Sales Training Consultants – Hiring Guide
Sales Training Consultants
Sales Training Consultants can deliver a huge impact to your organization, but from our own experience there is often confusion about what exactly they do. I am sure there will be some less than complimentary answers to the question, but often that is born out of a negative experience where the client believed they needed Sales Training, and whilst that may have been correct, there are many things the top Sales Training Consultants will do BEFORE they start any training in order to ensure success. To try and simplify this we have broken the main outputs into three very different roles as follows.
Sales Training Consultants
The Consultants role is to help the business leadership team strategize long term, (typically 3-5 years) on what Learning & Development strategies might be appropriate for the company. This may include developing Strategic Action Plans and ensuring alignment between all the necessary stakeholders in the business. A good Consultant may also recognize any need for a Change Management process prior to starting any Sales Training program. Often a change in sales strategy can mean a complete change in the company culture. This is not a quick fix.
Unlike sales training consultants the specific role of the Sales Trainer/Training company would start with some form of skills needs analysis. Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice so beware of training companies looking to sell out the box solutions without clearly identifying what will deliver the best value. Professional Sales Trainers will also ensure that any training is not an event – a one off session that contains little or no follow up and or reinforcement sessions. Great Sales Trainers not only deliver stimulating, challenging and thought provoking sessions, they can actually walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Communication, Leadership and Expertise in people development is essential.
We included Sales Coach, as this is also an important part of the equation. Unlike the Sales Trainer whose primary responsibility is the transfer of knowledge, the primary responsibility of a Sales Coach is the practical application of that knowledge in the field. Sales Coaches are not only Master Sales Professionals, but they also have an uncanny ability to help sales people, do the things they want to do, the things they know they should do and the things that will make a difference in their lives and their performance. A good Sales Coach will provide incremental behavioral change, accountability and self-responsibility which all lead to profitability.
Sales Training Consultants can absolutely help improve your sales performance however in our experience it is unusual to get someone who can fulfill the role of Sales Training Consultants, Sales Trainer and Sales Coach – difficult but not impossible. The roles themselves have very different skill sets and this should not be under estimated. Perhaps it would make sense before companies hire anyone, that they look at the different definitions and see where their true requirement actually sits. More often than not, unless you have someone in-house who can genuinely fill any of the roles and you truly are serious about moving your company forward, you may find you need all three. Hiring one or two out of three will be sure to leave a gap in your people development. Sales Training Consultants who can genuinely meet all these needs will be only too happy to share examples of each role with you. If they cannot, think again.
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