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Getting Traction in the Market - How to Use Kaizen to Make Sales Training Stick

by Michael Webb | Comments (0)
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In tough times like these, some executives drastically reduce their training budgets.

Yet when it comes to sales training, smart executives may pause to think about it: 

Isn't this a critical time for the sales force to be on its toes? Maybe doing some sales training makes sense?

Training the sales force is undeniably important. Yet, you could waste a lot of money if you don't know exactly

  • what kind of training will help,
  • how to deploy it and motivate the people correctly, and 
  • how to measure its effects

Firms in the sales training industry aggressively try to position the value of their products and measure their results. Yet the typical approach to doing that (the traditional "levels of training effectiveness") is seriously flawed.

The fact is, most companies that purchase sales training don't have the ability to measure their sales processes precisely enough to determine much of anything. They are just so pre-occupied with GETTING results that measurement is not a real priority.

So, boatloads of money are spent again and again, training and retraining new hires, and others who need it, with only the vaguest linkage to a return. That's why executives feel they can cut the budget in the first place.

Is your sales training different?
Some companies have spent lots of time and money to analyze the kind of skills their customers and their sales processes require of salespeople. Having worked in and for many such companies, I can tell you that even in those companies, actually surviving (much less succeeding) as a salesperson usually has little to do with what you learn in those sales training classes. (I'm not talking about basic listening, presentation, and product knowledge skills; I'm taking about street-smart, door-opening, getting-to-the decision-maker-and-being-so-good-you-get-invited-back-kinds-of-skills.)

What actually goes on in the street rarely matches what corporate managers and executives think, especially in large companies.

That's an unpopular viewpoint, for sure. Yet it is unfortunately the case more often than not. It is one of the reasons sales training is so notorious for not "sticking."

What should you do?
So, if you have the responsibility for helping a sales team become more effective, what are you supposed to do?

You have two choices:

  1. Keep doing things like they've always been done.
  2. Try something different.

Tomorrow, Thursday, we will be presenting an unusual model for improving salespeople's results:

How to Permanently Improve Salespeople's Ability
to Access Big New Accounts in 90 Days or Less
With A Sales Kaizen Event
https://www.salesperformance.com/GainAccessKaizenJan08.aspx

The thing you might be most interested in is not just the sales skills involved, but the "training model" built around kaizen.  We'll be dealing with questions such as

  • How to know if getting access to accounts is the real problem
  • Improving your salespeople's ability to access the right executives in big new accounts
  • How to make this improved ability permanent

There will be some powerful lessons in here for leading and managing sales organizations. Our guest will be Jill Konrath, author of "Selling to Big Companies" (Kaplan, 2005), which made Fortune Magazine's top ten "must read" books of 2008.

Jill is a highly talented sales person and communicator, with an exceptional track record for getting prospects, customers, clients, and salespeople to listen to her.

The trick we'll be talking about is this: how do you take the "secret sauce" you get from someone like Jill, and get it instilled across your field sales force, so it becomes the norm?

Visit https://www.salesperformance.com/GainAccessKaizenJan08.aspx  to sign up for this event now.

You won't be disappointed.

Michael Webb
January 7, 2009

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