Why Sales Training Doesn't Work

Sales Training won't work if sales managers don't support the effort. Here's an example: I just returned from working with a client’s sales team and (for the second time) took them through one day of manager coaching and two days of IMPACT Sales Training … again. 

Yes, this is the second time I did it.  I did this more than 4 years ago for their sales staff (they've retained about 50% of the team). 

The President of the company called me and said “Steve, this time it will be different.  I will make sure the managers drive it into the field.  You just tell me what to do.” This particular President has always been a strong advocate for me and our process, but by his own admission he “assumed” the management team would embrace it and coach to it.  I call this the “nice guy” syndrome because we “trust” that the people we employ are professionals and will take the initiative to take the training and incorporate it into their daily habits.  After all, we are investing in their success right so they should embrace it, right? 

Unfortunately this is an incorrect assumption and it is the #1 reason why sales training doesn’t yield the expected results.  There is a direct correlation between success and your sales management team. Sales training will achieve dramatic results if:

  1. Your sales management staff embraces your strategic plan
  2. Your sales managers communicates the expectations to their team
  3. You have a way of keeping score to measure the progress
  4. Your sales managers actively coach to those expectations.

The good news?  You can still be a ‘nice’ person and expect measureable results through implementing a proven process, BUT don’t assume a one or two day program will accomplish your objectives without your sales manager(s) passion to drive it.

Published on February 28, 2011

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