Companies spend about $1 billion a year to deliver training to their salespeople. Ninety percent of that sales training fails to produce meaningful, long-term gains in performance. To my mind, that’s the same as saying the training fails, period.

The problem has three major causes, as shown in the graphic below. In the previous issue of this newsletter, I highlighted the first cause: wrong content. Simply put, most sales training programs try to teach the wrong things.

Now let’s look at the second major reason why so much training fails: It is rejected by salespeople.
You’ve seen them—the sales reps who come to a training session with the attitude that they already know it all: arms crossed, eyes rolling, virtually daring the instructor to say something that might interest them. These people were not properly prepared to come to your training. And without motivation, there can be no learning.

After all, what good is a sales training experience if the salespeople don’t buy into it? Most companies sadly underestimate the importance of preparing salespeople to receive training, as well as preparing their work environment to receive trained students.

Salespeople need to be sold on the need for training and the benefits it offers them. And I mean they have to be sold on the need for this particular training program – not on the idea of training in the abstract or on learning as a swell thing.

Here are just a few of the things you can do to properly prepare salespeople for training…

Duane Sparks

About Duane Sparks

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).