When it comes to improving your sales team’s performance any training has to be better than no training, right? Wrong. If you select the wrong sales training program, you’ll just be throwing company resources down the drain, and your team may even learn bad habits.
It’s easier to pick the wrong training program than you might think: 85-90% of sales training has no lasting impact. With so many ineffective programs out there, how do you know the sales training program you’re selecting is different? How can you select which program gives the best sales training for your team?
Let’s go over some of my top choices for sales training programs for high-growth teams.
Key Elements of Great Sales Training Programs
Dozens of sales training programs are on the market today. To help you separate the quality programs from the ones that will likely just drain your resources and waste your team’s time, I’ve identified a few key elements that all great sales training programs incorporate in their curriculum. If a program you’re considering has a majority of these elements, it’s worth a second look. If it has all of them, you should jump at that opportunity!
- Modern Sales Approach: Does the sales training program view sales through a modern, collaborative lens, or is it teaching legacy techniques that will likely fall flat in today’s market?
- Issue Identification: Will the developers of the program meet with you and your team to establish your specific pain points, finding ways to correct those issues through guided training?
- Program Customization: Is the training customizable, or is it one-size-fits-all?
- Cultural Change: How does this program guarantee that sales reps won’t just slip back into old patterns as soon as the “training complete” box is checked?
- Proof of Success: Can this program show you examples of teams they’ve moved the needle for in the past?
In my years of experience in the Sales industry, I’ve seen training programs that run the gamut: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s count down the top five programs I put on the “good” to “great” side of that scale. For each one, I’ll talk about their approach and the strengths that approach has for high-growth teams.
Kurlan & Associates’ sales training programs are customized and module-based. The program offers both in-person training and self-guided online training.
One strength of Kurlan & Associates’ training for high-growth teams is its module-based nature. This structure lets you target training to your team.
Dave Kurlan is well-respected in the sales training industry, and he also has an assessment that works to identify salespeople who are going to succeed. He’s truly one of the good guys in sales training.
Imparta’s training approach is based on their sales cycle (need→ choose→ worry→ commit→ adopt→ renew). This program is available 100% online.
A strength of Imparta for high-growth teams is that this program offers tracks for core skills, advanced team skills, and management skills.
Imparta’s curriculum leans towards a modern approach, the single most important factor I think you should consider. However, because so many of us work in industries where we must displace a competitor, I believe the sales process has to start with compelling change, so I’m skeptical about starting a sales cycle with “need.”
Challenger’s training program is modern and consultative. The program begins in person and transitions online. One major strength of Challenger’s program is that they provide sales messaging to teams.
In short, Challenger checks the box on modern but leans back on “why us” in a first meeting, ending the call with a fear-based legacy approach built on the idea the client will run off and buy from someone else. You need to prove “why us” in the sales conversation.
Sandler Training offers a classic approach to sales training, using a combination of online and in-person training sessions. Sandler’s strength when it comes to high-growth team training is that it offers program options for enterprise selling, prospecting, and more.
Sandler Training’s methods are the oldest sales training still being taught and trained. It’s a midway point between transactional sales and solution selling, but much of the strategies and tactics are not suited for the 21st Century, as many are fear-based, preventing much of what we know clients want and need to engage with salespeople.
The Sales Accelerator offers a modern approach that is fully customizable and focused on shifting culture to make way for change. We don’t describe Accelerator as training, since training is only part of the approach. Instead, we see it as a development platform. The check box training doesn’t provide the time or the opportunity to work on competency. We use a modern approach with a competency model that builds competent and confident sales teams.
A strength of The Sales Accelerator is that it equips high-growth teams with what they need to say to advance a sale at every stage. Our program focuses on enabling sales managers to empower their teams to hit aggressive targets.
This approach is best for sales managers and leaders who want to transform their sales force from a legacy approach to one that is designed to address the need of modern buyers and decision-makers.