Don’t Confuse Product or Service Training for Sales Skills and Competency Training

Recently, I was talking with a CEO whose company was having a sales problem and asked him about his companies sales skills and sales training program.  His reply was “We have a great sales training program; we bring our salespeople together for about 3 days of training every year”.

I asked what type of training do the 3 days consist of? He explained that they train on the products and services they sell for approximately 2½ days then they focus on sale skills for about ½ day.  When I asked why so little time on sales skills, he said the product and service knowledge of what they were selling was more important the sales skills.

I then asked how that was working out for them… His reply well, they haven’t made their sales numbers for the last two years.  When I asked how he felt about that… his reply that’s not acceptable.  I then asked what he was going to do about it, his reply was to make the salespeople work harder making more cold calls, etc.

Just keep doing what you’ve been doing only more of it, isn’t that the definition of extreme insanity!

I said let’s play a little game, I asked him what his favorite professional team sport was?  He replied professional Football.  Ok, let’s pretend you are now the owner of an NFL team and you have a big bag of money to recruit any player you want, however, to lure the players with an extra incentive to join your team you tell them “Come play for me there is no practice, no training, and no coaching, just show up on game day and play.”  How would that work for you? He replied that wouldn’t work very well.

I said why not you’re buying the best professional football athletes that should be able to compete with any team in the league.  He said that being a team meant that they would have to play like one, know their positions and execute with a precision that takes practice, training, and coaching.

I then asked if the total assets of his NFL franchise were pretty much the players? He replied yea I guess so.  Then why are you treating your sales team the way you wouldn’t if it was an NFL team?

The point is, the most valuable asset any company has is the ability to generate revenue. And that is the function of a sales team.  Not seeing them as an asset, that needs continuous training, coaching and development is the biggest single mistake a company can make.

Think about this… most serious professionals are in continuous training.  Would you use a CPA, Lawyer, Doctor, Engineer, etc that are not keeping up with their CEU’s?  Probably not.  As important as those professions are so is your sales organization.

If you believe sales are the lifeblood of your organization and you want to have the best salespeople in today’s highly competitive marketplace the only competitive edge you have is the best-trained salesforce.  Not only in the products and services you provide, but you also must have them trained in best sales competency and sales skills.

Contact Samurai Business Group today to learn how they can help your business.