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Sales Leaders Have a Role in The Retention of Sales Training

“Only 32% of respondents rate their organization effective at sustaining the impact of their sales training program.” That sobering statistic comes from a recent research report by Richardson and Training Industry, Inc.

 

As a sales leader, you can have an impact on the retention of sales training, and it’s not as hard as it sounds. All you have to do is ask.

If you send a group of salespeople to sales training, and you want them to retain and use that training, you need to ask them what worked for them and how they’re using it. And, you have to do this repeatedly. People will give you what you ask for.

You might ask, “What is your plan is to use this particular piece of the training this month?” Then, the following month, you ask how it went — and what things are they going to work on next month.

The thing about salespeople is, if you give them a target, they’ll nearly kill themselves to achieve it.

The same is true about retention of training. If you ask them to apply it and then ask them to share with you how it has worked — and then to give you additional examples of how it worked — that lesson will become embedded in the day-to-day workflow. Then, you move to the next skill area that they want to work on.

Retention can be quite easy if you, as a leader, make it an issue that you ask about.

Conversely, if you send salespeople to training and then never ask how it went or about the skills that they should be applying, they’re going to follow your lead and focus on other things instead. If you really want results from your investment in training, you have to put in that extra effort to get it. Just ask for several examples of how it’s working.

At Richardson, we can offer supplemental strategies like eLearning or the Richardson QuickCheck™ mobile gamification app. But, if sales managers don’t know what the salespeople are supposed to be trained on or what the salespeople are expected to do differently — and if they don’t reinforce the need to do that — it just won’t happen.

I often make the case for training sales managers first so they can help train the salespeople and sustain the learning. If the sales managers don’t know the right way, and that’s what’s being taught to the salespeople, it’s not going to be as effective. That’s because sales managers will say, “No, that’s not what I want you to do. I don’t care what they told you in sales training, this is what I want you to do.”

So, train your sales managers first. Then, when the salespeople return from their training, they should find a receptive and supportive leader back in the workplace. That has the biggest benefit to the sales organization because both groups will have been trained. There won’t be any disconnect between what sales managers know and what the salespeople have been trained to do.

The best result of all, what you really want from your sales training: Sales will go up, you’ll be more profitable, and conversion times will be reduced! It truly is achievable!

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