Sales Training Mistakes – What Doesn’t Work: Part Two of Two

Sales MistakesA sales management team can make several key errors when trying to train their new representatives. One of the ways that these executives neglect the correct methods in training is their assumption that selling skills are the only aspect of the industry.

According to Heather Kivett, president of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm, specific lessons rarely provide an all-encompassing outline for representatives to work from. If they are shown ten ways to get past the gatekeeper, this doesn’t mean that they will be able to replicate these strategies in the field.

“One thing managers will often fail to recognize is that a larger issue is insufficient personal skills,” said the executive. “If this sales rep has a confidence problem, its the personal skills you sometimes have to address, a bigger issue, than just learning how to do it.”

Another common mistake is when a company decides that their top representative is qualified to instruct the new employees on how to make a sale. While this individual may be an excellent salesperson, they could struggle with conveying their methods to other people, according to Kivett.

This can also apply to a sales manager who doesn’t know how to train. It is a common mistake to think that teaching sales is a simple process, but there is a significant amount of information that must be known. A lack of sales training reinforcement can be equally detrimental to the education of a rep.

“They have the wrong person leading the group, and because of this mistake, the company isn’t maximizing the learning experience,” said Kivett.

Sales training is something that cannot be rushed, it is a long process that encompasses many specific fields and needs to be reinforced constantly.

“Some management teams want to do it in a morning, spend some money, feed you lunch, and then quickly do the session and send the representatives out,” said the executive.

Instead of this expedited process, they need to take time to understand each of the representatives individually. There has to be a laid out platform and a long-term plan for sales training reinforcement.

“Managers need to create an enculturation of sales development,” said Kivett. “It has to be part of the learning culture, not just a one-shot in and out. That is just it, they don’t want to give it top-down endorsement. If the bosses aren’t behind the process then it simply wont work.”