This month, our webinar is on sustainable sales training
. We took a moment
to catch up with the speaker, Michelle Teel of Vantage Point
Performance, to discuss what experiences make her enthusiastic
about this subject, what trainers can do to reinforce learning,
and whose responsibility it really is to ensure learning sticks.
Michelle has over 26 years of experience in the sales performance
arena. During that time, even when she was working with some of the
best and brightest clients, she noticed that companies would spend
millions of dollars on training efforts only to have little or
nothing to show for it. After noticing the pattern, she began
looking into what the reasons could be.
Why Sales Training Fades
As it turns out, Michelle learned that one of the main reasons why
sales training fades is due to a lack of reinforcement. Does this
mean that sales trainers should focus even more on materials that
sales teams can use after the initial session? Michelle had this to
"By reinforcement, we don't mean online training modules designed
to reinforce the content. That has been tried again and again with
little to no return. When we say reinforcement, we mean execution
with the client in the field where the job occurs."
This means that in order for sales training to really stick, the
training needs to be applied on-the-job in addition to the
classroom we've echoed in our blog before). Michelle believes that a way
that sales trainers can accomplish this is by spending some time
gaining sales experience. To speak sales team language, Michelle
says, sales trainers need to make sales calls, attend strategy
sessions, and go after prospects. This will help them translate
their training into something the sales team can relate to.
So Whose Responsibility is it to Ensure Learning
The question of who's responsible for learning may not have an easy
answer, but is it something that trainers should worry about?
Here's what Michelle thinks.
"It is almost never the trainer's responsibility. Training is only
a small portion of an overall change effort. The stickiness of the
training will depend upon the alignment between the reinforcement
and the sales person."
In other words, passing the buck to any one individual isn't going
to work. If you want to cause a worthwhile change in sales
behavior, that change has to be echoed throughout the whole team.
That means that the sales management, the sales trainers, and the
sales reps all have to work together and do their part to make sure
that training doesn't end in more headaches and less solutions.
Michelle Teel's complimentary webinar,
"Sustainable Sales Training: Oxymoron or
Achievable Goal?" will be hosted on Tuesday November 30 at 1
PM EST. The presentation will explore the common traps and
assumptions companies make when they enter into a sales
performance improvement effort and examine why these assumptions
lead to misdirected allocation of resources as well as dashed
expectations. Register today!