Why sales and service training doesn't always stick 

28.09.22 11:20 AM By Dawn Roberts

I bet you (or your people) have been on many training courses in the past that, whilst good on the day, failed to make a lasting impression or change. Many of us still have the handouts and workbooks stashed away in our drawers from long forgotten training sessions that have never seen the light of day since. So why didn’t the training stick? Why didn’t you or your people come bursting back into work making tangible changes and improvements? It’s because you need the following essential elements in order to make training really stick.

Training must be outcome orientated

It’s not just about attending the training, anyone can do that and it’s just a box ticking exercise. I mean, that the learner knows what improvement is expected of them following the training. Results driven training companies will provide a tool for you to evaluate performance so you know your money was well spent and you have evidence of results.

Training needs to start with the right mindset

We know there is little point in JUST giving your people tools for how to give a great sales and service experience. They know what ‘great’ does and doesn’t look like, they see it every day as customers themselves. It has to go deeper than that. They need to understand WHY they WANT to do it. The training should start with this.

The trainer has to be credible and lead by example

I recommend asking when the trainer last sold/negotiated/closed a deal/handled a difficult situation with a customer. I often find when I’m doing my competitor analysis that some trainers haven’t been in a sales or service situation for years and find it difficult to relate to the modern customer. They lack credibility with experienced sales and service people as they don’t have any recent personal experiences to draw on and struggle with off the cuff questions and situations.

The learner should not be abandoned after the training

Improved performance in respect of sales and service cannot be measured effectively during training. This happens after when they get back to work. The learner needs to be supported and guided following the training while the learning is embedded. Otherwise fear and reluctance sets in and the changes never happen.

Training, if delivered properly, can always be mapped to results and will provide evidence that is has worked. Anyone can give you a great day in training but that’s not enough. Your time and money is valuable so you need to know you have got something in return for your investment.