Skip to main content

Sales Training Sustainment Framework

sales training skill sustainment 1

Share on LinkedInShare on TwitterShare on Facebook

Three Phases of Behavior Change: Planning, Development & Sustainment

Based on Richardson Sales Performance’s more than forty years of experience and research, we believe that effective behavior change occurs in three phases:

  • Planning
  • Development
  • Sustainment

Planning

Planning should occur at both the organizational and individual levels. Organizationally, leaders need to effectively communicate the change and align stakeholders at multiple levels to sponsor the change. At the individual level, awareness of the need to change and the desire to change should be instilled in a systematic manner. Many change initiatives fail or become the “flavor of the month” because the heavy lifting at the organizational level and the desire to change at the personal level are insufficiently addressed before training occurs.

Development

Development is the traditional focus of training, including positioning the relevance of new sales skills and knowledge to sales professionals, exposure to new processes, utilization of best-practices models, plenty of practice applying best-practices models, and getting real-time, constructive feedback during instructor-led, virtual, or web-based training.

Sustainment

Sustainment is what occurs after sales professionals leave the training session and return to the field. Sustainment planning should include:

  1. Expectation setting
  2. Knowledge retention
  3. Skill application
  4. Supportive systems
  5. Relapse prevention
While skill development occurs during set events using a variety of modalities skill sustainment and behavior change takes place back on-the-job in a much more chaotic environment, which means it needs to be incremental and consistent over a period of months.

Why Does Sustainment Fail

Progressive sales organizations at industry-leading companies know that they cannot develop their sales professionals through sales training programs and then expect them to simply demonstrate those behavios back-on-the-job. Many barriers get in the way of behavior change in the work environment:

  • Too many change goals competing with the ability to run the business and make the numbers
  • Conflicting expectations and direction on what is most important both organizationally and individually
  • Lack of visible change sponsorship by sales executives and sales leaders lack of a systematic approach to change at the organizational level (e.g., processes, metrics, systems, tools, and management)
  • Lack of accountability at all levels for the success of the change

Five Steps to Sustainment

Successful sustainment of new behaviors requires attention to five steps that all individuals pass through after training. These five steps build upon one another in a sequential manner. By focusing organizational attention, time, effort, and resources on each step, new behaviors become more embedded in your sales team’s daily operations. Additionally, this systematic and systemic approach to sustainment enables counter-productive practices and cultural elements to both surface and be addressed.

  • Set Expectations
  • Retain Knowledge
  • Apply Skills
  • Align Systems
  • Prevent Relapse
Share on LinkedInShare on TwitterShare on Facebook
strategies for sustaining the impact of sales training

White Paper: Sales Training Sustainment Framework

Explore trends affecting the manufacturing industry

Download

Resources You Might Be Interested In

Mars rover on planet symbolizing the complexity of sales accounts

Article: A Better Way to Sell to Complex Accounts

In our article, "A Better Way to Sell to Complex Accounts," we teach sellers how to gauge a pursuit's status and gain a high level of trust.

Brief, Article

Two people shake hands at the end of a successful negotiation between a seller and buyer.

Article: Debunking Three Myths About Negotiating

In our article, "Debunking Three Myths About Negotiating," we teach sellers how to stay in control of negotiations in a complex setting.

Brief, Article

Brief: 3 Skills Sellers Need in 2024

Learn three ways sellers can make agility their playbook for 2024 to face a time where uncertainty is the only certainty.

Brief

Solutions You Might Be Interested In