The One Two Punch For Sales Management: Training - Coaching

By Jean-Paul Cortes

“Sales are still plummeting and we just spent thousands of dollars on this fancy, shmancy sales training. . .” Your boss just said in today's morning meeting.

That was obvious; what you couldn't explain to yourself or to your bosses, was the reason why.

Your sales teams had just gone through the latest “Optimizer Professional Teleselling” training, that promised to develop elite performers across the board.

At least that's what you were telling yourself . . .

You had gone through the training as well, the content was great, the trainers seemed to know what they were doing and your team members jumped at the possibility of improving their skills.

But, it's a month later and whatever was learned has gone to the wayside.

Salespeople went back to doing things their way, sales continued to drop, motivation was at an all time low and the head honchos wanted to know who was responsible for this debacle.

Off with their heads!

Effective Training + Effective Coaching = Effective Salespeople

The sad truth to most training in companies is that it's never effective in the long term.

Traditionally, most companies take a shotgun approach to training – a whole bunch of trainers come in, kill acres of trees printing up and distributing their manuals, round up and corral people in an office and proceed to dump truckloads of concepts, tips and strategies expecting that it will all be stored in the brains of fatigued people.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against training, everyone should receive more training these days. In fact, companies who value their employees, tend to have all sorts of training in place.

So why does just giving more and more training not working? Why aren't you seeing the success you expect?

I think you may know the answer, at least I suspect you have a clue as to why most training fails.

When was the last time you went to an intensive day of training, absorbed all that was taught and mastered every concept in practice?

I'm betting that something like this was demanded from you and your team last time?

That's what more often than not is expected of people everywhere.

Company leaders may not realize that people not only need to learn new behaviors, skills and knowledge but also need consistent practice and coaching in those behaviors for actual change to take place.

Knowing something is not the same as doing it, and doing it alone, without being coached, is not nearly as effective.

Knowing, Doing, Coaching

If you really want to get successful results from your salespeople, you're going to have to include some concepts to your training strategy.

  • Knowing: you can teach the core concepts of salesmanship through training. You should also define the outcomes you want to achieve and the behaviors that lead to achieving those outcomes, determining what skills and knowledge are needed.
  • Doing: if you can talk the talk, you need to practice walking the walk. People need time to practice new acquired knowledge, without it we go back to doing things the way we've always done them. Your salespeople may be motivated to change and applying what they've just learned, but without consistent practice in those skills it's unlikely that any of them will be kept.
  • Coaching: mastery can be broken into small goals that people can be coached on. You can establish a immediate coaching feedback loop to achieve better results.

What your essentially doing, is integrating coaching and training. It's a smarter way of making sure your training is effective.

When you incorporate knowledge with practice and persistently coach and offer feedback you'll be ensuring that change happens and behaviors stick...for the long term.

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