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  • Jerry Phillips

The Trouble With Training

When I started my consulting practice, I wanted to help develop salespeople into sales professionals. I had experienced one of my sellers doing just that. He was dedicated to being a sales professional and worked hard to turn himself into one. It inspired me to do the same for myself, and those I worked with.

Over the next several years, I worked with my clients to deliver sales professionals, and I learned that there were things that made it more difficult. If leadership was doing training to “check the box” a training session became an “event” and not a way of life it was guaranteed to fail. Training must drive change, and if it isn’t supported by coaching, it doesn’t happen across a team. Individuals may grasp the training and change the way they do business, but total adoption will not happen. If training isn’t put into action within a week, retention falls to 5%. That is not an acceptable return on investment.

In my business, I moved away from training as an event. It made up less than 5% of my offering. In fact, over the past few years, I had not done any formal training sessions. Part of that was driven by the fear around the pandemic, but mostly it was driven by frustration with the check the box mentality.

There are factors that lead to success:

1. There must be executive sponsorship and involvement

2. The training needs to be redundant and perpetual

3. The processes must be coached consistently

I was fortunate that early in my career, I was able to receive deep training on product, and sales process. From there I was also trained on management and coaching of my teams. It was a top-down expectation. Our executive team at Black & Decker/DeWalt insisted on it and were involved to make sure we did more than just complete the training. We had to live it.

I’ve found one training process that I fully support now. I had to be convinced that it covered the three factors before I would endorse it and it does. It has a world-class return on investment. Please let me know if you’d like to learn more.


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