Simply Speaking – Why Many Sales Programs Do Not Produce Results

With the decline in the U.S. economy, sales training is considered to be one of the few areas within training and development that will experience increased spending. Companies now more than ever before need to increase revenues and the best way to do that is through a well-trained sales team. The bad news, beyond the economy, is that many programs do not work because they do not deliver a positive return on investment. In other words, they fail to produce the results:

New Revenue
New Customers
Improved Customer Loyalty
Reduce Costs
Increased Profits

One of the basic reasons for this failure is because corporate training evolved from the K-16 educational experience. Then shortcuts were taken from reducing the time to learn, restricting the opportunities for practice and presuming that all learners had the same breath of knowledge. Beyond these shortcuts, there are two additional critical reasons for failed sales training because it was not present in the K-16 curriculum.

First Critical Reason

In the K-16 experience, there is much talk about setting goals and having the right attitude. During the last 10 years, I have surveyed over 2,000 adults. What I have discovered was less than 5% had ever experienced a class on goal setting or changing negative attitudes to positive ones.

This leads to this simple question: How can sales people reach their goals when the basic skill set of consistent goal setting and goal achievement is not within their existing knowledge base?

Second Critical Reason

In exploring attitude redevelopment the same lack of knowledge and skill sets emerge. Many involved in selling do not understand the importance of a positive attitude (will) and how that attitude is really a reflection of their foundational belief system (life experiences). Of course, talking about beliefs in a politically correct environment might be considered inappropriate. However, until the core underlying beliefs are acknowledged, awareness is not present and these fine folks are still in the Land of Unconscious Incompetence (I do not know what I do not know; ergo I know everything.) Source: Law of Process adapted from Gordon’s Learning Ladder.

If you wish to get more bang for the buck from your sales training programs:

Infuse a proven goal achievement process
Adopt proven tool (goal worksheet) to reinforce the goal setting and goal achievement process
Focus on redeveloping negative attitudes preventing sales success while still working on those critical sales skills

You will be greatly surprised by your results.