What exactly is “The Big Lie”? It’s the words “More sales training.” Becoming a big success in business almost never comes from spending money on more training. There’s training for just about everything regarding sales. People are always telling company owners and Presidents if their salespeople had more training they will drive more sales. It’s time we step back and come to terms with the fact that more training, more books, more classes does not mean more profits and results.
More training. At its core, training materials, classrooms and exercises are only a way to impart important information. Nothing more. The real growth of a salesperson, and therefore results, come from one-on-one coaching and mentoring that they receive over time from a trainer, sales manager or another successful salesperson – that’s called development by active learning.
Every person comes with their own personal set of circumstances – the good, the bad, and the ugly. To think, even for a millisecond that a training class can get someone up and sprinting is a runaway idea. Sure, there are some basics that can be achieved with training. Knowledge and skill can be taught, but the real purpose of all training and development is changing behavior.
Mentoring – Changes in behavior that motivate growth and performance are unique to the individual. To be blunt, a cookie cutter sales training book or class just doesn’t work. But, when you combine sales support materials with mentoring then positive results increase tenfold. Mentoring is the most effective way of helping sales people, and departments, to increase performance. A mentor helps the mentee to believe in themselves, their company and product while boosting confidence. A mentor inspires — always ask questions and challenges, while providing guidance and encouragement. Mentoring allows the mentee to explore new behavior-changing ideas in confidence. It is a chance to help salespeople look closely at themselves to achieve through action rather than reducing risk and leaving success to chance.
Mentoring is a critical aspect for increasing sales performance. Always remember, when hiring sales executives, they must be more than great closers. A good sales training program should also have a complementary mentoring stewardship to encourage and guide action to lift up underperforming sales efforts.