Reason #10 — Sales training can be ineffective, despite it all.

So how does one actually get better?

Don’t bother with training if you don’t have a plan to reinforce what is learned; over 80% of training material is forgotten after 90 days.

Sales team effectiveness is built in the field — observe your sales reps in real selling situations, and provide specific post-call analysis and feedback. If you lead a small or mid-sized business, do yourself a favor, and do this personally.

Build a ‘challenger’ sales mentality — then role play to validate what your salespeople know, and what they don’t. If you haven’t read  ‘The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation,’ please add it to your 2016 resolutions.

Tailor training to individual needs – and use technology to push product details via video and smartphones, as it is needed.

Salespeople learn from each other – share your teams’s successes AND failures. Both are learning opportunities. Win/loss reviews are often one-dimensional; don’t forget to debrief on ‘why we won.’

Coach, don’t just inspect. If you don’t know how to coach, take the time to learn; it is a skill you need to have.