Sales Training – What Doesn’t Work

I’m a big fan of LinkedIn.  Like many of you I suppose, I didn’t quite know what to make of it when I created a profile a couple pf years ago.  But now I use it religiously, and am a member of close to 20 groups.  The discussion topics are fabulous and (most) of the input is quite useful and /or relevant.
A recent post in the group “Sales Management Association” posed the question;
Sales Training Delivery team – what are you doing that works?  What doesn’t work?
One of my favorite responses came from fellow group member Bob Etherington, who posted this:
Classroom training on its own is a very ineffective way to train sales people. It is expensive when calculated in terms of time and money and all the available research shows that within 30 days 80% or more of delegates are back to their old ways. The 4 truths of sales training are;

1) To change sales executive behaviour is not easy, quick or cheap.
2) Sales people learn to sell in front of real customers so constant live reinforcement/ field coaching is essential.
3) They will only change their habits if they can see how they will gain a personal advantage by adopting new practices.
4) There must be an effective measurement system beyond +/- changes in sales results (who knows really why things are getting better/worse?)  Measuring the use of known effective behaviours is what is required.

Xerox was the only company I ever knew that was disciplined enough to see such a programme through over several years …and it was very effective.
Simple, straightforward…and bang on accurate!  Thanks Bob.