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Why are Sales People not training like other Professionals?

A career in sales can be one of the most rewarding in regards to both building relationships with customers and also the opportunity to be remunerated well financially for delivering results to the employer.

In comparison to other professional career paths, a professional Salesperson can earn substantially higher. When I recently conducted a survey amongst Sales professionals asking the question “When is the last time you attended any form of sales training?”, 63% stated that they had completed no form of Sales Training in the last 12 months. If we look at other sectors who train on a regular cycle to improve their skills and competencies we can see a significant difference: Medical – It takes years to become a Doctor and then ongoing training on medical developments and upskilling. Aviation – To become a commercial pilot it can take years and thousands of flying hours before being considered by a Commercial airline, then ongoing training is required as part of your employment requirements. Professional Sports - A typical pro athlete would train around 5-6 hours a day 6 days a week. Why is there a need for regular and consistent upskilling? In these industries, the employer knows that if they want their employee to perform to their best ability, improving skills and becoming as efficient as possible is important. So why do companies hire what can be one of the most expensive resources for the business, expect an exceptional result to the nature of the role, but fail to invest in appropriate ongoing training? One of the reasons is that a sales professional is often employed due to past experience; with an expectation that the individual will deliver as a high performer based on past success. This works to a degree, however like all professionals if you don’t provide consistent development, the individual will fail to grow to their full potential. Another reason is the expectation that it falls under the duties of the businesses National Sales Manager. Unfortunately, this method often fails for various reasons including the below:

  • Sales Managers’ time available

  • Ensuring correct training content

  • Inconsistency due to other business demands

  • The sales team see them as a manager, not a coach

What’s the answer? Enhance the performance of your sales team with the right sales training program. While one day workshops may generate an elevation of team performance for a short period, the impact will reduce over time. Continual structured learning programs work best! These will provide a consistent elevation, build a high performing sales team, and keep engagement levels high. Measure the ROI (return on investment) Any professional sales trainer that backs their quality of training will be comfortable with this as part of their engagement of a long-term client. As part of any sales training, look for a provider that also offers individual mentoring sessions in addition to group sessions, this will increase results at an individual level and focus on specific areas of development. Establish a sound operating sales team engagement rhythm Often, we hear of sales teams having a weekly, monthly, or even quarterly meeting. Can you imagine the consequences of this in other industries? A 15-minute daily huddle with sound structure will bring your performers closer and elevate the team. Like other professions, communication is your key tool. In summary, focus on developing the skills of your frontline staff and elevating them from Good to Great sales professionals. With continual structured learning programs, you can be assured that your sales team have the correct tools to reach their full potential.

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