There’s no such thing as a sales person who enjoys missing targets.


There’s something built into the DNA of people in Sales that needs the recognition and sense of achievement that comes with hitting the number. That’s why sales commission works.


So why does expenditure on Sales Training run into £millions every year?


Sure, if you’re investing in skills and training the “How” then it’s useful spend. How your product works; how to read a balance sheet; how to conduct a negotiation. These are important topics for new sales people in particular – though do ask how much of it could be delivered internally by people with this expertise.


The minute the aim of Sales Training strays into areas such as motivation, team growth and staff retention – alarm bells should be ringing.


If you believe that sales people are inherently motivated to hit their target – and deliver your sales growth – then rather than spend good money on motivation and team building you might be better advised to ask why they are not motivated or pulling together in the first place. What are the factors that are getting in their way and preventing them from maximising their potential?

This is because sales people are basically simple souls. Give them a clear target and the tools to do the job and you’re done. Yes, it’s a little more strategic with Key Accounts, but it still boils down to sound strategy and consistent leadership.


So here are three steps you can take to get better value out of Sales Training and more consistent sales growth from your team:


  1. Get close to customers. Don’t fall for the line that the customer is just the job of sales. It’s easy for senior decision-makers to find themselves focused on financial measures, people management and internal process with customers slipping down the hierarchy of importance. Yet whilst customers can be demanding, unreasonable and in truth, not “always right”, if they think they are right it’s best to know early.
  2. Make training part of the day jobIt’s well known that most of what’s learnt on training courses is quickly forgotten. Research by Huthwaite suggests as much as 87% is lost within 30 days. That’s a lot of budget. So whatever training programme you’re thinking of booking, don’t sign the contract until you know who’s going to make sure it sticks back in the work place, month after month, action after action.
  3. Make sure you deliver. If you have the energy, conduct a proper audit to understand how much of a salesperson’s day is spent resolving customer issues. Sales people are generally good at apologising – but don’t let that fool you into thinking they enjoy it. Sales Training may or may not be needed, but making your company easy to do business with might be the most important step in achieving more with your sales team.

To find out more about Sales Growth and effective customer teams contact Martin Knowles  using this link