Rule #25: Don’t let salespeople leave training in the classroom.
Use a collaborative, equal partnership inside and outside the training room. Here’s the bottom line for sales leaders. You may have other people doing training for your organization and training your people. But, ultimately, you are still responsible for your team.
Here’s what I don’t understand. You’re responsible for the revenue of your team. You’re responsible for the fact that your team shouldn’t start jumping ship and leave, right? So, high turnover is a reflection of you. You want to make sure that your team is self-sufficient. They have all the tools necessary. So why would you allow somebody else to do the training—in or outside of your company—and you have no idea what’s going on? You have no idea.
That’s like sending your kids to a school and never understanding who the teachers are, where the school is, what they covered and you don’t care. You sent your kids there, and you expect them to learn manners. You expect them to learn how to dress. You expect them to learn how to read and write. We don’t do that. But yet we do that with our salespeople. We send them to training and say, “Check, they went to training. They will come back machines.” And maybe they do, but maybe it’s not the type of machines that you want. Maybe it’s a disconnect from what you do as an organization.
Here are some quick tips. You play an active role as a sales leader in the training. As a matter of fact, you have to make sure that that classroom training that they have, they live and breathe every single day. It becomes a way, a part of life. It becomes muscle memory. “How do I do that?” Number one, meet with people before they go. Make sure the training that they’re going to actually will help them increase skills necessary for them to succeed. That’s the first thing.
Number two, ask them what they want to get out of the program. “What are the top two or three things that you want to get out of today’s program, George? When you go to that training, you’re going for a specific reason. What do you hope to achieve? How do you see yourself using those types of skills in your day?” And now I’m having them project. When they go to the program, give them a quick follow-up during the program. I like to text. I like to text—if it’s a two-day program—between day one and two. And I’ll simply say, “How is it going? Is the program meeting and exceeding the goals that you had before going? Are there two or three other things that you’re surprised, genius attacks, that you’ve learned from the program that will help you become more successful?”
When they come back, I ask them for their hot list. “What are all the ideas that you wrote down that you thought you could implement in your day to day business?” And I get those, and I photocopy those because they are going to be talking points as I move forward. I also say, “When are you going to and where are you going to be using some of these tactics that you wrote down? So one of the things that you wrote down is to figure out the DISC styles of each of your buyers. I understand that, and I like that. Where will you be using that over the next week?”
Now what you want to do, as a sales leader, is to make sure that they start creating it. They start creating muscle memory. They start utilizing it. And it’s not an idea that they’ll think about in 20 years. The faster they implement it, the faster that they go and start to practice it, the easier it is for them. So the bottom line is, everybody’s competitive. Everybody wants to do great, but training will succeed or fail based on—not the people, not the program—but you as a sales leader. You need to reinforce it. You need to make sure that that classroom, all that classroom training doesn’t die when the class is over. It just begins with you. Good luck.