Companies across the globe spend billions of dollars a year on training/professional development yet are increasingly frustrated when their expenditure doesn’t drive a significant change in behavior nor does it deliver the desired results!  So why do I think this is the case?  Based upon my research the top 12 reasons why sales training fails are:

  1. Lack of buy-in/support from senior leadership
  2. Not assessing the sales organizations competencies, skill sets and/or learning needs
  3. Lack of a standardized sales process or sales methodology
  4. Training the field management team at the same time the sales team is being trained
  5. Confusing product or systems training with actual sales training
  6. Lack of interactivity/engagement
  7. Failure to provide real-life applications during the training
  8. Irrelevant or outdated material/content
  9. Investing more on what happens during the workshop than after the workshop
  10. Lack of accountability from salespeople, sales leaders and/or senior leadership
  11. Lack of follow-up/reinforcement
  12. Focused on completing the training versus measuring customer outcomes

So what can be done to receive a positive ROI on their training/professional development spend? I believe that organizations should focus on driving sales productivity versus delivering sales training. Why?  Because sales organizations are only productive when there is a convergence of effort and positive results.  Real productivity in a sales process is recognizable and measurable because productive selling processes have specific characteristics.

To drive sales productivity in your organization make sure you establish tools, processes and/or programs so your salespeople have the ability to:

    • Profile their best customers/markets and find more that look like them
    • Build the size/quality of their pipeline
    • Increase their average order size
    • Improve their close rate
    • Shorten their sales cycle
    • Differentiate themselves from their competition
    • Proactively engage decision makers early in the sales process
    • Sell products/services at full market value…without discounts
    • Ask for/Receive referrals on a regular basis
    • Cross-sell existing customers while improving customer satisfaction levels
    • Accurately forecast new business and revenue performance

If you’d like to learn more about driving sales productivity within your organization please contact me at (615) 395-0200 or

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