For us, it’s a busy time of year. Right around now, mid-April to early May we get fairly busy, fielding calls from both new prospects and existing clients alike, looking for a salesforce training program for their upcoming mid-year sales event. Of course, their hearts are in the right place. After all, investing in the salesforce with some top tier training from a professional training company is a good thing, right? Well, when done correctly, no question. But what exactly is the correct approach? Well, here’s what it isn’t.
The Fatal Flaw with Salesforce Training
Here’s the fatal flaw that companies make when engaging the services of a salesforce training company, like SalesForce Training & Consulting.
Booking a top tier salesforce training company for a one or two-day sales training workshop. It’s a waste of your money.
Listen….one and two-day events may be well produced, engaging, enlightening, and even highly customized for your sales environment, but they won’t – let me be clear – absolutely won’t impact your sales results. I have nothing against one-day workshops as strictly a learning event. Just don’t expect your team to sell a dollar more based on their active participation in one. You’re far better off taking that day and using it for a well-planned, active team event, be it for pure fun, or a learning experience. Go to an amusement park, plan a scavenger hunt, build sandcastles. It doesn’t matter. Each of those will deliver more value than a one-day sales training event.
You see, your salespeople may the brightest, most educated, most motivated young guns that you can hire…it’s irrelevant. The nature of human behavior is that people simply won’t (can’t) make adjustments to the way they’ve been doing things for years, based on sitting in a class for one or two days. It’s pure folly to think otherwise. Surprised? Well, you shouldn’t be.
Training Applications Everywhere Else
What I find fascinating is that in most every other walk of life, we would never expect someone to change their behavior after a one day workshop. If we wanted to become a better golfer we would expect to have to take a few lessons at least, followed by endless hours at a driving range hitting practice shots. We trust that our pilots spend hours upon hours in a flight simulator learning the different reactions required in different in-flight situations until they become reflexive. Sports teams rehearse the same drills again and again, in gradually increasing speeds, until the set plays can be run full speed to perfection. Even with our children, we know that they need to learn new things at a gradual pace, with elements of both instruction and doing blended together.
But somehow, we expect that our sales people will be turned into quota-busting machines after a one-day workshop on value-based selling. And then, months after the workshop, and sales are still what they always were, we’re somehow disappointed with the outcome. And worse, we want to blame either the sales people or the salesforce trainers.
So, then, What’s the Answer?
Well, I’m here to give you the straight goods. The right approach is none of the three things you wish it could be – cheap, easy and quick. At SalesForce Training, we take a much more elongated view to how to solve your sales performance challenge. Using the Kirkpatrick salesforce training evaluation model as our framework, we always start at the same place.
Kirkpatrick is very clear. Start with the end in mind. Rather than look at the training solution first, we start by tackling the fundamental business problem first. What is it that we want to improve, and just as important, how are we going to quantify improvement.
For instance, here are some very specific goals that some organizations have set for themselves;
– Increasing outbound calls per day to 40
– Shortening the sales cycle by two weeks
– Increasing the number of inbound leads to 100/week
– Increasing the number of converted leads by 25%
– Increasing the average order size by $5,000
– Increasing revenues by 22%
– Increasing gross profitability by 10%
By starting with an established goal, we give ourselves the best chance for actually achieving a target that is designed to drive more sales,
Once we’ve established what it is that we want to do, then we will sit down to work collaboratively work with the executive team and determine the right course of action for the sales force.
At some point in the engagement, salesforce training workshops occur. They have to. But we simply don’t start there. Frankly, there are still weeks of work in advance of any training workshop delivery.
The good news – our approach works. And it’s sustainable, meaning you will be experiencing improved performance and increased revenues long after our trainers leave the building. Which is what you’re really after all along, right?
SalesForce Training & Consulting is a professional coaching and training firm that specializes in helping companies navigate their way in a Salesforce.com environment. SalesForce Training is based in Toronto, with trainers in Boston and Chicago, providing sales coaching, sales management consulting, Salesforce.com training and Salesforce.com Admin support, sales training and sales personnel assessments.