When we encounter a problem in sales, our first stop may be to hit the internet, listen to podcasts or read sales books.
Unfortunately, training may not be the answer to your sales problems.
It takes a high level of expertise to look at a problem and determine the way to fix it. Sales leaders will too often address sales problems with, ‘My folks just need more training!’
Training pulls people out of the field, off sales calls and may not solve the problem. To assess whether sales training is the answer to any challenge we encounter, we sat down with Bill Parry, Director of Sales Enablement with Privitar and a Coast Guard veteran, to show us how it’s done.
When faced with a problem, how can sales leaders discern whether it requires more training or if the problem calls for a different approach altogether? Join us as we uncover the key strategies and principles that can help organizations navigate this crucial decision-making process.
Since we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it, and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T – Trigger: Bill recommends first assessing how often the problem is occurring. If it only happened once, it may be an anomaly and not worth standing down the team.
However, if the problem happened more than once or it’s happened across multiple team members, then it’s worth assessing whether training could be a solution.
R – Repeatable: To build this system into repeatable steps you can follow, Bill recommends starting this system by asking two simple questions before deciding if training is the right answer:
First, what do your salespeople need to be able to do that they’re not currently doing?
Second, what do they need to know to do it?
Third, could other departments create the solution to this problem and avoid standing down the sales team for training? If so, leverage them first.
Finally, if you’ve decided that training is the answer to the problem, be sure to ask how you will be sure the salespeople know how to do things differently in the future, and how will they be able to show you they know it before they’re in front of prospects and customers?
If you discover that the answers to those questions have never been captured, then it’s time to get the information out of your head and into something that’s shareable. You may discover that what your salespeople need to do doesn’t depend on them knowing anything, but rather having access to information that marketing, operations, or customer service has. In that case, you’ll quickly be able to bypass training and get your salespeople what they need without pulling them out of the field.
I – Improvable: To improve this system, Bill recommends involving other departments in reviewing sales calls to ensure your salespeople are bringing the specific knowledge of those departments to bear in the prospect conversations. Marketing, for instance, may have great data on the ROI of your product. Make sure your sales team has access to that information!
M – Measurable: To measure the effectiveness of a system that helps you decide if training is necessary, Bill says to measure how many problems you solve with training and how many problems you solve through other departments in your company. You should be solving less and less problems through training as you engage other departments in helping you serve your prospects and customers.