Is it time to rethink Sales Training program or Sales Training effective?

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Sales is still a must for companies that want to be in the market. A recent Internet search uncovered over 471 million visits to the words sale or sold. Additional Internet bookstore revealed similar interest with almost 11,400 titles including key words sale, over 8.208 titles of key words to sell and 4700 titles with key sales and marketing.

Extensive research conducted by the American Society for Testing and Development (ASTD) discovered direct training expenses were 2% of wage costs by another 10% more in indirect costs. With all this growth and dollars invested in training and development for improved sales, perhaps now is the time to assess the sales development.

The following estimates are for you, the manager, or the organization to determine the success of current projects sales development within the company. After taking this brief assessment, some ideas and questions to consider has been provided to help you find truly how to ensure sales development success you desire and more importantly need, highly competitive global business market today.

1. Are Learning engagements training (learning new skills) or development (strengthening existing skills to improve the already learned skills)?

  Training Development

2. a minimum of 50 hours of training or development of the year devoted to the development of the necessary skills, knowledge, attitudes and practices that are necessary to become a world-class organization?

 No  Yes

3. Is the training or development offered on a weekly or biweekly basis provide ongoing opportunities for application and feedback?

 No  Yes

4. Is the training or development available on a monthly, quarterly or yearly study recruitment of 6 hours per day without opportunities for application and feedback between learning commitments?

 No  Yes

5. Is the training or development in line with the current organizational goals and supported from the top down by the CEO and the executive?

 No  Yes

6. Is the training or development based on the “core” skills?

 No  Yes

7. If training or development based on the “core” strength, how often have you had to repeat the training?

 No  1 time  2 times  3 times  4 times or more

8. Is the training or development based on “relevant” results?

 No  Yes

9. If training or development based on “relevant” results, how often have you had to repeat the training or development?

 No  1 time  2 times  3 times  4 times or more

10. Is the training or development based on the weaknesses or strengths of each individual within the organization?

 weaknesses  Strengths

thoughts and questions for your consideration

Now that you have completed this simple assessment, the following thoughts and questions are designed to help you determine the success of current sales in your training or development.

1. Are Learning engagements training (learning new skills) or development (strengthening existing skills to improve the already learned skills)?

  Training Development

If the answer was training and goal is to learn new skills, you are right on target! However, if people already have knowledge, then you need to focus on the development of learning. Development goes beyond training and working to build what is in it for me (WIIFM) leading to What’s in it for us (WIIFM).

2. a minimum of 50 hours of training or development of the year devoted to the development of the necessary skills, knowledge, attitudes and practices that are necessary to become a world-class organization?

 No  Yes

If the answer was yes, GREAT! You and your company is committed to the people and to achieve the next level of success. However, if any part of the answer was NO, and you want to create a world-class organization, how are you going to achieve that goal? Much of traditional training or development focuses on only knowledge and skills. Still, performance failure more often than not because of poor attitudes and habits. Attitudes redevelopment is the key driving force to change behavior and to ensure sustainable success. Remember, if your people have spent at least 20 years to learn something, one or even 10 hours a year will not significantly affect their behavior.

3. Is the training or development offered on a weekly or bi-weekly providing ongoing opportunities for application and feedback?

 No  Yes

If the answer was yes, again CONGRATULTIONS! People have many opportunities to practice newly learned skills so that they are “competent” in both attitudes and behavior. For example, we all know what 10 x 10’s. However, very few of us can respond as quickly and with as much confidence in the 23 x 24’s.

4. Is the training or development available on a monthly, quarterly or yearly training obligations more than 5 to 6 hours a day without opportunities for application and feedback between learning commitments?

 No  Yes

If the answer was yes, then the program may not be producing the desired results and potentially create a negative return on investment. Research suggests that one-time exposure to a learning event such as 1 or 2 days of full training or development sessions results in 50% cognitive retention after 24 hours; 25% cognitive retention after 48 hours and less than 2% cognitive retention after 16 days. Remember, the brain just swallow, but the butt will endure.

5. Is the training or development in line with the current organizational goals and supported from the top down by the CEO and the executive?

 No  Yes

If you answered Yes, again you and your company plans to succeed. If the answer was no, then you may want to consider looking at the organizational goals to ensure compliance. Important side question to ask is can the name of your organization all the exact same top 3 organizational goals for the current year? If not, what are these “miss actions” cost you in terms of financials, leadership, relationships both internal and external growth and innovation?

6. Is the training or development curriculum “core” skills?

 No  Yes

If you answered yes, those skills are you using? Make all the skills for working with your company and your people?

7. If training or development curriculum is based on the “core” strength, how often have you had to repeat the training?

 No  1 time  2 times  3 times  4 times or more

If you answer more than one, then the core competency based curriculum truly effective and provide adequate end result of transformation?

8. Is the training or development based on “relevant” results?

 No  Yes

If you do not, then why are you undertaking this training or development?

9. If training or development based on “relevant” results, how often have you had to repeat the training or development?

 No  1 time  2 times  3 times  4 times or more

If you answer more than one, then possibly the desired end results were not clearly communicated within the entire organization. (See above Question 5, the side of a question.)

10. Is the training or development based on the weaknesses or strengths of each individual within the organization?

  weaknesses Strengths

If you answer, weaknesses, then the question is why work teams work? Is it because of the weaknesses or strengths? Training or development should be based strength not weakness-based. A strength-based curriculum ensures that all leveraging their assets while working to improve the potential strengths and weaknesses.

This brief assessment and evidence and questions are designed to help you easily recognize where the current efforts could be redirected to ensure that sales training and development is truly deliver the desired end results.

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