Why Product Training For Sales Is Ineffective

October 7, 2015

WHY PRODUCT TRAINING FOR SALES IS INEFFECTIVEThere’s a huge problem that I’ve noticed time and time again with most sales kickoffs.

At these events, the sales leadership and sales enablement teams are spending two to three days on company product training. This means that the majority of time is spent diving deep into the minute details of your own products and services. Now you may be thinking that this is a positive thing, and may be wondering what’s wrong with this picture?

The problem with focusing extensively on product training is that it’s turning sales professionals into sales engineers.

Yes, your sales force will become product/service experts. They’ll understand your products and how the tools work, and will be able to convey that information to potential clients. However, this leaves your sales professionals one-dimensional. There are three important missing pieces that aren’t being taught at these events:

The right mindset

In other words, sales professionals aren’t learning new sales approaches and methodologies. It’s about building a mindset before skillset. Tips, tricks and tactics are a good way to get your feet wet but for a real behavioral change, the right mindset shift is needed. Two day workshops are also ineffective because it becomes one time thing where many sales professionals leave not remembering what they've learned. To ensure your team’s success, you need to deliver ongoing materials and support that will stick and shift your team’s sales behavior.

According to a report by Forrester,

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Recent research by MHI states,

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Soft skills

Soft skills are critical to your sales force’s success. Creating rapport with clients, and doing due diligence by learning about their business can’t be overlooked. If your buyers are online doing their research, wouldn’t it make sense for your sales force to be online as well, engaging and educating the market? Build relationships and understand the the journey your buyer takes to focus on solving their pain points.

Understanding the buyer

Sales professionals are also not learning how to understand their buyers and think strategically. They’re not thinking like the decision makers at the companies they’re selling to. But sales professionals need to learn how to put themselves into the shoes of the buyer, and the goals they think about every day, such as growth trajectory, mergers and acquisitions, capital raises, and employee and client retention.

Not teaching your sales professionals to understand buyer behavior and their expected business outcomes is a missed opportunity. And sales organizations really need to help their teams understand and get inside the minds of their buyers in order to ensure success.

Accelerate Growth: Aligning Sales & Marketing Teams With The Modern Buyer

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