“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Dr. Wayne Dyer
What are you willing to do to change the course of your sales team and their results?
A Harvard Business Review article from a few years ago stated,
“U.S. companies spend $70 billion annually on training, and an average of $1,459 per salesperson — almost 20 percent more than they spend on workers in all other functions. Yet, when it comes to equipping sales teams with relevant knowledge and skills, the ROI of sales training is disappointing. Studies indicate that participants in traditional curriculum-based training forget more than 80 percent of the information they were taught within 90 days.”
The Center for Sales Strategy conducted a survey and when salespeople were asked what percentage of time they spend in sales training, 63% of them said only 5-10%.
If you’re not continually pouring into your salespeople, how do you expect them to improve and develop into high-performing sales professionals?
Your salespeople are the heartbeat of your organization. To flourish, grow and survive, you need a high-performing team, not an underperforming team. There are three huge reasons for underperformance on your team:
- They are unequipped
- They lack support
- They lack consistent coaching
Looking back at last year, how many on your team were at or above plan?
What is your plan to coach your C players to become B players?
What is your place to coach your B players to become A players?
What is your plan to coach your A players to become even better?
“Until you change the way that you look at things, those things will never change.”
Until you change your mindset and the way you look at training and coaching, things will never change!
True Sales leaders do not chase quick tips, quick fixes, short-cuts and sales kick-off training events, where their salespeople drink training through a fire hose.
ONE TIME TRAINING EVENTS, DON’T CUT IT
The issue with “one and done” training events and “sales rah-rah” is that it is outdated, broken, and doesn’t move the sales needle long term.
The issue is not that sales leaders are holding a training event. It’s that they’re only holding this training event and this one only.
Let’s face it, many of these are 8 to 16 hours of training (paying big-time bucks to a trainer), and then it becomes the same old same old, drinking tons of well-intended content through a fire hose.
Too much well-directed information, too little practice time, and too many other things going on.
All this fantastic training followed by very little mid to long-term implementation, coupled with a fragmented game plan for how to execute it all in the field.
In looking at this through the eyes of a salesperson, it is important to remember that learning moments with your people is about the why.
Mirror moment for all sales leaders… Has your training empowered and inspired real, meaningful, long-term change in the behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs of your salespeople?
SALES LEADERS… QUIT CHASING SHINY OBJECTS
If you’re not willing to change your mindset… how does this translate to your sales team?
My challenge to all the sales leaders out there… start caring, start connecting and start combining coaching with your training.
- Sales leaders future-proof their team through coaching.
- Sales managers check the box when it comes to training.
- Training without reinforced coaching has little long-term impact.
What’s in your heart? What are you capable of? How committed are you?
THINK COACHING OVER INCONSISTENT TRAINING
The analogies between sales and sports will rage on forever and ever.
I’m curious… why do sports teams have more than one coach, but sales teams struggle with even one?
What would the world of professional sports look like without coaching?
What would the sales world look like with coaching?
Imagine for a moment… it is the start of your favorite sports season… there is all kind of hype around your favorite team… they are in training camp… the season starts… the training stops… the coaching stops… the players just go out there, wing it, and play… the season ends with another dismal losing season.
Sales leaders… this is what you’re doing with your sales team.
SALES PROFESSIONALS CRAVE COACHING
What are the things that great sports coaches do every day that makes them great? They make training more challenging and more demanding than the competition their players are facing.
How many sales leaders make their training more challenging than their salespeople face out in the field?
So, this got me thinking… how many coaches does my favorite football team, the Los Angeles Rams have? My friends, they have 16 coaches. Each coach has a specific role and responsibility.
Regardless of tenure, they work with each player. No favorites in sports, unlike many sales managers and leaders who coddle some of their top salespeople.
Great coaches accelerate their learning faster than the opposition
Look at what Sean McVay has done with the Los Angeles Rams in 5 years. They’ve gone from a dysfunctional team of professional athletes to Super Bowl champions.
Great coaches know copying the status quo kills. They don’t follow others because they know trying to duplicate others’ success is a recipe for disaster.
Great coaches and high-performing teams know winning comes from being the best in every aspect: training, preparation, skills, attitude, recovery-time, gym-time, sleep, managing travel, and nutrition; starting to get the picture?
Great leaders create winning environments where a culture of excellence is what matters
Are you developing a culture of excellence?
Transformation and sales breakthroughs, this does not happen with one-time training events, short-cut cram sessions, and quick tactics… it comes through an investment and commitment to long-term sales coaching.
COACHES INSPIRE PROFESSIONALS TO FLOURISH
Great coaches don’t praise mediocre effort. What they do effectively is catch elite athletes doing things right. They don’t get caught up playing head games leaving these athletes questioning their abilities.
Investing in your entire sales team yields the highest return on investment.
Great coaching makes a world of difference to professional athletes.
Can the same be said inside the sales world?
This might be a great place to stop for a moment, as I ask you to think about the following questions:
- Can your salespeople improve their results?
- Can your salespeople become even better at what they do?
I’m concerned that many salespeople lack the nurturing, guiding, and coaching that great coaches provide to their entire team.
How many salespeople can honestly say their sales leader is a great sales coach?
A great sales coach…
- Effectively communicates
- Brings compassion
- Has a deep passion for sales
- Is heartfelt and genuine
- Is a true practitioner and eats what they preach
I’m here to challenge the status quo in how sales leaders grow, nurture and enhance the lives of their sales team.
LET’S BRING THIS TO A CLOSE
I’m concerned over the lack of consistent training and coaching within many sales teams.
Sales team meetings and hitting or exceeding quota have become atrocious. Top sales reps (by numbers) are not challenged to become better.
I’m calling out sales leadership… the time is now to unite! Let’s all commit to doing the things necessary to improve your entire team, no exceptions!
I promise you… bringing in a coach, with a different voice and multiple ideas will catapult your sales teams’ success.
Training is full of telling and teaching. Coaching is about involvement, inspiration, and immersion.
Benjamin Franklin nails it,
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Invest in your salespeople!