Is Your Sales Training Boring?

By Chris Lott | Management | 6108 Views | 3 Comments    

Their eyes were rolling and yawns appearing. They were bored. I was getting impatient and could not understand why they weren’t grasping the “pearls” that I was presenting. Their answers were off point and my responses became short and edgy. Each training had less and less impact. My sales training had gone flat.


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On one particular training I was going over a new opportunity. They could really make some money with this. In my mind a “no-brainer”. The responses from the team however were why it wouldn’t work, in other words pretty negative. Where were my entrepreneurs? Maybe I didn’t have the right team? What was I doing wrong?

Mixing Things Up

In an effort to turn this around I asked my boss to help train. He was happy to do so and did. The team agreed with his training and promised to make changes. Truthfully, I was a little peeved at first. How dare they listen to him and not me! Gulping down my pride… I finally accepted that any success with the team was a benefit to me as well. Unfortunately, as the weeks proceeded, not much changed. My team gave the “wink and the nod” to the boss, felt pressured to do so, but had very little buy off on this new information. Now what?

It hits me… I could bring in partner vendors to help stimulate training. Admittedly this did work for that particular product but not for an overall increase from my team. They would also go over promotions and such. Very useful information. I decided to use this once a month. Unfortunately my overall problem was still not solved.

Vengeance Is Mine

Now feeling totally frustrated, it was time for my team to feel my pain! So, I decided to make them do the training. I would make it difficult for them. No subjects would be offered. Just pick something that pertained to our industry and to their team. That ought to get them out of their comfort zone and zombie attitudes. I would not remind them when their training date was coming up. Failure for sure! They could opt to not participate but I would make it clear that they were letting their team down if they did so. Peer pressure, I love it! The plan was set.

Upon instituting the “plan” I was pretty sure I would get major rumblings and some failures. Going forward with the schedule, and no reminders, surprisingly they all were prepared. However, all offered dated training subjects and solutions. A realization by the team that offering something new and fresh was difficult had transpired. While no vengeance was attained a new appreciation for my efforts did arise. A win-win for both of us.

Sales Training Success!

As I talk with other managers I have come to realize this is pretty common. However, most don’t make the changes I did and simply gave up on their teams. Bad for production and their longevity as a manager.

Mixing up my training was the key. All the different approaches were spot on as long as not overboard. Sometimes it made sense to stop training all together for a short while. An appreciation for the efforts on keeping up with the latest products and sales techniques can be had. Creativity, ego set aside and patience are the rule. A trained motivated team will transpire and you’re bottom line will be happy they did.

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Chris Lott has this crazy creative side that motivates him to design websites and write articles. He's a disruptive technologist and is passionate about sales, family, and anything related to technology. See what others are saying about his work!.


3 thoughts on “Is Your Sales Training Boring?

  1. Chris, I think it’s a credit to you that you had an open mind and tried different things.

    I agree that a variety of training methods is the way to go, and also greater involvement from the trainees. As well as practical experience, coupled with the training methods you describe, I also found great success with the provision of autonomous training, which is why I developed an online training platform.

    This way the training can be enhanced by factors such as studying anywhere, anytime, in bite size chunks, either online or printed off – which provides the trainee with more flexibility and control over their own development. Additionally, allowing the trainee to work to their preferred learning style.

  2. Chris, What is the next step? Have you considered tag team training and off-site sessions? What would be the advantages? Training involving more than one employee from different departments could build greater ties of trust, friendship, and broaden the depth of experience of the whole group (i.e. If a salesman and a tech are placed in a position of co-training).

    I've also found that an offsite meeting is a great way to change things up a little. The typical office distractions are removed and a feeling that the meeting is important tends to permeate the team.

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