Part of what we do at ENS Media is sales training. So, you might be puzzled when I say, "You probably don?t need more sales training."
Training is just one of the tools in every sales manager's toolkit to increase sales, but like many of your tools, if they aren't working it's more likely because they aren't used properly, not because the tools you have are no good.
A good carpenter never blames his tools for shoddy work; it's his application and skill level that are to blame.
I was in one radio sales office where the stations had been members of RAB for several years, and none of the salespeople knew it! Do you think the RAB tools were being used there?
While that's an extreme case, the fact is you probably have some sort of training system, manual, books, or videos that would work perfectly, if you simply made them central to your daily selling culture.
Otherwise, they end up like that valuable RAB membership, out of sight and out of mind.
With new digital and traditional competitors emerging daily, using the tools you have effectively is more important than ever.
Here is a checklist you can use to ensure your training hits the streets and generates more sales:
1. Does management, from the general manager to the sales manager, lead by example, adhering to the core values and principles of your training program on a daily basis?
2. Does management participate in the training, rather than simply offering it to salespeople or sending salespeople to training?
3. Are the core values outlined in your training practiced, even when the chips are down and you're missing budget?
4. Is the training refreshed by reviewing part of it every week in sales meetings?
5. Are the key concepts and systems in your training referred to in every one-on-one with your salespeople?
6. Is your training mandatory for everyone on staff, regardless of their experience level?
7. Do sales presentations, applications, and approaches that adhere to your training get shared and recognized in your sales meetings?
8. Do you have a measurement and incentive system for account executives who use your training successfully?
9. Do you follow your chosen path consistently, rather than searching for the newest flavor of the week or magic silver bullet?
10. Do you recognize that training is a journey, not a destination, and that it is never completed?
As a manager, you know that salespeople often do what you inspect, rather than what you expect. Responsibility for getting a return on your investment of time and money in training begins at the top.
The best leaders have learned how to ensure their training is followed.
Wayne Ens of ENS Media Inc., is the producer of the SoundAdvice Radio E-Marketing System and can be reached at email@example.com
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