When I wrote my MBA thesis almost 10 years ago, I focused on a hot
topic at the time: Strategic HR. At that time, the
push was to have HR move from being just a transactional cost
center to one that could help develop and execute corporate
strategy. They would do this by aligning hiring, training, and
using advancement programs with the overall objectives of the
Flash forward to 2012, and it seems like this push left
sales training and enablement behind.
Ive had many recent conversations discussing the challenges facing
sales organizations today, and they all seem to come back to one
problem: the lack of coordination between the apparent needs of the
sales team and the sales training groups they turn to for help.
When digging a little deeper, the sales training organization
usually resides somewhere on its own, not aligned with corporate
strategy and the objectives of the sales team, somehow sustaining
itself as a transactional cost center.
Why is this occurring? The common feedback I
receive is that sales leaders dont trust the sales trainers ability
to help them assess their issues and determine an appropriate
course of action. Sales trainers must be equipped with the
knowledge and resources to confirm the issue can be fixed through
sales training, how to assess the gaps, and then build a curriculum
to fill the gaps. Tools like a competency model and a sales
effectiveness framework are a great place to start.
The sooner sales trainers have the tools they need to consult with
their sales peers, the sooner they build trust. Once they establish
trust, sales training will have their seat at the table. And, the
bottom line will improve.
Does sales training have a seat at the table in your