You finally have that big new 4K flat screen mounted on your wall but now the movie you are streaming isn't sharp because your inconsistent internet connection negatively affects the resolution and the big screen makes it even more obvious.
Bringing it closer to sales, you invested in the CRM application you needed but your salespeople aren't using it the way you had hoped. As a result, you don't have realtime data to populate your dashboard and still don't know what's really going on with your sales organization, their pipeline and the forecast.
You brought in sales training but it didn't achieve the expected change because the training didn't address the bigger problems that went beyond selling skills. You may not have realized that companies really need sales transformation and while sales training can be part of that transformation, on its own, it usually underperforms.
Sales training can provide Kay with the skills she needs but if you lack a customized, optimized sales process that Kay is required to follow, those skills can't be applied at the right time, for the right reason and in the right context. Sales managers, who are especially challenged when coaching salespeople, have even more difficulty when the coaching takes place outside of the sales process. Kay needs to be part of a sales transformation effort.
If Lee still wants to do everything his way and his sales manager isn't strong enough to make him do things the company's way, Lee will continue to perform inconsistently. Lee needs to be part of a sales transformation effort.
Bill continues to make promises, exceptions and claims that are inconsistent with what your product or services really do. This causes problems and creates a lack of credibility. Bill needs to be part of a sales transformation effort.
You can give Don the skills he needs but you lack a proper sales culture and Don has been allowed to whine and complain and act entitled. If Don continues to engage in backstabbing, blaming others and fails to take responsibility when there are customer issues, that affects the company's brand and reputation which indirectly affects everyone else on the sales team. Don needs to be part of a sales transformation effort.
Greg has self-limiting beliefs about the kind of conversation he can have with his prospects and doesn't believe the strategies and tactics in the sales training will work with his customers. Helping him requires a combination of advanced sales management coaching, stronger accountability, and being replaced could be in his future. Greg needs to be part of a sales transformation.
If the team is struggling to get meetings with new prospects, that requires training in how to schedule new meetings, but may also require new messaging for those calls. The customized messaging that is used throughout a sales cycle is part of a sales transformation.
The team is participating in training but still resisting putting those skills and strategies into practice. If your sales managers are part of that resistance, and/or ineffective at overcoming the resistance, it calls for sales transformation.
On its own, sales training is nice to have but doesn't change much and wastes time and money. As part of a sales transformation effort, targeted, customized, sales training provides salespeople with the tools they need to more effectively do their part.
The key to identifying the parts of a sales transformation that need to be addressed is the OMG sales force evaluation.
I've written about sales force evaluations before and always find it extremely interesting to learn about the various challenges holding companies back. Here are two must-read examples:
- Well-known office supply company that was going through a reorg
- SaaS company that was struggling to scale.
Did you read them?
Both articles should help you recognize that while sales training needed to be part of the solutions at each company, sales training alone would not have addressed the serious issues we uncovered. If you think in terms of sales transformation then your sales organization, people, systems, processes and results will be transformed.