8 Questions to Ask When Considering a Sales Training Provider

Choosing a sales training provider is one of the most significant business decisions you will ever make.  Sales people generate the revenue that keeps an organization alive.  One of the biggest predictors of sales success is the training that sales people receive.  Sales training, properly executed, equips sales people with the knowledge and skills to sell successfully in today’s challenging selling climate. 

However, all sales training is not equal. When choosing a sales training provider there are eight key questions that you should ask each training provider.  These eight questions reveal the core components of effective sales training and will help you identify the right training provider for you. 

  1. What is your sales training based upon?
    Sales training must be based upon objective, proven science, not conjecture.  If sales training is founded upon a person’s opinions or their limited, untested assumptions of what it takes to become successful in selling then the likelihood that the sales training will fail is amplified.
  1. How do you deliver your training?
    The way sales training is conveyed has been shown to impact whether or not that training is absorbed and put into practice.  The way training is delivered should be grounded in the evidence based findings of educational psychology and cognitive neuroscience, which have disclosed how the human brain learns. 
  1. What sales specific research have you conducted?
    A sales training provider should be a thought leader who is continually conducting research to improve their sales strategies.  What original research has the provider conducted?  How do they conduct the research?  What are the topics they focus on researching and why?
  1. Do you customize your sales training?
    Sales training should never be a one-size-fits all.  Every client is different and as a result the sales training should be customized to the specific needs of the client.  Training providers should be able to disclose their process for assessing and architecting a customized training salutation?   
  1. How do you prepare sales people for training?
    The successful deployment of any training initiative is dependent upon achieving buy-in from those within the organization.  One of the primary reasons that sales training is not embraced by sales people is because it is often opinion based.  Sales people wonder why they should neglect their own opinions about selling and adopt the trainer’s opinions.  The issue of learner motivation is an imperative because a foundational principle of educational psychology is that people learn to the extent that they are motivated.  If sales people are not given a compelling reason why they should embrace sales training they will not.
  1. What is your training process?
    Scientific research has confirmed that for training to produce positive behavior change it must not be an event, but a process.  A sales training provider must provide a learning continuum that imparts the essential knowledge and skills required to obtain a high level of competence in selling. 
  1. What is your process for continual development?
    In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace if sales people are not improving, they are falling behind. There is a mountain of scientific evidence that has shown that continued development is a vital component of achieving heightened levels of performance.
  1. Does your training have verifiable outcomes?
    Hoping that sales training will increase your sales is not only dangerous, but it is unnecessary.  Training providers should be able to provide you with clear, objective, third party sources that demonstrate causal evidence that their training, properly executed will increase sales. 

These eight questions will guide you in beginning the process of identifying the best sales training provider for you.  The bottom line is:  the right sales training will be one of your biggest competitive advantages.  In contrast, ineffective sales training will be your biggest liability.  So choose wisely.

About The Hoffeld Group

The Hoffeld Group is a research based sales training, coaching and consulting firm that is the leader in the integration of proven science and sales. We study the scientific disciplines of social psychology, communication theory, cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, social neuroscience and behavioral economics. We then take the repeatable and predictable principles, which science has proven create and enable influence, and translate them into practical, sales specific concepts, strategies and tactics that guide sales people in behaving in ways that will enhance their ability to sell.  For a deeper look at the Hoffeld Group’s groundbreaking research and innovative sales strategies visit HoffeldGroup.com.