Field Sales Training needs to be handled with care.
For lots of reasons:
The Field Sales function is an expensive function, not least because of the cost to recruit and hire but because of their position in the sales life cycle.
Any sale that slips away at the stage that field sales is involved has typically already accrued a high sales acquisition cost. This makes any loss doubly expensive,
They may already be highly skilled and very experienced in their field, so training them in aspects of sales practice that they already know is disrespectful, demotivating and is likely to have an adverse kick back for all involved.
Taking Field Sales out of the field for any length of time can have a serious short and long term impact.
Keeping these things in mind, when you’re looking for Field Sales Training, here are a few things you’ll want to consider:
10 Ways to Boost the ROI in Field Sales Training.
#1 Long Term Impact
Consider the long term impact of the sales course, does it support the sales leadership team in knowledge transfer and continuous sales improvement such that it future-proofs the learning opportunities?
If not, it’s a ‘sheep dip’ sales training course…
#2 Perfect Format
What’s the perfect format?
Think about how much work and study can be done pre-course and post course, in order to ensure maximum impact when out of the field/selling mode.
Having a team of Field Sales people sat in a classroom is expensive.
Being out in the field doing side by side coaching, using pre and post sales call analysis/coaching can be a much cheaper option in the long run with a much larger ROI.
How will you ensure the training is not covering elements of selling that the team are already good at?
Be cautious if the training content isn’t created based on indepth evaluation.
As a minimum, evaluating the sales performance of the individual attendees over the last 12 months.
Millions and millions of training hours are simply wasted every month by teaching sales stuff that the sales team already know.
Don’t tolerate any content that isn’t based on an identifiable gap in the sales results.
Sales is a science, sales course design is based on gap analysis and solution.
What feedback loops are built into to the training to support continuous improvement in the training?
What informal and formal feedback routes are there?
Who manages the feedback loops and ensures the feedback is digested and implemented where necessary?
What will be the critical success factors?
How will you know the field sales training has been successful?
What key performance indicators will you use and over what period will you assess theses?
What provision is in place with the training provider if these critical success factors are not achieved?
Think about these things now.
Before the training kicks off…
Simply because once the field sales training is delivered it’s much tougher to have these important conversations, benchmark what success looks like and set agreeable standards.
Who will own the field sales training course internally?
Who will be critical in ensuring the key learning, habits, activities, mindsets, attitudes are maintained post training?
How will you future proof this investment?
How much say will the sales team have in the content, the format and the success measurements associated with the field sales training?
Surely if the sales team are being invested in, and an improvement needed, allowing them to have a meaningful voice in the design, content and projected up lift in sales results is a must to ensure proactive buy in?
Ok, so the field sales training has been planned, created, and delivered, now, what else needs to change to ensure the team is a fertile unit to grow the extra sales?
For some this might be working on looking at the over arching sales goals.
For others it might be improving communication in the team, or in some, it’s about introducing more regular sales coaching sessions.
Other teams may benefit from informal weekly performance management reviews or tailoring individual sales performance plans.
If you’re expecting the field sales training alone to bring about the change in sales results you need – save your money, and certainly don’t believe anyone who tells you any differently.
#9 Follow Up
Look at the Ebbinghaus Effect.
Quite simply, up to 80% of any new information is forgotten very quickly.
So, what’s 80% of your spend of the Field Sales training course?
As a number, it’s very important…
It’s important because that’s what you’ve just wasted from your training budget.
It’s a number you will see absolutely no value from unless your trainer has some fairly intensive training follow up program built into the course.
You’re paying 100% of the training fee, miss the follow up and you loose 80% of the effectiveness but you still pay 100% of the training fee.
It’s the wrong time and place to skimp on budget, but if you’re training provider isn’t talking about a follow up plan to embed the learning, run out of the room.
#10 Industry Appropriateness
You don’t need the Field Sales trainer to come from your industry.
But you do need a field sales trainer who is prepared to immerse themselves in your firm.
Someone who can go deep on your sales results and sales function.
And having done that go out and scout your competitors.
Their understanding and application is worth more than any industry experience.
I’ve been able to take working practices from tyre manufacturers and use them in Sports equipment firms.
Cross pollination of working solutions is invaluable, so look for depth of immersion and broad scope of experience and industry.
After all, do you really want to hook up with someone who is simply hawking your best practice to their next client win, your competitor?
No, I didn’t think so…
Summary: Field Sales Training and Getting the Biggest ROI
The above is not an exhaustive list.
It’s a list to get you started on some of the key questions you should be asking your training provider.
Questions to ask before you decide to make the investment you’ll need to make in order to dramatically improve sales results.
Field sales training is critical to any business.
Any business that’s after beating the competition.
Where sales teams are pushing ahead, striving for continuous sales improvement.
Eager for an element of competitive advantage.
Because sales and purchasing are changing at rapid paces.
Buyers are radically rethinking their buying habits.
Prospects more elusive than ever.
Loyalty can be won and lost in a heartbeat.
Aversion to risk continually challenges even the best field sales teams.
Carefully constructed field sales training can help combat many of these.
Really good Field Sales training will restore best practice to the team and allow the sales leadership team to reset and reinvigorate sales performance.
For more information or simply to find out about our extensive range of sales training courses, you can call Carol on 0779 002 1885, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re looking for help in delivering a field sales training course for B2B sales professionals, I’d be happy to explore this with you and show you some of the work we’ve done with other field sales functions.