Why Do Large Companies Spend Too Much On Sales Training?

Why is it that when it comes to implementing a sales training program large companies almost always go with the most expensive, most complicated and least effective?

I have evaluated many, many programs. The worst ones were always so complicated to understand and implement that I knew the program would be abandoned by most sales teams within 60 days after being launched. Those that weren't were kept alive because the VP of sales was the person who made the decision to use it and until he was gone – all hope of a program that worked was gone.

The absolute best sales training program I ever saw was one created by Ron Willingham in the eighties. He originally called it "The Best Seller" and he wrote a book by the same title. He later wrote "Integrity Selling for the 21st. Century."

Why was it so good? Because it was simple, based on principles and not techniques, and it wasn't manipulative in any way. If you never sold anything you could read it and become successful. And, if you had been selling for many years, reading it would get you back to basics and increase your sales.

All the training materials were around $50 a person. Pay for a facilitator and you had a program that increased sales exponentially. I never saw it fail to get excellent results.

The last program I evaluated cost six figures and was considered a joke within the sales force of a large company that was implementing it. I never saw it used past the classroom. Large companies fall into a trap of believing that if a program has lots of bells and whistles and costs a lot – it must be really good.They need to see lots of "stuff" in order to justify the big price tag.

Small companies can't afford these kinds of programs or mistakes. In fact, most of the big name training companies will ignore you. However, there are lots of good independent people who can help you with your sales programs. Look for someone who has actually sold and been successful.

Higher price does not necessarily equate to higher quality and results when it comes to sales training.

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