When to Train by Ron Marks

Ron Marks

Most sales managers and their companies have terrible timing when it comes to improving the skills of their sales teams. Unfortunately most companies conduct training only when a sales person is new to the company. After they have a few sales under their belts, training stops.

If you were a military leader and had a critical mission in front of you, you would likely train harder and more intensely than ever before. You would want your team’s training to be current in order to be most effective. Yet sales managers send their sales people out into the field each and every day without the slightest bit of current training and skill development.

In fact, when the economy is difficult, and revenues are sluggish, most companies cut back on two areas: Training and Advertising. Clearly these two components are critical to business and it makes little sense drop them from a company’s budget and marketing plan. However look around you. Look at your own company. Have advertising programs been cut back or perhaps eliminated altogether? How about training seminars and conferences?

It has fascinated me as I have seen this withdrawal occur over the last few recessions. Of course, when the economy is moving along at a brisk pace, those same companies and their sales people figure they don’t need training and certainly don’t have time for it.

When do they train? Experience shows me that the most aggressive sales training efforts occur at the point when a company believes the market to be getting better. The truth they don’t realize is that if they were training all along, their company’s results would be better than that of the competition.

Now is the time to leap ahead of the competition. If you don’t believe things are starting to improve, pretend they are and act as if they are actually getting better already. Step up your personal and corporate training efforts right now by executing these three simple ideas:

  1. Read at least two business books a month and encourage your sales team to do the same. Remember, a good leader always “does it first.”
  2. Break out the old sales training CD’s and have them start playing the moment you start your car. Listen for one great idea each time you hear them that you can share with your people.
  3. Put together at least one solid selling skills training meeting with your team within the next 30 days. Enlist their participation by assigning various training tasks to each person.

My advice to you is to encourage you to do what you know you should be doing, and do it now. In a few months, as the economy improves and it becomes obvious that things are getting better, most sales people will start training again to get ready for better times. Be different. Take steps now to get ahead of the game. Start training now and you will have a huge competitive advantage. Now is the time to train!

Ron Marks is the author of “Managing for Sales Results” published by John Wiley and Sons. He is a Certified Speaking Professional and member of the National Speakers Association. He resides in Scottsdale Arizona and can be found at ron@managingforsalesresults.com



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  1. Congratulations on your dedication to mastering your craft. Please read all of the articles on this blog under the Sales Management category. Some of them are derived from my audio recording of “How to Gain, Train and Maintain a Dynamic Sales Force.” It can be found here as an mp3: http://www.tomhopkins.com/p/4309.html Currently, you can download it at a 52% savings if you enter the word HOLIDAY in the coupon code box when you check out.

  2. Sales Management is very essential in making your business succeed, every part of a business should be managed carefully.:*-

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