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How Should Sales Training Change? What Would You Like to See?

As a professional sales trainer, I'm always interested in feedback about my seminars and other projects with my client companies, or to my speaking engagements.

But I'm also interested in feedback about the sales training industry in its entirety.

If you've participated in sales training seminars, webinars, speeches, etc., what would you like to see change in the presentations of sales trainers and sales training companies from your perspective?

[Personally, I'm more interested in hearing about desired change from the SalesPractice community than I am of complaining - what suggestions do you have for sales training professionals around the globe?] - by Skip Anderson
...what suggestions do you have for sales training professionals around the globe?]
Coincidentally, on a layover yesterday at the Atlanta airport, I had a discussion on that very topic while on the phone with Jeff.

Conclusion: As in the words of Stephen Covey, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood."

With the Internet, sales training has almost entered some sort of commodity stage--a lot of shingles hung out.

In my view, people who want to make a living in sales training should spend time searching for, and evaluating, their own core philosophy rather than just the generic platitudes. If it's a solid one, it doesn't have to agree with everyone else's. I believe that's what the most effective trainers and authors have done. Jacques Werth, Sharon Drew Morgen, Chris Lytle, Laura Laaman, Neil Rackham--even the popular Zig Ziglar, would be examples.

Hope that helps. - by Gary A Boye
Gary, please give us some examples of what you refer to as "the generic platitudes." - by Skip Anderson
I'll give you seven because I'm on my way to an appointment:
  • Always be closing. (ABC of Selling)
  • Build rapport.
  • Learn to OVERCOME objections.
  • Selling is a numbers game.
  • You have to have an unique selling proposition
  • Sell benefits not features.
  • Ask for referrals.
Most of them are valid, but largely ineffective without a deeper understanding. That's why I value Covey's words so much. - by Gary A Boye
One of the areas I think sales training needs to address is to focus some time on the sales management aspects. In other words we need to train business owners.

Just this week I watched it happen again: The CEO of a small but growing company gets to the point where there are not enough hours in the day to be the CEO and the Sales Guy. CEO decides to hire Sales Guy. CEO interviews several and hires one. CEO simply says "Go forth and sell". Formerly brisk closing rate comes to a screeching halt. CEO blames Sales Guy and fires him. Rinse and repeat.

What happened?
- CEO did not know how to properly screen candidates
- CEO did not know how to properly measure and manage Sales Guy's activities
- CEO did not do a sufficient 'transfer of knowledge' from the CEO's brain to the Sales Guy's brain
- etc.

I once heard the phrase "A lot of good dogs go to the pound because they pissed off their master but have no idea why". Well, a lot of good salespeople get fired because they pissed off the Boss but have no idea why.

Sales training needs to fix this problem. - by DaveB
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