The training for many sales positions is lax, to say the least. Reps are hired and onboarded within a matter of weeks, and the only training they receive is shadowing current employees on calls, reading scripts, and learning to handle simple objections. This can lead to inconsistencies, customer expectation issues, and ultimately, customer and employee turnover. However, by making training more regimented and even more difficult, productivity and new sales will almost always increase. First, it’s important to involve leadership in training. Salespeople need their leaders to model success. Research shows that when workers see their leaders as empowered and capable, they are more likely to be proactive in their work. Second, training should be just as hard, if not harder, than sales itself. Softball scenarios rarely happen in real life, and pretending that they do in training is a disservice to everyone involved. Practice sessions should be harder than real sales calls so that the salesperson will be prepared for any situation or conversation. Reps should practice with their peers, and shouldn’t immediately be bailed out if they become stuck. This helps them think on their feet and will help them perform better in the real world.
The Case for Making Training Harder