Main Reasons Why Some “Top” Sales Training Programs Fail

April 20, 2017


Sales Training

Top sales training programs can deliver terrific value to companies willing to invest in their people. However, in some cases, sales training can fall flat. If we assume that the training program itself is solid and the trainer competent, then there are three likely culprits.

Read on for the main reasons sales training programs fail.

Lack of context

There are a zillion things which can be taught at sales training seminars. But context is important – meaning the material must be relevant to the students’ real-life selling situations.

For example, selling to the government in Washington DC requires some special skills. Top sales training programs which do not focus on the best practices for this context will likely be too general for those who seek to enter this lucrative market. And a course which addresses these specific skills will probably go over the heads of salespeople new to the business.

Training should be aligned with both the sales objectives and the experience level of the salespeople attending. When speaking with a top sales training programs provider, ensure the course you are buying is matched to the context of your business.

No coaching on the job.

Sales thought leader Dave Kurlan, lists his own reasons why top sales training programs fail in a sales blog post. One of the ones I wholeheartedly agree with is the lack of coaching from sales managers.

Dave makes an excellent point; while salespeople might spend a few hours with a sales trainer, they spend the majority of the time with their sales manager. He asserts, “nothing is going to change,” if the sales manager is not reinforcing what the sales trainer is teaching.

Coaching on the job is vital to retention and application. This means sales managers should attend training along with their salespeople. At Asher Strategies, we like to go a step further and continue to coach the sales managers via a telephone or Skype call every month, to keep them accountable and to ensure they are coaching their salespeople correctly in turn.

Training the wrong people

Not everyone is cut out to become a professional salesperson, just like not everyone is cut out to be a professional basketball player. Both of these jobs require natural aptitude to truly make a living at them – training alone is not enough. This might seem harsh but it is a fact of life.

The APQ sales aptitude assessment helps identify those who have the natural aptitude to be trained in sales. By focusing training dollars on this group of selectees, your company will experience the bottom-line increase you expect from top sales training programs. Without the test, you will be flying blind and experience less success with every training program you try.

The above are the three most common reasons top sales training programs fail. Avoid them, and you will experience the great success possible from sales training.