The Most Important New Year’s Resolution for Sales Training Effectiveness
The more you help salespeople people grow on the inside, the more their skills, behaviors and sales will grow on the outside
The holidays are upon us, and that means we’re careening headlong into resolution season. Now’s a good time to be thinking about what you will do to make sure the coming year is one you can feel proud of.
If you’re responsible for providing training programs or other development for salespeople, resolve to focus on what matters most. (And what that is might just surprise you.)
The Power of the Possible: It’s Everything in Sales
Think of that one salesperson who, year after year, just barely makes the top tier. It drives his manager nuts because she knows he’s quite capable of earning his spot, not just in the top circle but among the elite.
But his sales are incredibly erratic. Sometimes he locks in the numbers by spring, only to completely shut down the rest of the year. Other years, he doesn’t get any deals turned in for months. Fall comes around and he hooks it up and sells like crazy—just enough to land in the top circle again.
It happens every year, and he always has excuses for not selling—illness, family matters, other obligations. Dozens of reasons why he can’t sell all year long.
While this salesperson is an extreme example, most of us behave like this to a certain degree. The simple truth is this: Everyone performs consistent with his or her individual area of the possible.
In Timeless Healing, Herbert Benson, M.D., wrote, “Your perceptions, the collection of impressions in your head, are the reality. Emotions are the natural outgrowths and representation of the brain that takes into account the full picture of the body and mind around it.”
He’s talking about physical health, but the principle also applies to how salespeople’s beliefs influence their selling. Those internal beliefs profoundly affect their behavior.
Sales Training Effectiveness: Do You Focus on What Really Matters?
Many organizations and sales managers believe that sales training effectiveness is based on product or industry knowledge, and that, in general, all salespeople need in order to succeed are memorized scripts or sales tracks and some core selling techniques.
This drives the way sales training is designed and implemented. And it also explains why sales training effectiveness and ROI can be so poor. Generally, in a one-, two- or three-day event, salespeople are taught a sales process, with no follow up or reinforcement. No behavior change takes place and no positive results are realized. More often than not, the participants won’t even remember how to put in practice what they’ve been taught.
In fact, deep programming within a person’s unconscious “I am” dimension, including what that person believes is possible, largely drives sales success, resulting in self confidence, will to sell, achievement drive, self motivation and the expectation of high success.
Yet the sales training programs being offered aren’t doing anything to help them understand the deep dimensions within themselves that actually fuel their success. This isn’t just a waste of time and money, it’s an injustice to the people who are being developed.
Factors That Have a Significant Influence on Sales Training Effectiveness
Many factors influence a salesperson’s “area of the possible.” The ones that affect selling potential should be part of any sales training initiative you put in place in the coming year. Otherwise, the results will be temporary at best.
These factors include the salesperson’s:
- View of selling – whether the person perceives selling as something you do to people or for people
- View of abilities – an internal belief about who you are, how capable you are, what levels of success you deserve and what’s possible for you to achieve
- Values – the rules or internal guidelines for how you live your life, defining what you will and won’t do
- Commitment to the necessary activities for success – which includes activities like pre-contact, contact, presentation and follow-up
- Belief in the product – that what you’re selling gives customers value that exceeds the cost
Resolve to focus on what matters most. You’ll find that the more you help people grow on the inside, the more their skills, behaviors and sales will grow on the outside.