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20 reasons to invest in sales training


Often we as sales trainers are asked to justify why a business should pay for our services. In this article I will provide 20 compelling reasons why sales training is not simply a cost that your company should carry but rather an investment that all ambitious companies and organisations should seriously consider to help them achieve both their strategic and tactical goals. This applies equally to SME’S with just an owner/founder salesperson right up to large integrated sale-forces teams.

Sales training reason #1 “Increase your sales figures.”

This is self evident. All training courses worth their salt should pay for themselves. After attending a sales training course results should be manifest in increased ongoing sales. The incremental margin easily paying for the sales training investment.

Sales training reason #2 “Increase your skillset”

Sales training courses should leave the recipient(s) of the training with a heightened skillset and a willingness to try new things. Knowledge is power and the more sales knowledge that you can develop the more sales you will make.

Sales training reason #3 “Increase your ideas base

Very often a good sales training course will act as a kind of internal brainstorm. New ideas relevant to the company will flow from new thinking introduced during the course. New ideas drive results and new innovations drive sales,service and delivery.

Sales training reason #4 “Increase your confidence

Confidence is key in selling and an increase in confidence stemming from the learning and development from sales training will have powerful results for your sales team. If a new idea is correctly introduced, correctly taught and correctly assimilated the results will be quickly evident on your bottom line.

Sales training reason #5 “Increase motivation”

A motivated sales force is vital for any company. The sales process flows when the employee is engaged and motivated. The twin benefits of investing in employee knowledge as well as giving increased opportunity for commission will ensure a more motivated sales team. Increased motivation also reduces sickness and absenteeism levels and guarantees your team are spending more and better quality time selling.

Sales training reason #6 “Increased retention of staff”

Losing employees, especially good ones is a massive drain on any business. The cost of losing embedded knowledge and recruiting new employees often dwarfs sales training costs.Results show that a well trained employee is more like to be loyal to the company and hence more likely to continue to show up and perform. If you invest in your people they will invest more of their time in your business.


Sales training reason #7 “Increased competitive edge”

Are your competitors training their sales team? If they are, you are at a disadvantage. New thinking, new methods and new techniques resulting from sales training will give whoever is selling on behalf of your company an edge that your competitors may not have. Competitive advantage is tough to achieve at the best of times, sales training is a fantastic and low cost way of forging ahead.


Sales training reason #8 “Increase in technical competencies”

Some people are naturally fantastic vendors of your product. Others have to learn this skill and work at it. By employing the use of a sales trainer you increase the technical competencies of the team. This has an effect of raising the bar at the top level but also by raising the lowest common denominator at the bottom. Increase in technical competency may only give rise to a 5% improvement to your top people but it can give a 20/30% boost to your lower performers and close the competency gap.

Sales training reason #9 “Decrease in costs”

Moving away from the increases for a moment and focus on an area that all companies would like to decrease. Costs. Good sales training will create a structure where inefficiencies are ironed out. By training your team to sell better and all that’s associated with that you decrease costs in terms of time costs, output costs, salary to commission ratio cost, opportunity costs and even consumption costs.

Sales training reason #10 “Increase in team strength”

Team dynamic is vital in an organisation that sells. Engaging in a sales training program makes the team bond stronger and makes the flow of information within the team better. It also allows the team to learn and grow together and builds commonalities allowing deeper absorption of the training with the organisation. The team that trains together wins together.

Sales training reason #11 “Increase in professionalism”

Sales is the key skill within the new post recession economy. Nothing else can happen for the company unless it’s selling. Thus sales must be treated as a professional occupation rather than the problem child of the firm as it so often is. Good sales training is a big step towards fostering that professionalism. Good sales training on one level makes the recipient feel more professional about his or her role and on another level sends a message to the trainees that selling is something to be taken very seriously and to be worked on constantly.

Sales training reason #12 “Increase in efficiency”

Sometimes the simplest ideas produce the greatest results. I have often seen sales training where the greatest win is not an introduction of new ideas but rather a change in, or a discarding of old inefficient ideas. A good sales trainer will be able to identify this and tailor the course accordingly.

Sales training reason #13 “Increase in customer satisfaction”

Good sales training produces instant behavioural results, great sales training see a long term ingraining of these results in the everyday behaviour of your sales people. Without customers there can be no company, without more customers there can be no growth. Sales training when delivered correctly fosters heightened levels of customer delight. When sales people view customers as not merely commission drivers but rather as their assets to be nurtured and developed the long term win for the company is huge.

Sales training reason #14 “Increased structural benefits

Whilst I would never advocate a rigid uniformity within a sales team I do champion the benefits of a structural consistency within the sales team. The sales team must learn to sell within defined parameters and must not be undermining the company offering by “going off the reservation”. This is especially beneficial when a new joiner comes onto the team. Good sales training will give an outline structure that allows visibly and consistency within the team making the process easier to manage.

Sales training reason #15 “Increased ambition”

Often before undergoing a sales training course the sales person is unaware of their potential and handicapped by their beliefs. Properly delivered a sales training course will sow seeds of ambition and raise the ceiling of what can be achieved. Belief is a key component in sales success, increased realistic beliefs will raise the ambition levels of your people and push them to achieve more for themselves and deliver more for the company.

Sales training reason #16 “Increased responsibility”

Sales managers frequently tell me that they need their staff to take more responsibility for their performance. If you decide to employ the services of a sales trainer you get this responsibility instantly. By training staff and giving them new tool and skill-sets to achieve you remove performance excuses. Sales training also shows the team that you are serious about growing both them and the business and ensures that they take more responsibility for their actions and performance.

Sales training reason #17 “Increased understanding and buy in”

By investing in a sales team the company also buys the right to ask more of them. If an organisation needs increased sales figures in the next quarter for example it’s easier to ask the team to perform at the higher level if you have invested in them. Asking for 20% uplift with nothing to back it up can be a hard demand for management to make. If the team have been recently, or are about to be trained, their understand of managements needs and their buy in will be greater. Decreasing the resistance that change often demands can be overcome by a small investment in sales training. We wouldn’t ask our troops to go to war without weapons and so it is with sales people. If you are planning a campaign, arm them appropriately.


Sales training reason #18 “Increase in the vibrancy of company culture”

One of the key metrics for a successful sales team is the potency of the company culture within which they work. A strong defined culture generally allows sales to thrive. A weak or negative culture can be a sales inhibitor. A good sales trainer will enquire about the company’s culture in advance of training and tailor the course accordingly. By investing in training for your sales team you build the culture and you strengthen the belief system within the organisation.

Sales training reason #19” Increase the alignment of company and employee goals”

Oftentimes management are so involved within the organisation that they miss the little things that an external sales trainer will pick up on quickly. I have seen management’s frustration with sales teams that are not pulling in the same direction as that of the organisation. Sales training brings the two together. By agreeing an objective with management and then by delivering training accordingly the sale trainer can align the goals of both parties. Sending people on sales training sends a message, delivery of the training makes this message concrete in the minds of the team so that all parties are working towards common goals and all parties understand their roles to achieve this.


Sales training reason #20 “Increase the joined up thinking within the organisation”

Too often the people who are selling are left out of the decision making process and this creates an entrenched attitude. Too often the people selling have preconceived ideas about other areas of the business that does not allow a smooth flow within the company. A good sales trainer will investigate the frustrations of the stakeholder departments as well as the sales team before designing a training course. For example one of the biggest hurdles I see when training is that the sales team believe that marketing or I.T. etc are holding them back. On speaking to these departments often the belief is a mutual one. Sales training when done right removes excuses and encourages solutions, the benefits of which on their own are huge to any organisation.
I hope that reading this has been a useful exercise. As a corporate trainer I obviously have a vested interest in selling my product but the above 20 reasons are not simply a sales pitch. Having worked on both sides of the fence, as a manager running a large sales force who had to maximise return on training investment and now as a trainer working to deliver maximum return for my clients training investment I understand the decision making process.
Sales training is essential for all of the reasons outlined above and should never be viewed as cost but rather as an investment. Return on investment is easily achieved when the training is well prepared, well delivered and well followed up. My absolute belief is not how can we afford to pay for sales training but rather how can we afford not to?
Just take a small recap of the above 20 points? If you were asked if you would pay, say £50, to achieve just one of the above points with just one of your people any manager would consider it money well spent. Achieving all 20 of the above benefits is a huge win and it is possible with the right training and the right trainer. Next time you consider the cost of training divide the sum involved by 20 (for each of the points above) and then by the number of people attending the training and you will see exactly how small an uplift is needed in order to guarantee return on your investment.
Simon Kenny is Director Sales and Leadership of


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