The sales training industry wants you to know that you're not alone in your effort to create a highly skilled team of sales professionals.
There are hundreds of sales training providers that are eager to jump in and provide training for your team . . . And that may be the problem.
It can be difficult to separate legitimate sales training providers from individuals or companies that are more interested in creating hype than they are in communicating effective sales techniques. When you're pumping cash and time into a training program, you expect a return on your investment – and that's something some providers just can't deliver.
Like any other major business purchase, an investment in sales training requires a thoughtful vendor selection process. There are plenty of great sales trainers out there. We'll tell you how to choose a sales training provider with the ability to convert your investment into actual customers.
- Get referrals. The best way to protect your business from substandard sales training providers is through referrals from your business network. Many training providers are quick to offer testimonials from clients who have been transformed into selling machines. But unless you can verify the source of the testimonials, they have little value and shouldn't carry much weight in the selection process.
- Conduct background research. It's important to conduct research about the training company before you unleash them on your sales force. Start with a simple Internet search, but to get a more accurate picture you'll need to quickly expand your efforts to include business networks, sales training associations and social media networks.
- Prioritize experience. Experience has to receive the highest priority in training provider selection. Specifically, you'll want to focus on providers whose trainers have real sales experience and understand the intricacies of selling to clients in your industry. Try to avoid trainers with a focus on selling to companies or customers that fall outside your demographic targets.
- Try before you buy. Sales training can be pricey, especially if you want to send your entire team to an offsite, 5-day training program. Whenever possible, meet the trainers personally and try before you buy by attending a one- or two-day session prior to enrolling your sales force.