Sales training is one of the most overlooked areas of learning and development. Other than initial product training and the occasional review session, we have a tendency to just simply get on with our work. Time away from selling means less sales doesn’t it?
If you are underperforming, you will probably get some extra help, an observation or two and a maybe a kick up the rear, but chances are you are just memorising facts, products and sales fads in the small hope you might be able to sell something by going over theory.
This doesn’t help you overcome real-world obstacles and often makes you more frazzled when you don’t improve or see results.
And if you are doing well, why should you change anything about your pitch, it’s getting you enough sales right? Why waste time on self-reflection.
There is a clear conflict between the need for fundamental change and the short-term need to sell.
In sales the likelihood is if you don’t see impact now, behaviour won’t change or you’ll move onto something else that promises you better results.
Sales people want results and they want them fast!
I’m hitting my targets, I don’t need additional training
The most popular view amongst salespeople is ‘If you are hitting targets, why should you need sales training?’ After all, you don’t need help if you’re plodding along just fine.
Sales is a numbers game… As long as your team are hitting the targets you set on a regular basis, there is no reason for you to question whether they could do better.
This does two things, it prevents training from being a priority and puts a standstill on sales growth. But the aim of sales is to get more sales right?
So how do we train both a) sales people who need performance help but aren’t responding well to traditional training and b) sales teams who are performing well and don’t want to change, stagnating sales growth?
The answer to all these problems is self-reflection. Download our ‘developing high performing sales teams’ guide.
Go ahead, stalk yourself and see what happens
Take a camera, your phone, or any other device that you can record on and record yourself selling.
How many times when you’ve left a sales pitch or even a meeting have you failed to remember the exact details of what happened?
After you’ve got over the way your hair looks on camera, you start to notice things:
- Did I talk through the benefits?
- Do I sound bored?
- Whoops, forgot to mention that great new feature we were trained about last week.
- Wow, I say um… a lot.
- Did I question the prospect at all?
- I tried that new sales technique, didn’t I?
You start to pick yourself apart. You realise that there are areas you can improve on. Things you thought you did, but actually didn’t do/say.
It’s a high pressured environment and more often than not, the finer details of the meeting become a little blurry.
Through self-reflection you can see where your behaviour needs to change. So you change it.
What the research says
Research shows that self reflection is the best way to promote behaviour change (Joyce and Showers, 2012). So why aren’t we doing more of it? Because we don’t consider the use of video capture for sales. We think about coaching, content and observation. But we don’t think about the learner and their perception of themselves.
Watch yourself pitch. You will be amazed by the things you notice. I promise.