The One Question You Need to Ask to Reach Your Sales Training Goals

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Sales training events are almost never as successful as leaders want them to be. Leaders must think about sales training as an investment, rather than just an event. In this episode of The Sales Management Minute, guest host Mike Schultz, co-author of the The Wall Street Journal bestseller Rainmaking Conversations, will tell you the one question you must ask to get the most out of sales training.

Hi, I’m Mike Schultz, co-author of the The Wall Street Journal bestseller Rainmaking Conversations and guest host of The Sales Management Minute.

In today’s episode, I’ll be discussing the most important question you should ask before you engage any sales training initiative.

Ninety percent of sales training initiatives fail to have any impact on business results after 120 days. The question is why. We see sales training failing for seven common reasons, but if you ask yourself one question, you can set yourself on the path to success.

That question is, “What will it really take to get the results that we want?”

Ask this question, and you’ll start to see sales training as an investment intended to produce a specific business outcome. You won’t see sales training as it’s often seen as an event because you’ll quickly learn that sales training events are just swallows carrying coconuts. Now work with me for a second.

“What? A swallow carrying a coconut?”

“It could grip it by the husk!”

“Well, it’s not a question of where he grips it. It’s a simple question of weight ratios. A five ounce bird cannot carry a one pound coconut!”

You might be thinking, “Hey, that’s Monty Python,” but it’s really about sales training.

Doesn’t matter where they grip it; swallows can’t carry coconuts. And it doesn’t matter how amazing it is; a two or three day sales training event by itself won’t create millions and millions of dollars of returns for your company.

The questions that naturally follow, “What will it really take…?” are:

• Where’s your sales team now regarding the skills, the knowledge, and the attributes needed to succeed in their particular sales role? This is point A.

• What will it look like when we’ve succeeded? This is point B.

• And then, given my people, what kind of effort and time is it going to take to get from point A to point B?

Ask this question, “What will it really take…?” and you’ll be well on your way to major revenue growth for your company.

Mike Schultz is President of RAIN Group, a sales training, assessment, and sales performance improvement company that helps leading organizations improve sales results. Mike is co-author of The Wall Street Journal bestseller Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade and Sell in Any Situation (Wiley, 2011) and publisher of RainToday.com.  He also writes for the RAIN Selling Blog. He can be reached at mschultz@raingroup.com.


Lee B. Salz is a leading sales management strategist specializing in helping companies build scalable, high-performance sales organizations through hiring the right salespeople, effectively onboarding them, and aligning their sales activities with business objectives through process, metrics and compensation. He is the Founder and CEO of Sales Architects, Business Expert Webinars and The Revenue Accelerator. Lee has authored several books including award-winning,  best-seller “Hire Right, Higher Profits.” He is a results-driven sales management consultant and a passionate, dynamic speaker . Lee can be reached at lsalz@SalesArchitects.net or 763.416.4321.