and/or Quality increments.
Most sales organisations have their star performers- the "10s and 9s” so to speak. But a vast majority is 5s and 6s- the "solid citizens". If training could move them to 7 or 8, for instance- the money on training would be well spent- provided training were to be a "part of a process rather than a standalone event”.
- Commit to a a Sales Effectiveness Journey( methodology/process; skills enhancement, tool kits )
- Build in training into the process as an “intervention” and not a standalone event
- Adopt on-going "Reinforcement & Coaching” to develop a culture of practice and use experts to implement this
- Foster a Supportive environment
In a CSO Insights research note” A Culture of Accountability starts with Coaching” the role of Front line Sales Managers(FSMs) as “ Coaches” is emphasised.
To enable FSMs to coach their teams effectively,a well developed Reinforcement process can be an important enabler. The Goal has to be to enable FSMs to become the kind of coaches who can reinforce sales processes and skills that are rolled out in training. To achieve this, it is crucial that FSMs are a part of the training themselves.
Opportunity coaching – Regular opportunity reviews to coach around the real-world opportunities that the sales force is dealing with
Skills, knowledge, and competency coaching – While working with sales professionals, reviewing opportunities, additional coaching, such as situational selling skills & business acumen, Executive Engagement etc can be addresses to expand the capability of the sales force in general or individuals with specific issues.
Reinforcement coaching – In addition to ensuring salespeople use sales content effectively and apply what they’ve learned in training, world-class FSMs look for opportunities to reinforce the lea Examples of reinforcement coaching include helping the sales professionals apply newly learned methodologies, processes, or value messaging in their daily work. This kind of coaching is focused on coaching people to embrace the only consistent element we have
We have made this coaching the core of our offerings so as to achieve the twin objective of coaching FSMs and their sales team in utilising the training concepts and tools so that the FSMs can bring in the change that the organisation wants to see.
Reinforcement and Coaching allows us to address the “how to do” whilst the training address the “ what to do”.