Sales training investment not paying off? Here’s why

You realised you needed to up-skill yourself and/or your sales team, so you researched sales training. You went through a lot of trouble to find the trainers you felt were the best fit for your business, so you employed them to do the training for you – all at a massive cost, both from a revenue and time perspective. The training went well and everyone was psyched up for sales, ready to conquer the world!! But just 3 months down the line, and the warm fuzzy feelings have long since dissipated and the training outcomes are forgotten. Ouch!

The problem: Traditional sales training

Sound familiar? This is something that happens very often in the sales training world, and if you have experienced a similar situation, you are not alone. So why does this happen? Is it the training company’s skills? Is it the type of staff you have? While these are possibilities, the most likely cause to this problem is the relevance of the training. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking sales trainers or their knowledge and experience, but all too often, the delivery is incorrect.

The training you embarked on was most probably “tried and tested”, and proven to produce results. Therein lies the problem – a paintbrush approach to sales training, a silver bullet. The training program aims to solve every training problem you have in one big shotgun approach. The result? Disengaged delegates. For example, you have your best negotiators listening in on training on negotiation, when they possibly know more than your trainer. So they disengage and take in much less than what they would if the training was more relevant to their specific needs.

The solution: Modern sales training

How do you overcome this problem? You need to make the training relevant to the individuals in your sales team, by addressing their individual training and developmental needs – regardless of the level they are at in your business. Train them in the areas they need to be trained on. This makes the training far more relevant, and will most likely have a long-lasting impact on the work they do daily, and will become part of their daily habits. The results are more bang for your buck, and a sales function that performs better as a result.

Great, sounds like a plan! So where do you begin? Well, for starters, you need to know where your individual sales needs are – where your salespeople need improvement the most, on an individual basis. This may sound like a difficult task, depending on the size of your sales team, and how well you know them. But it does not need to be difficult at all, you already have all the information you need – it sits in your pipeline. The right sales trainer or training company will know how to extract the information they need to customise training modules that will address individual training needs.

At the end of the day, you have a training program that looks a little something like this (high level example only):

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This example is based on the information your selected sales trainer gained from engaging with you, to tailor your sales training program. So no training program will look the same, and the delegates only attend the sales training modules that are relevant to them (unless they have actively displayed interest in another module), even if they have a module designed especially for them.

The result

By tailoring your sales training programs to address the training needs of the individuals of your sales team, you make it relevant to them. Making it relevant is huge, because then they take the learning out of it that they require. It works because you are addressing a human need – something they need to be better at their job, which is so important to all of us in this day and age. Of course, the content needs to back up the approach, but the content is easy to get right when you follow this approach.

But this approach to training must surely be very expensive? On the contrary, it’s more cost effective. Training is typically charged per delegate, and time spent training. So using the problematic method of training means that all your salespeople will go through all the training content, which means the maximum charge for the training course. Using this modern, more effective approach, you essentially only pay for what you use. The overall result is more effective training, at a lower cost – more return on your investment.


Hi, I’m Martin Lamberti, founder of Rapid Sales Growth. Sales training is an ongoing requirement for any successful sales team. But getting the training course that is the right fit for your business and sales team is not always clear cut. Reach out to me at any time for an obligation free chat. My number is +27 10 003 1685, and my email is Or simply fill out the form below and I’ll get in touch with you. Chat soon, Martin.


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