In my last blog, I referenced a troublesome statistic found when doing some Internet reading. One company’s research suggested 90% of sales training initiatives fail. While troublesome, it wasn’t necessarily surprising. Most research suggests short-term impacts on sales productivity from investments in traditional training programs. So how do we improve SalesForce development sustainment?
I think it’s time to come to this conclusion: sales training doesn’t work.
The problem isn’t necessarily the quality of the training being offered. Many companies fail in implementing programs that have positive impacts. If the impact is any measure, a short-term boost in sales tells us something is working, something is right. Remember, research submits that 90% of initiatives fail. That means 10% succeed. What are 10 companies out of 100 doing that the other 90% aren’t?
Salesforce Development Sustainment
Sustainment is the Holy Grail for both Salesforce development companies and the companies they serve. Those in the business of ‘Sales Transformation’ seek answers to the challenges of ‘making things stick’. However, they find it as elusive and seemingly impossible as peace in the Middle East.
Some in the training industry blame the failure of their programs on the customer’s inability to execute. “If they do what they’re told and hold people accountable, they would get the impact they expect.” That may be true. But if it’s so simple, why don’t they do it? Could the failure be that sales professionals haven’t completely thought this through? Are we providing the process, tools, and structure to guarantee the success of our programs?
Sustainment starts with the Salesforce development provider.
WE have an obligation to provide programs and tools that clearly define exactly what needs to happen for impact to be realized.
Sales leaders have an obligation to ensure programs provide a clear and simple methodology. Firstly, systems must measure all four levels of the Kirkpatrick training efficacy model. Secondly, sellers must be present with customers throughout the entire process. Furthermore, sellers must possess methodologies and tools to hold customers accountable for their commitments. This applies to every level in their organization.
I’m not trying to oversimplify this. Additionally, I’m not attempting to absolve customers from responsibility in a program’s failure. I am saying that we should aware of the root causes of program failure and be able to deliver solutions and corrective action for each and every one.
Stay tuned. It’s time to end the problem with sales training sustainment once and for all…
About Bob Nicols Founder AXIOM Sales Force Development, Inc.
Bob Nicols has 34 years of experience in sales, sales management, executive management, and sales force development. Additionally, he founded Burton Training Group, now AXIOM Sales Force Development, in 1990 after being a top and highly recognized performer in sales, sales management, and executive positions within the technology sector.
He has managed and mentored thousands of salespeople, sales managers, and senior managers and been responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. For more than 21 years he has developed and delivered sales programs that have become the standard for many Fortune 100 companies including AT&T, BellSouth, Disney Enterprises, Alltel, Verizon, and ESPN. AXIOM programs have been implemented in over 30 countries including Japan, the UK, Germany, Dubai, Brazil, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, China, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, Slovakia, Sweden, and The Netherlands.
Bob’s highly energetic and insightful lectures and workshops have resulted in invitations to be a featured presenter at dozens of national and international sales meetings and conferences. What’s more, he is a trusted advisor to the presidents and senior managers of multiple organizations, both large and small, and has been a board member of a national technology company. Bob is the developer of AXIOM’s “Selling Sciences ProgramTM” and co-author of the “Selling Sciences” CD series.