Reasons Why Sales Training Fails

We have all heard the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ before. Well legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi saw the flaw in this expression. Lombardi said that, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” While Lombardi was speaking about football specifically, it is clear this phrase can be applicable to so much more, including business sales training.

Not all training is created equal, and not all sales training will bring you the results that you’re looking for. According to Harvard Business Review, US businesses spend upwards of 70 billion dollars annually on sales training. This comes out of around $1,500 per salesperson. All that money and yet according to Task Drive only 17% of companies have an effective sales training program. Furthermore, Spotio reports that 84% of sales training is forgotten in the first three months. What is this phenomenon? How could it be possible that companies are pumping millions of dollars into sales training that isn’t working? These are the reasons those companies’ sales training is failing?

Lackluster Reinforcement

Sales training and coaching never stops. It takes a long time to master any new skill or turn a routine you just learned into a habit. The lessons and skills learned in a sales training program can’t be disgusted in a single sitting. The key is designing a structured reinforcement plan before the fact. Typically, this would look something like coaching sessions to review key concepts. As well as opportunities for sales reps to implement what they learned with prospects.

Coaching vs Lecturing 

We have all had that one teacher that stands in front of the class and lectures for an hour. Nobody paid attention and nobody really learned anything. As your selling skills grow, you don’t need a course that just spits information at you. You need to learn via hands-on experience. Listening to someone tell you generic tips that aren’t even industry specific will only take you so far. Too many sales training programs are just jam packed with boring facts your reps will find inapplicable and boring. Find the training that focuses on involvement not information overload.

Failure to Define Goals

Oftentimes when going into sales training sales leadership doesn’t have specific measurable goals in my mind. They often say things like ‘we’re doing this to get better’ or ‘grow as salespeople’. Well what does that mean? How could you possibly if the sales training is actually achieving those goals over a meaningful amount of time? If you don’t have specific desired outcomes your sales training is likely to fail before it has even begun.

Want to know how to find the best digital training? As the best sales training company, we have already created a top tier sales training and coaching program that will help you become a digital sales powerhouse. Find it on our website or, contact us at (866) 833-9939 to learn more.


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