Imagine that your business isn’t doing so well.
Let’s say sales are down (or are flat) in your company and have been for a while; it certainly makes sense that you’d look to improve poor results. You look around and it seems to you that sales training is an option that might help.
You think (and you are right): In business, you’re either growing or dying. There is no in-between.
So, you look to take action.
You then ask colleagues for their recommendations for resources and do some research – and you quickly find there are myriad options for who you can hire to help turn your business sales around. Plus, not surprisingly, there are an overwhelming number of opinions on what you should do.
So, how do you make sense of it all?
When making this decision, I HIGHLY recommend staying away from trainers that fall into these four categories:
1. Those with no or limited sales background
This one should be obvious, but so often I see people with zero or little experience masquerading as sales “professionals”. They buy a sales training franchise from one of the many sales training programs out there, and suddenly they are “experts”.
Just like any other business expertise, becoming proficient in sales takes time. There just is no substitute for experience. Do some research and homework and you can weed these folks out.
2. Those who claim to have the “secret sauce”
There are no magic words, no silver bullets or any seminar that is going to turn your team around instantly. Anyone who claims they can share with you the “secret sauce” in one pre-packaged program, is nothing more than a snake oil salesman. These people usually rep a single program and tell you that this program (often developed 20+ years ago) is the “answer to all your problems”.
While there are common foundations to all good sales, there is no one thing that’s going to turn around sales. If it sounds too good and too easy to be true, it is.
3. Those who brand themselves as “trainers and speakers”
Being an entrepreneur myself, I get it that you want to do as much as you can to build your business. And yes, there are some great speakers out there: folks who do a great job jazzing up the audience at conferences or company meetings. What they don’t do well, however, is train and teach sales. Why? Teaching and improving sales is not easy, includes a different skill set, and requires follow through.
“Speakers” rarely want to do more than talk at a group, once or twice, collect a check, and then move on. Consider yourself warned.
4. Someone who doesn’t take the time to understand your business, issues and opportunities
You wouldn’t go to a doctor who prescribes medication without knowing what’s really going on – no way, no how. So, why would you treat your business any differently and accept someone who offers a solution without completing a thorough diagnosis?
Remember this: a good sales trainer (or any consultant you hire) will start by determining the root cause of your company’s problem. They should first meet and discuss with you and discern your goals and vision for the company. From there, the trainer should meet with team members and other key stakeholders at the beginning of any training.
If this isn’t happening, look for another resource to assist your business.
Regular investment in the development of your sales team is the key to the ongoing growth of your company. Be sure you make that investment with someone who’s going to add value to your team ….. and is NOT going to waste your time or money, or even worse take your company backward. There are many good sales trainers out there that can take you to the next level; the key is doing good research to find the right one for your company.
Not sure if sales training is going to be valuable to you? Want to find out what other options exist for sales improvement? Have any questions about my list of four above or feel unsure of how to start the process?
Contact me and we can chat about the options that may serve you better. Bill Morrow – firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-310-6707