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3 Things Sales Managers Can Do NOW to Get the Best Results from Training

By Susan Hall

We're in the business of helping our clients get results and one of the things that we know for certain is that coaching is a really important element to sustain success. In fact, the research tells us that you can get a 43% bump, which is coaching alone, but when I talk with sales managers at different companies, the reality of their work is that a lot of times they have little time for one-on-one coaching and so the question is, how do we get the most out of this, when there are so many different responsibilities they have around administration and everything else that they do?

00:01 We have a lot of different thoughts on that, but today I want to talk to you about three things that sales managers can do now to get the best results from their training. So, I'm going to get very tactical and practical with you today.

00:57  The first thing to do, is when you have a training program scheduled, set the expectation right away that you're going to meet with your salesperson between one to two weeks after the actual session and you're going to talk with them about three things. First, what did you find most useful out of this training and development? Second, what are you going to do differently as a result of it that you think will make the most difference for you in being as effective and as efficient as you can on the job? And, three, how can I, as your sales manager support you? So, set that meeting up, have that meeting within one to two weeks of the training. Ideally, if the training was three months ago, six months ago, you can still set up that expectation. The whole idea though is that you want to engage the salesperson and a dialogue with you. You want to talk with them, get their input so that they have some responsibility and ownership around their own reinforcement and development.

01:56  The second thing that you can do, is immediately begin using the skills and language yourself. So for example, I was with a client recently, I was at a town hall meeting and their CEO actually began the meeting with the purpose, process, payoff, which is one of the skills we teach in our Counselor Salesperson program. What kind of message do you think that sends to the entire organization about how important that particular skill is? So using the skills, whatever they might be, using the language, and asking the questions on a consistent basis. The third thing you can do is as much as possible build in peer support. One of the things we know from research and experience is that where you can get a 43% bump with management coaching, peer support can actually be even higher than that. If you think about salespeople and how they tend to be competitive, building in a little bit of friendly competition in your team meetings is a good thing.

02:56  So take a skill that you want to reinforce, let's say it's open-ended questions. Give them a challenge and then the next time they come together for their team meeting, talk about those three questions again, what worked, what didn't work, what can we do to support each other in terms of being more successful? So with these three things that you can do immediately, set the expectation right after training to come up with their own little development plan asking those three questions, using the skills and language yourself as a manager on a regular basis, and three, building in peer support. You'll begin to build that regular cadence of using the skills that will help you create the type of environment where the skills become comfortable and part of the culture, part of the way you actually go about doing business.

Best of luck and let me know how I can help you achieve more effective training!

Published: July 6, 2018


Susan Hall

Vice President - Business Development & Performance Improvement

Susan brings over 20 years of experience working with global markets and organizations, helping them navigate through tough economic challenges while maintaining their margins. Since joining SEG in 1995, she has had the privilege of working with organizations that truly value the development of their employees and recognize the impact their people have on their bottom line results. Susan graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a double major in business management and speech communication. She has also completed course work toward her master's degree at Johns Hopkins University.

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