Can’t escape the Groundhog Day trap?

Are you doing the same thing again, and again, again?

Like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, who wakes repeatedly to the harmonies of Sonny & Cher on the radio, only to have to face the same agonizing day over and over and over again, many sales leaders submit themselves and their teams to the same form of Groundhog Day experience when it comes to sales training.

Most sales managers, with a sales team of ten or more, at some point have likely engaged the services of a sales training firm to run a workshop for their salespeople. And, if the training firm was adept at running workshops, employed great sales trainers and understood a few things about your business, we’d bet that your team probably enjoyed the session/s and even learned a few things.

But did they DO anything differently afterwards?

Our guess – in most cases, probably not.

Strange, huh. What’s even stranger (to us, at least), is that most of these same firms, tend to do the same thing, again, and again, and again, year after year after year. Oh, they might try different sales training companies, and they might hold the training separate from the annual conference, or they may change the agenda around a little, present new topics, etc. But fundamentally, they are making the same mistake as they’ve always done. And that is, they focus on the training workshop as the ultimate change solution. And guess what, it’s not.

No, for effective behavior change to take place – which is what is needed if your sales team is truly going to sell more (well that, or you drop your prices by 50%), you need much more than a workshop. A training workshop is probably the last piece of the puzzle in fact. Great sales training involves a plethora of elements, all designed around the common objective of improving the sales team’s performance, identified and tracked with Key Performance Indicators that are established well before the workshop is ever delivered. In fact there’s a number of things that have to happen both before and after workshops, as our ten-step approach to sales training shows.

However, in spite of this reality, many sales leaders continue to insist on training workshops on their own. Perhaps some of them realize the actual limitations of the ‘workshop-only’ solution but due to timing or budget issues, proceed anyway, realizing that something is better than nothing (and it is…it’s just an expensive way to do something that will yield limited results). But to continue to run the same form of training, over and over again, without really investigating how a sales improvement firm can help your team make real strides forward, is perplexing.

That’s why, most of our best clients have engaged in one-off sales training workshops before…and were less than thrilled with the results. They recognize that even great workshops, all on their own, do little to change the behaviors of sales people…and improve results. Like Bill Murray, they so desperately want to escape the Groundhog Day trap, and so they are they are much more open to an extended engagement with us, one that is designed to achieve truly lasting change.

P.S. Answers to Tweets:

Bill Murray played weatherman Phil Connors.

According to this website, Bill Murray is stuck in the timewarp for 12,403 days!! (just shy of 34 years)

SalesForce Training & Consulting is a professional services firm and Salesforce.com training firm based in Toronto, with training centers in Boston and Chicago, helping sales leaders escape the Groundhog Day trap and achieve truly lasting behavior change amongst their sales teams.

Discover why traditional sales training doesn’t work.

by   Mark Christie