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 organization.

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 organization?