Do you find yourself saying things like, "We don't have time for sales training"? "We're too busy"? A writer recently recognized just that.
Lest you begin to believe the field of sales is dominated entirely by men, Monika D'Agostino is indeed a woman. She does point out the "male-dominated hierarchy" of the Austrian insurance industry, which she spent 17 years climbing to the top of before moving to the US, however.
Saying you don't have time for sales training is as easy as saying "We're too busy" for anything else. I receive a good dozen emails a day in the midst of the usual blizzard that promise quality content I would like to review--but I just don't have the time. Even when I buy a product, it can take weeks before I'm able to force myself to carve out a spot in my calendar to look at it. And that leads us to D'Agostino's conclusion: Priorities.
What You're REALLY Saying When You "Don't Have Time for Sales Training"
Here's what you're saying when you announce, "We don't have time for sales training":
Business Development is not a priority for you.
The status quo is just fine. Ensuring your results don't decline is not a priority for you.
Being a top performing company is not a priority for you.
Are those the things you want to be known for?
A Quick Story About Performance Improvement Projects
I think it's also worth sharing some stats Monika provides about her sales certification program. The duration is typically 6-8 months. Sales is not something you're going to pick up in a one-day seminar. And the average growth of revenue is 30%. Now these are salespeople who likely were already performing well.
A little story to explain what I mean: when I was factory manager at a company that made backpacks and Gore-Tex jackets, I ran a sewing performance improvement program. When you make these things you do a lot of sewing. We had over 120 people in multiple departments, just sewing. Some lousy sewing staff were picked to be part of the program, and some competent ones. I had trainers work with both groups. And you know what? The lousy ones never got any better. I mean, they were dismal to begin with. No talent for sewing at all. They had no aptitude for the work, and never would...and had gotten their jobs because they knew someone already working at the company. I had to let these people go. The costs of their slow productivity, screw-ups and rework was too high.
The sewing staff who were already decent at the job before the training? That's who we got the best improvement out of. Big takeaway: you probably aren't going to get that wished-for 2000% performance improvement from your poorest performers. The truth is they shouldn't have been in the role in the first place. What's far more likely is that your high performers will see a good and realistic improvement. And that's where your sights should be.
A 30% improvement on a million bucks in annual revenue is a darn good bump from my point of view; and well worth the investment.
You know you lose an average of 10% of customers every year thanks to normal attrition. What are you doing to ensure you replace and increase upon those losses? Still think you don't have time for sales training?
>> Was this article helpful to you? We share this info for Free. So please please please with a sewing machine on top Like, Share or Comment! << P.S. The sewing machine pictured is called a Serger. It uses multiple threads for an extremely strong stitch, and makes a high-pitched but not unpleasant whizzing sound when operating. There, you learned something! (I also know a lot about glue thanks to that job...a good reminder that there's ALWAYS more going on than you think.)