According to Forbes, U.S. corporations have spent over $70 billion training their employees in 2015; however, training seems to fail in having a long-term effect on trainees. The problem with training is that too many sales leaders are managing their teams without presenting them with real data, reinforcement, or measurement. How we hire, onboard, train, and manage sales teams can no longer be based off on hunches— Moneyball-style management is now the only option.
Data, Data, and More Data
One of the biggest reasons sales leaders have a difficult time getting their team on board for training is the lack of proof. They make decisions based on their own hunches and conclusions, without ever looking at any existing team data. Think about this, if someone told you that eating lettuce everyday can improve your productivity, would you start eating more lettuce immediately? Probably not, you would want some data to back up the claim before you go on a lettuce binge. The same goes for your sales team. If you don’t have data explaining the importance of placing a predetermined number of daily calls or having your team adhere to a certain sales script, they likely will not believe that they have an issue. A great way to solve this problem is to invest in a sales performance dashboard that showcases KPIs that matter to you (phone calls, appointments set, sales, or any other relevant metric). With this data, you can manage based on actual numbers, not hunches.
Your sales team won’t change an hour after they receive training. Honestly, probably not even after a week of training. The training they receive needs to be reinforced by your leadership. After training, show your team how you or another star team member increased their productivity and overall ability to successfully sell. Following your initial demonstration, make sure you are reminding them of the new desired skills and benchmarks that have been set forth for them. Turing this knowledge into coachable moments will contribute to an expanded pipeline, a higher top line, and a moderated bottom line.
Sales training is useless if no one is measuring the results. If your sales team’s productivity isn’t increasing, you need to reevaluate the training program and make sure it is the right fit for your team. By deploying processes and technologies to measure tactical sales initiatives, sales leaders can help their reps built healthy forecasts and set a standard course of action in place that has been proven to lead to successful results.