Common Reasons Not to do Sales Training & Why They’re BS

So you want to take sales-training, but you’re running up against some resistance? Or you’ve brought it up to your team and have heard all the usual responses? Well, I’m here to tell you, they’re all BS. They’re what we call in NLP, limiting beliefs.

They’re beliefs or belief systems that stop you from adapting, progressing, and ultimately, from growing. They limit you personally, and they limit your revenue. Below are some of the most common reasons why people forgo sales training, and why they’re all wrong.


The ROI Excuse: Finding a Great Program

I’m not here to tell you to go out and buy every sales book in the self-help section, or to give all your money to the 20-year old selling a course in a rented suit on youtube, but I am here to tell you that investing in the right training program pays BIG dividends.

And to be honest, your fears are justified. They’re are a lot of terrible programs out there. According to a CSO Insights report, “The Business Case for Sales Training,” only 10.7% of trainee respondents rated the programs they took as ‘exceeded expectations’.

But the ones who did, outperformed in reps achieving quota, win rates, aligning to customer needs, lower sales force turnover, and higher overall revenue plan attainment compared to those who rated their trainings as ‘met expectations’ or ‘needed improvements’. Now those are some BIG factors at play.

This quote lays out why these metrics are so important:

“Looking at the Exceeds group, we see that their higher win rate is a result of both lower competitive losses and no decisions as compared to the other two groups. To put this into perspective, consider the following when looking at the impact that a ~10% win rate has between the Needs Improvement and Exceeds groups: Assume you have a 100 person sales force, with each rep carrying a quota of $1M, selling products with an average deal size of $50K. To make quota the average rep needs to close 20 deals. Based on a 44% win rate, a rep needs to have a forecast made up of 45 opportunities to get to ~20 deal threshold. Now assume that they could improve their win rates ten full points to 54%. When you multiply that new win rate times the 45 opportunities we now see that the rep would be closing ~24 deals. Closing four more deals that average $50K each would increase the revenues generated by each rep by $200K. Factoring in that increase in sales across the 100 person sales force and the results are a revenue increase of $20M.”

Even if you don’t have a sales force of 100, even if you’re just a team of one, these numbers illustrate the long-term effect of even small improvements in your sales skills. So it seems the question isn’t whether or not to invest in sales training. The rub, truly, is how to find the best one.


The ‘My Sales Leaders Are Already Awesome’ Excuse

This is very common, and also very self-defeating – sorry, but it’s true. Just because they’re awesome doesn’t mean they can’t be more awesome. I think – nay I know – I’m pretty awesome, and yet, I have two coaches and a mentor. Why? Because there will always be something to learn, and there will always be places to grow.

However, others don’t always see this. According to CSO Insights, “18.6% of organizations didn’t make any investment developments in their sales managers, as compared to the 5.5% who scrimped on training when it comes to salespeople.”

And the research shows, training sales leaders has a measurable impact on KPI’s, such as quota attainment, revenue plan attainment, and win rate. And as you may be able to guess, those who invested more, got bigger results.

“As an example, let’s look at win rates. The study’s average win rate for forecast deals was 46.2%. Those study participants who invested less than $500 got pretty much the same average win rate (46.1%). Those who invested more than $5,000 achieved a much better win rate of 51.4%. That’s a difference of 5.3 points and an improvement of 11.5%.”

And to see why sales leadership training is so effective is simple really. By training sales leaders, you give them the tools to train their sales team. It’s true, they have to do analytics, analysis, determine metrics, etc, but they also have to coach, manage performance, and have the difficult conversations.

To be a sales leader, you have to have many skills. So it’s important to be trained in them and to practice them. And just because you’re great at sales, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to manage a sales team effectively.

Over my career, I’ve seen tons of highly talented sales people promoted only to struggle as a manager, and be demoted shortly after. Or worse, they leave the job entirely. Which is a shame, because they were great salespeople.

But management, just like any other skill, is something we can learn, practice, and get better at. In fact, to be a good manager, you must.

And the truth is, salespeople are all very unique which makes us difficult to manage – and I count myself in that statement. Due to the nature of the job, we develop a thick skin, but the truth is, we tend to be very sensitive people. That’s why closing deals is so important in developing confidence.

I developed a defense mechanism pretty early on. When I closed a deal, it was all because of me, my skills, and my determination. I was King of my domain. When I lost a deal, it was because the product or service was terrible.

By putting your sales leaders through six-months of training, you don’t just get six-months of training. You give the sales leaders the tools to continue training your sales team, long after the session ends.


The ‘I Can’t Make it Fit Into my Schedule’ Excuse

Ok, I’ll admit, this excuse often isn’t BS. As salespeople and sales leaders, you’re extremely busy. And your time is valuable, in fact, it’s your most precious resource. And I get that.

That’s why we designed BIG to fit into your busy life. Sessions are held at times that won’t impact your day-to-day. I don’t want to get in your way of making money; I want you to make more of it!

I want to help you win bigger deals, close more of them, and continually improve as your business grows.

I also encourage members to speak their mind, and tell me what they need, when they need it. Yes, my job is to bring my expertise to the table, but I also recognize people are on their own journey – and that’s what makes life one BIG, beautiful experience.

So I work with the individual to deliver what they need, when they need it. That’s how I constantly improve and grow as well.

Plus, BIG is designed to help business people, entrepreneurs, and small businesses increase their revenue in the most time-efficient way possible. Our focus is on adding value. After all, wasting time is one of the worst business sins there is.

Members may only need 10 minutes for guidance to close a $20,000 deal. That’s some BIG value. In a 3-hour session, of course they’ll be lots to learn. But if 10 minutes is what they need, then 10 minutes it is.


The ‘Won’t Training Hurt Their Confidence?’ Excuse

Quite the opposite really. My job is to build their confidence. I do this by giving them skills to handle any situation. Then we rehearse various scenarios in a safe, low-risk environment. People don’t lose confidence from training; they lose confidence by being ill-prepared when it really counts.

Having a customer turn you down hurts. You can’t help but take it personally – I know from experience. We’ve all heard the adage, “people buy from people they like,” so if you’re asked not to return… ouch!

My job is to ensure a safe environment in which to learn, develop, test, and rehearse. As a qualified coach, I bring all my expertise to my members. I utilize all the tools in my toolbox to assist in people’s development.

I use NLP, both as a tool to teach to members, and as a way to assist people in getting past their fears and limiting beliefs. I wrote my thesis on self-efficacy, so I draw on these methods as well. My portfolio and toolkit is massive. I utilize every tool it takes to get my members motivated and to gain confidence too.

And due to the customizable nature of BIG, members don’t feel like they’re being shaped in some pre-made cookie cutter configuration. My whole training ethos revolves around teaching from the heart.

In other words, I take a human-centric, people-first approach. I teach intuitively.

With BIG, it’s never a one-size fits all dilemma. People are able to focus on the elements of the program that makes the most sense for them, wherever they’re at.

When members join BIG, we encourage them to create their own schedule. Though, if you don’t have a plan, we’ll coach and support you with that too.

Let’s say, when you join, you’re in the middle of a very important negotiation with a big client. It would make sense for you to focus on negotiation skills. That’s what’s likely to make a BIG difference.

BIG caters to everyone at different stages, and over the course of attending, you’ll get all the tools you need to grow. Grow your business, grow your revenue, and grow as a person.


How we Ensure BIG Results

The problem with a lot of sales-training courses is that they’re tailored to the amount of time a salesperson can take off work or be on the road. So you get a 2-day course that covers only part of the sales process, and within a week, 90% of the information is forgotten.

So, you get a wash and a wax, when what you really need is a paint job, a transmission replacement, and a rebuilt engine.

That’s why we’ve developed BIG to be an ongoing program that covers all the elements of sales, sales management, and business development. In other words, you get everything you need to grow your business.

It’s also run by a world-class sales trainer – Hey! That’s me! – who’s sold and trained for some of the biggest brands in the world. And through my 14 years of sales training – and over 30 years in sales – I’ve learned the key isn’t to pack years of experience into 2 days of training and then get back to your job.

The key is to spread the training over an extended period. That way you can be constantly learning, developing, improving, and refining.

We’ve just had the soccer – or as we say in the UK, football – World Cup. We saw incredible talent and some incredible acting too. World class athletes sure know how to draw a foul! But the thing is, the players don’t train for 2 days then head to the stadium. They’re coached, mentored, trained, and supported every day, in all aspects of the game from skills, to fitness, to nutrition, and beyond.

And to make a BIG difference, that’s the approach we have to take. So after 14 years of coaching, training, and mentoring, I’ve developed a way to deliver the results every business and professional needs.

Good selling, and GoBIG.



Chris Stock

Chris Stock is one of the world’s leading sales experts. He is founder of the Business Institute for Growth based in San Diego. BIG supports entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises grow their business, through growth expertise, know-how and strategic vision.

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