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Common Sales Training Mistakes to Avoid

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Written by Erica Stritch
Vice President, RAIN Group

9 out of 10 sales training initiatives have no lasting impact after 120 days.1

Considering companies spend $3.4 to $4.6 billion on sales training with outsourced providers each year, that’s a big investment with little to show for it beyond short-term, short-lived gains.2

Fortunately, the reasons sales training fails are both predictable and fixable. By avoiding common mistakes, you set yourself up for successful training initiatives that lead to increased sales performance and long-term revenue growth.

7 Common Sales Training Mistakes

Here are the most common problems we see:

  1. Before training, companies don’t have clearly defined outcomes and they don’t align the outcomes with learning needs
  2. Training focuses on building sales skills, but doesn’t build fluent sales knowledge
  3. Sellers' attributes (their drivers and detractors of sales success) are ignored
  4. There’s no process, methodology, or goal and action planning, so sellers don’t know what to do to get the best results
  5. Training is not engaging, relevant, or designed for how adults learn
  6. There’s no reinforcement and support so the training doesn’t stick or transfer on-the-job
  7. There’s no evaluation mechanism or accountability in place after the training

To help you avoid these mistakes and set your team up for sales training success, we’ve developed the report, Why Sales Training Fails. In this report, Mike Schultz and John Doerr, Co-Presidents of RAIN Group, explain the 7 common mistakes that derail sales training efforts and what you can do to avoid them.

Specifically, you’ll learn:

  • Why most sales training programs are doomed to fail from the start
  • The single key to tremendous success with product and sales knowledge training
  • Why attributes (and not just capabilities) are important indicators of salesperson success
  • How to make sure sales training sticks and leads to long-term sales results

Click here to download Why Sales Training Fails.

1 Dave Stein, Sales Training: The 120-Day Curse (ES Research Group, 2011).
2 "Outsourced Sales Training Worldwide: Examining the Major Markets" (ES Research Group, 2013).

Topics: Sales Training