You know that a high performance sales team is vital to the revenue and success of your company.
But I see many sales leaders fall into the trap of sending their team members to one sales training program after another and getting the same results—short-term rises in performance that quickly drop off as sales people drift back to their old habits and routines.
Start with culture mindset
When sales are plateauing or declining, leaders immediately turn to sales skills training as the solution. However, if your sales people don’t have the right mindset in place, no amount of skills training will ever make a difference.
The problem may not be in a lack of specific technical sales skills.
Instead, your sales team may lack assertiveness, commitment or focus and have fears of rejection and confidence issues. Or, your team may be operating in a culture that is stifling, and not positive or constructive.
These are problems that no amount of skills training can fix. In some cases, you may as well throw your training dollars out the window.
When the culture in the sales team, or even the corporation as a whole, is stifling, or not positive or constructive, people aren’t engaged or interested. And when they’re not interested, they don’t care. So when you send your sales people to these training programs (that cost a lot of money) they attend because they are told to be there, but they don’t take much in.
And when they return to work, they still aren’t happy with their managers or they still have issues with team members because these core problems were never addressed.
The link between skills training and culture
There is a direct correlation between the culture of the organization and the skills and behaviours of the people; skills training and development programs are ineffective without a positive culture in place.
When an organization has a constructive or positive culture, people are more receptive because they are more engaged. And when they are more receptive and engaged and are sent to learn new skills, they want to be there. As a result, their level of learning increases significantly and so does your return on investment. When they return from training, you see the results right away.
When you first concentrate on building the right sales culture and mindset, fears of rejection and confidence problems go away. Your sales team will become more confident, assertive, receptive and accountable—and will be able to deal with the different challenges facing them.
It’s important to remember is that while technical and skills training are important, they should be seen as a second step to be taken only after a positive corporate culture has been established. Only this results in engaged employees who are ready to learn and to apply what they have learned to achieve their goals. If this culture is not yet in place, your training and development programs will simply never produce the results you would hope for.
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