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I often ask sales people what sales methodology they use…and I often get greeted by a blank stare.
So then I ask which sales training they took over their career is the one they use on a day-to-day basis. The answer to this question is often a list of four to five, often well known, training courses…
Then the sales person usually tells me they don’t really use any of them…
In my opinion this is not good news for the company these sales people work for. If you, like me, believe that sales is a process, you want your sales people to have a process. The goal of sales training is to change behaviors and to pass on a sales process to attendees so that they are more effective in selling in the field.
Research conducted by the Huthwaite Group (authors of SPIN Selling) concluded that 87% of skills are lost within 4 weeks of sales training if no reinforcement is carried out. If skills are lost, behavior will not change and sales people will keep doing things “by their gut” – often in a fatally flawed manner.
So next time you consider sales training, make sure you factor in ways to reinforce the learning that takes place in the classroom, either through formal reinforcement sessions or on-the-job coaching. Otherwise, your sales people will come out of the training class looking like “shiny cars that just went through the car wash” but they will not improve their sales results.