The Great Sales Training Debacle


Great sales training feels like a colossal waste of time.

Who needs it?  Why bother?  Everybody knows you won’t do it.     

Think two or three smart steps ahead in managing an account?  Skip it.  It’s what you must do but the vast majority work on it hard in training class, get jazzed about why it’s so important to do and then, well …”It’s a lotta work man to be strategizing all these accounts and it’s bad enough I gotta update all this stuff in, update that pipeline..…”

Practice or maybe even write out different scripts for voicemails or phone calls based on your objectives and your client research?  Yeah right.  It’s essential stuff but after class most people never write or practice another script cuz’ “Hey that takes time and I gotta pound out some calls…”

Quit selling the damn product and start selling you or your company first?  Ha!  Thirty minutes after that truism most sales reps are slamming “limited time” pitches or stupid “How happy are you with your current supplier” questions trying to get the widget in the client’s hands.   I see it all the time; everything’s gotta get sold like within 30 seconds of talking to a customer or prospect.

What the heck is wrong with people?

Lazy is what it is.  The work after a sales training is just too hard I guess.  

You sales leaders aren’t off the hook either; most of you ignore or don’t actively support that you have to see sales behaviors change first before the sales results change.

The good news is all the laziness sure keeps us sales trainers and sales writers busy though.  Busy is good.


Offended?  Don’t be.  If you are reading this, chances are good you’re in a group that gets that great sales training means there is more hard work after a sales training class and not less work.    

Bet you know someone though going to sales training who doesn’t realize this.  Help them understand this mess about sales training and maybe your sales quota next month won’t be expected to carry them.

Till next time,

Grow The Business.



4 thoughts on “The Great Sales Training Debacle

  1. You mean sending people to a training program (aka event) won’t get the results I want?!?! What the…?

    Good post Mark. I always shake my head when my clients reject a follow-up program mistakenly believing that they will generate a great ROI from a one-day (or even multiple days) program. Fortunately, some of the people I work with realize that training is NOT the magic cure and know that it takes effort, energy and discipline AFTER the program to ensure that the concepts actually get implemented.


  2. It all depends on the learners motivation. Personal experience – I learnt a lot from my first few sales training courses and went on to practice enough of it to lead the field.

    I agree, many organisations fail to invest enough in change. Behavioural change depends on a lot more than the training yet the training is still necessary.

    There are many ways to help people make changes. It’s customers pressure that causes trainers to try and deliver change through short course. We could say no and let someone else say yes, or do what we can with the budget/time available. That’s the challenge faced by experts and educators every day.

    There are always a few amongst the audience for whom the time is right, who will make some use of what they learn. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear!

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