Outline for a Sales Training Manual

Every now and then, we get requests for an outline for a sales training manual. We usually respond in the same way:

What prompted your interest in a sales training manual?

Typically, it's because someone told someone else to come up with some sales training.

If we've learned one thing after 40+ years of sales training experience, it's this: There's a lot more to a successful sales training initiative than the manual. Simply building a sales training manual -- even a really good one -- won't do any good.

The secret to successful sales training is in bringing it alive. Experienced sales trainers can do that. In order to be effective, sales training needs a lot more than a manual.

We've delivered sales training to salespeople all over the world. So that means we've been involved with a lot of sales training programs. Here's what the successful ones have going for them:

  • They're proven by real-world results. Sales training that's all "theory" just doesn't cut it. Salespeople are too cynical to be fooled by sales theory. Instead, they're looking for examples of tactics and principles that have been used in their industry, by their peers successfully.
  • They're backed-up by research. Naturally, "back of the envelope" sales tactics aren't going to work anymore, either. Sales leaders expect proof of the effectiveness of training initiatives. And now, more than ever, sales skills can be tested. In fact, this is a tremendous benefit of the Sales 2.0 movement.
  • They're individualized. Everyone inside a sales organizations sells in different ways. No matter how much effort is put into "competency modeling" or "benchmarking," there's a certain element of art in sales. And that means training needs to reflect the artists on your team. That takes more than a one-size-fits-all process.
  • They're customized to your unique environment. Your selling environment is different than your competitors'. And the sales process they follow will probably be a bit different than theirs. Sales training can't be a one-size-fits-all solution. A truly impactful engagement needs to map to your existing best practices. Not ignore them.
  • They're delivered by experienced salespeople and managers. Sales trainers can't tell salespeople what to do unless they've already done it, themselves. Salespeople are quick to pick up on the "Do as I say, not as I do" mantra.
  • They're reinforced beyond the training engagement. Changes in behavior do NOT come from a 2-day event. Instead, meaningful sales behavior growth and change must come from a longer-term, reinforced engagement with follow-up coaching.

So, you see, a manual, by itself, simply can't generate the effective change that a customized sales training program will. 

The IMPACT Selling® system is now available in an online platform, IMPACT-U®. The program is engaging, interactive, and puts world-class sales effectiveness at your sellers' fingertips. 


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The Sales Training Buyer’s Interview Guide

If you’re a sales leader in the market for enterprise-level sales training for your sales organization, chances are you’re busy… very busy. And evaluating sales training providers can be time-consuming, complicated and confusing if you haven’t done it before. In keeping with our commitment to be the go-to practical and commonsense sales training option, we’ve developed The Sales Training Buyer’s Interview Guide.


Jeb Brooks

As the President and CEO of The Brooks Group, Jeb Brooks is responsible for carrying forward the nearly 40-year legacy of building world-class sales organizations. Having grown up in the business, helping organizations reach their full potential through transformational change is a part of Jeb’s DNA. Jeb's passion for sales and sales management developed at an early age when he began attending sales conferences with his father (and The Brooks Group's Founder) the late Bill Brooks.

Published on November 21, 2011

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