DANGER FOR SALES ENABLEMENT – Your training system is R.I.P

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks



I just read Sales Benchmark Index’s article Sales & Marketing Effectiveness Blog RIP: Sales Training which highlights the fact that sales training models are broken.

If you run a Sales Enablement / Sales Effectiveness department – we need to read this ASAP! Yes your membership to the ASTD has been “keeping you up to speed on training trends”… but do your 2014 training programs reflect the new WORLD-CLASS?

I’m guessing not.

If your 2014 training programs look like this:

  • A Sales Kick-off of 1 hour for “Soft Skills” or “Negotiating”
  • In-person workshops, where your team goes department-by-department, office-by-office to conduct EVENT-BASED WORKSHOPS
  • A quiz or certification at the end.

Here’s what you have:

  • A sales team that will remember about 10% of what went on at the SKO. They were away from home for a few days, asked to sit in on 8 meetings a day, and had booze-fueled nights.
  • A sales team that will tune out of the workshop environment within 90 minutes. As a sales rep to NOT check their Blackberry will nearly kill them.
  • Only a fraction of your sales reps will really progress.

What can you do to fix this?

  • Get familiar with a Hybrid of Instructor-Led Training + E-Learning. Handing out printed PowerPoint decks isn’t going to inspire sales reps from a digital age.
  • Better yet, learn more about “Mentored Learning” where the sales rep reviews the training curriculum in advance (hopefully from E-Learning) then attends an open forum to flesh out questions in real-life scenarios with peers.
  • Invest HEAVILY in peer-to-peer learning. VIDEO, VIDEO, VIDEO of success stories that go viral throughout your sales team. Sales reps need to learn from each other.
  • Understand a human’s capacity to pay attention. Digital sound bites no longer that 60 minutes.
  • Roll a grenade into your workshops. With technology, you can be training “from anywhere, to anywhere”. Create weekly/bi-weekly reinforcement calls.
  • These short, digital sound bite trainings should NOT provide more than 3 take always… people learn in 3’s.

We created the world’s largest Social Selling training curriculum off the backs of learning these facts. After training 1,000’s of sales reps, we know how to inspire and created adoption!

If you don’t want to be left behind the 8 ball – you need to start to take action. The following dozen blog posts on utilizing Social Selling strategies using LinkedIn can help you start. If you are really looking for some hidden gems on how you can attract a very specific prospect, I recommend you check out – 10 Steps to Building a Social Selling Machine. Find the topic of Social Selling interesting? Click below to book a time in my calendar to explore further!

So what are you waiting for? Download the below guides .

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Jamie Shank

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