Rule #19: Train Your Team.
Make sure they get the skills necessary to do the job. Listen, leaders, training is one of the four hats of leadership. You’re going to spend anywhere from 20 to 30% of your time in your training function. Now, do I train less or more if I have experienced people? Of course, that’s why you have a 20 to 30% swing. The more experienced people that you have, maybe the less that you have to train in some of the basic stuff. But if I have 30-year veterans, does that mean we have to do no training? No, it does not. Every sports team, every military that you know around the world constantly trains, because it needs to be muscle memory. You need to be able to react without thinking.
I don’t want to sit back and say as a salesperson, “Oh wow, what did I learn in training six years ago?” No, somebody says something, boom, I’m in the moment. I don’t want to think about my response. I want to be on autopilot. Autopilot can only happen through training and reinforcement. So what’s your role? Well, most leaders think, “Hey, I’ve got to be the trainer.” You don’t have to be the trainer. I’m in the training business, and I don’t train my people on many, many things, why? Because I’m not qualified to do it. I’m not qualified to do it. So I find somebody who is. But here’s what I am qualified to do, as a sales leader, figure out what the training is for each and every one of your individuals. Don’t make a decision based on the whole team.
Now, does the whole team need sales training? Okay, I get it. But if only three of 20 need to go to prospecting training, only send the three. Don’t send the 20. It’s demotivating for the other 17. So figure out the individual skill gaps. Two, determine what types of training would be the right training for that individual. Is it online, is it face to face, is it being done internally, externally? How is that done? Number three, I want you to set up a meeting prior to the training. You as a leader has three distinct roles, pre-training, during training, post-training. Make sure that you meet with them upfront and get their goals for the training.
During the training, text them, email them, “How is it going? What are the two or three things that you got out of today’s class that you think you could implement at your job?” When they come back, meet with them, get the list of things that they thought were important, that they could implement and apply to their job. That’s important. Because you’re going to bring that up in future conversations, how you said time management was important, “How’s it going, how are you doing there?” When you show that you’re reinforcing, that you remember, that you’re congruent, that’s key.
Use the words that were taught in the training program. So for instance, if they’re going to Sandler and you say, “Hey, what’s the upfront contract?” Use that phrase. Use the words because when you use the words, they’ll use the words. Remember, sales leadership is not doing what I say and don’t do what I do. They watch what you do. You must be congruent as a sales leader so make sure that pre, during and post is designed to make sure you get the best that you can out of every single training opportunity. Good luck.
THE SANDLER RULES FOR SALES LEADERS details a sales management process that works. It offers 49 timeless, proven principles for effective sales leadership, based on the Sandler Selling System. The book is the sequel to the Wall Street Journal bestseller THE SANDLER RULES, also authored by David Mattson. Buy the book at https://shop.sandler.com/books/sandler-rules-sales-leaders
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