Is Sales Training a wise investment in your sales team or a complete waste of money? Well. That all depends. Hiring an outsourced sales training provider to conduct a sales training initiative can either be one of the most successful investments you can make in your sales force, or it can be an enormous – and embarrassing – waste of your company’s time, money and resources. So, if you’re evaluating the cost of sales training, I hope that the following information can help guide your decision and make sure you know how to get the most out of your outsourced sales training partner. 1. When evaluating the cost of sales training, make sure that the sales training companies you’re evaluating offer customized approaches to the training content itself. It’s been our experience that the most successful sales training initiatives involve a high level of program customization. This isn’t to say that we recommend building your sales training program from the ground up; instead, we recommend taking a proven sales process (such as IMPACT Selling) and customizing the language, exercises and support tools so that they are absolutely seamless to your salespeople’s selling environments. That way, the material becomes immediately usable and doesn’t require any “intellectual leaps” to tie it into daily selling activities. 2. Make sure that the cost of sales training includes some sort of pre-program discovery process. Best-in-class sales training companies will recommend some sort of discovery phase to a meaningful sales training initiative. In other words, they will invest time, energy and resources into gaining a rich understanding of your sales team’s strengths, weaknesses, competition, etc. so that the sales training content addresses those areas in the context of the sales process. There’s nothing worse than training that doesn’t help further an organization's sales strategy and reality. 3. Find out: does the cost of sales training include reinforcement with measurable outcomes and ongoing coaching? Event-based training is dead. Or at least it should be. Top tier sales training companies offer robust approaches to follow-up that ensure that what is taught in the classroom gets used in the field by the program attendees. Online sales training following a live event is good; however, many of the online platforms currently available to buyers are learner-led and require a pretty motivated salesperson who is willing to go out of his or her way to maintain the learning momentum. Leader-led reinforcement, such as the type delivered via our IMPACT Sales Coaching platform is far more impactful, giving program attendees access to a coach who can help them with questions about knowledge application in real-world selling scenarios while at the same time providing the accountability that comes with being required to participate in a live distance coaching session. There are many other components to consider when planning a successful sales training initiative. These are just a few. Don’t assume anything and ask a lot of questions. It’s important for you to make sure that you know exactly what is, and isn’t, included in the cost of sales training. - @WilliamPGBrooks
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