Do you know why sales training fails?

Well actually, it’s the same reasons that any training fails.

The delegates turn up, they do the course, they love it (well, they love my courses 😉!) and leave full of enthusiasm and positivity.

Then what?

Often a big fat nothing!

Time and time again, studies have shown that unless learners consciously review what they studied, they will forget most of it.

I read one study that said we forget as much as 50% of what we learn within an hour and maybe 70% within 24 hours. I actually reckon that is probably true, because when I do a 2-day training, I always start with a review of the previous day and you’d be amazed how little they retain!

Yet I constantly experience a reluctance among L&D professionals and purchasers of training to invest that little bit more in follow up sessions to embed the learning.

It’s like spending a ton of money on a new car, then refusing to pay for the petrol that fuels it!

So what can you do:

1. If you were the one who paid for the training, ask the learner to review what they learned. This simple strategy is useful (and interesting) for you because you find out what they covered, but it does also help embed the knowledge.

2. Get them to teach it to others. Have you ever heard the phrase that we ‘learn best by teaching others’? This also means you get more bang for your buck as they can upskill others who weren’t able to attend the training. Or you can get them to teach it to new starters. That’s great for the new people but it is also developmental for the sales person who attended the training.

3. Ensure they review and reread the training notes after courses. It could be 5 minutes per day, or half an hour a week, or a particular section which is relevant to a work scenario, but you do not want that workbook gathering dust in a corner somewhere – it should be used.

4. IMPLEMENT! This is the big one – unless learners start to actually use the tools and the knowledge they’ve gained, they will sink straight back into old habits. This might be tough at the beginning but encourage them to stick with it and the changes will happen.

It’s lovely to have some bright shiny training in a nice room for a day or two, but aren’t the actual results more important?

Happy selling!

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