75% of training initiatives fail.
Because they don’t really help people change.
If your salespeople can’t change, the results of what they’re doing aren’t going to change either.
So, what kind of sales training can actually change people?
Let’s talk about the six things to look for in a sales training course.
As a leader at ASLAN, I’ve spent my career uncovering how master salespeople create receptivity. It requires some pretty significant changes to the “way we do things around here.” You can get the masterclass level insights and guidance in my book, UnReceptive.
1. Creative Sales Training
Here are some wake up call facts about learning and retention:
- After an hour, people forget about half of what you tell them
- After a day, they forget about 70%
- After six days, they forget about 75%
To combat this retention attrition, sales training has to get people involved. Put them in a scenario. Simulate an interaction. Present with a problem that doesn’t have an obvious answer. When people are really encouraged to think and apply concepts in real-world situations, it’s memorable.
2. Purpose-Built Sales Training
There are 11 unique roles in sales. A lot of times, sales training programs are generic, which is like conducting “football training” or “soccer training.” It’s not the right approach. Because a linebacker doesn’t need the same training as a quarterback.
Sales training should be purpose-built for the unique role. That’s the only way to make it as relevant and applicable as possible.
3. Customized Sales Training
We live in a hyper-personalized world. Our devices know us. Ads are targeted to us. Any sales training program worth its salt has to have some flex. There are a lot of pat answers for this and a lot of companies that claim they customize… but don’t.
The ability to customize training is an elite skill.
Look a little deeper: do the people architecting this sales training program have the chops to teach your people about your business? This is as much about who you hire as it is what content they deliver. And it’s essential if you want to see results.
4. Capabilities-Oriented Sales Training
The idea of igniting change through effective sales training is to equip your people with new capabilities. Too many programs focus on the wrong things: “did you ask an open ended question?” That’s no good. You can’t measure it.
But you can expand the capability of your salespeople to do great discovery. This is a core capability, as is handling objections and other key issues your people will inevitably encounter. Check out the content library of any program you’re evaluating: is it clearly designed to build capabilities? Is there a clear goal for each capability that you can measure?
5. Philosophically Sound Sales Training
Stick with me here. Sales is chock-full of fluff and gimmicks. The world is shifting away from this. You can’t “trick” people into buying. And selling isn’t about the salesperson, at least not anymore.
We are living in a customer-centric world, and at ASLAN we champion of Other-CenteredⓇ selling. Sales training has to have the right philosophical approach for it to work in the real world. It should align with your company’s own vision and mission.
Here, we break our content into three parts: the head (knowledge), the heart (desire), and the hand (skills). Effective content addresses all three of these. Take the time to get to know the program and make sure it’s philosophically compatible with your company, or tone-deaf to modern marketplace dynamics.
6. The Internal Sell
Circling back to the “people behind the curtain” — who built this sales training program? And are there people in that organization capable of selling this to your senior leaders?
Internal buy-in is the only way for real change to occur. From the top down, you need people to see the value of a third-party perspective and the value this training can provide, not just in the short-term but as a long-term partnership.
The Right Sales Training Course Ushers in Change
To grow, people have to change. This includes your salespeople. Even if you’ve managed to sustain performance, you must always be ready to adapt, shift, flex, and change.
Leaders understand this reality. Finding a sales training program that can effectively change the way your salespeople operate is critical.
At ASLAN, we facilitate growth through strategic, finely tuned sales training courses and programs. If you’re ready to propel your sales team to the next level, connect with us.