Is Sales Training a ‘one-off’ affair or an ‘On-Going’ Relationship?

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June 9, 2014
Is Sales Training a ‘one-off’ affair or an ‘On-Going’ Relationship?

Hi and welcome back to my blog.

I had a great two days in Melbourne last week. I was working with a new customer – Avnet Technology Solutions. What a fantastic company they are. I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with them. I got to spend my birthday last Tuesday night flying to Melbourne, a city I have a soft spot for, having lived there for two years. The photo above is the view from my hotel room, Melbourne Grammar at sunrise. What a great city.

So, to my question above, about whether Sales Training is a one-off affair …

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I am a firm believer that all sales training should be followed with a program for reinforcement. This may take many different shapes.

The simplest and most obvious form of reinforcement is putting into place the things you learned. Sounds obvious? You’d be surprised at how many and how quickly people put off or ignore what they have learned. They lapse back to their old habits or processes pretty much immediately.

A second approach is to follow up the training with on-going coaching, clinics or workshops to entrench the skills in ones modus operandi. This can also include eLearning courses (on-line courses, webinars, etc.). According to the Corporate Executive Board, effective sales coaching can potentially increase top-line revenue by up to 20 percent

Other processes to increase the retention, is through the implementation of tools and job aids. It is important to make the change from previous process as comprehensive as possible – remove the old methods and replace them with tools that entrench the new learning. This can be a CRM, a reporting tool, a review processes, and the like.

Other challenges that sales organisations face are: that they don’t get the frontline sales managers actively involved in the training; it is not accompanied with motivation programs; and measurement processes to track the progress are not put in place.Ongoing application and practice make a new skill a habit. Leadership from the front is essential. Motivation and measurement are critical to ensure the new skills are leveraged. And, it needs to be done straight away.

I now strongly advocate to companies that I work with, that the initial training is followed up within one month with one of the above approaches. Alternately, where possible, I try to stagger the training, building on the first clinic with a second clinic introducing a new more developed/advanced concept, giving me a chance to test and reinforce the initial training.

My view, Sales Training should be an on-going relationship. I’m keen to hear your views on this. If you want to find out more, give me a call.

Til’ the next time…. Andrew

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