Many times when a sales leader comes to me about the skills their team needs to sharpen for the organization to be successful, they management team SAYS they are on-board BUT don’t participate in any training themselves.
Which is problematic for two very different reasons:
1st if a management team isn’t working on becoming better managers – why would the sales team bother to work hard on becoming better salespeople?
If a team looks at it’s leader and sees a desire for continuous learning and effort being put in to become better. That leader is instilling in the team that becoming better in your role is expected.
This is easily accomplished in three easy steps:
1. tell your team you are going to training, you can even share the topic of discussion if it’s appropriate.
2. tell them when you come back what color pencil you’re going to try out that week – even better tell them why it makes you a little uncomfortable to try it.
3. practice the new skills you’re learning and model the behavior you’d like to see in them when they attend sales training.
2nd if the sales management team doesn’t participate in sales training how can they reinforce the new skills the salespeople are learning?
Sales training as an EVENT doesn’t work. The objective is to change what salespeople do when they are on the phone with prospects and customers. Then the result you want (more revenue, additional new customers, whatever it is in your organization) can be achieved.
1. talk about the training as a team after every session is held, have people pick ONE thing they will try that week. As the Sales Manager, join in call a prospect or customer and try something new yourself.
2. follow up with the team and facilitate a group discussion on how their action items went; share successes and not so successful attempts, have the team brainstorm on better ways to use what they learned.
3. create NEW best practices and GOOD sales habits by continuing to use the new skills – make sure you share wins that tie those new habits directly to the results each person and the organization are working toward.
If you follow these two simple rules, you will build a team full of life long learners that are looking for every opportunity to learn new skills and become the best inside salespeople they can be.