A professional sales trainer cannot bask in the glory of past performance and train people on the art of selling without leading by example.
You can either do it or not do it. “Climb the Wall!”
These days I find many sales trainers in the market who train on Selling skills by reading a few books of the subject matter and lacing the same up with good English and Oratory skills. This is a farce. Neither can you learn swimming and definitely you cannot teach swimming to someone by reading books. You gonna go to the water to experience what swimming is all about. Sales is also something similar.
The other day I met a retired Colonel from Indian Army imparting a program on Selling Skills. When I encountered him with this query of mine, he replied : ” If I can sell death to my soldiers, I do understand selling”. I ,really seek your response to this.
On another instance I met an Action Coach, an ex-banker and a prolific trainer in General Management. He was also taking a session on Sales and his reply to my query was : “What is the big deal man? I have handled things which are much more difficult, what is there in Sales!” . I felt hurt and then pity at those who get trained on sales under this Action Coach.
Let me give you a check list to select your Sales Trainer:
Must have hands on experience of the relevant form of selling for at least 10 years. ( Relevant forms: Direct, Key Account Mgt., Channel Sales, Institutional Sales, Modern Retail Trade)
Should be able to practice whatever the trainer preaches at least in a pilot program.
Should have at least 1000 hours plus of training exposure in corporate. This claim should be backed up by evidence.
Should share tool kits and selling aids with salespersons being trained.
Should track KRA’s of the training program for at least 3 months after the training program
I am writing this blog with no malice towards anyone. This is purely an observation which is being documented for the benefit of those HR professionals who do the job of choosing the sales trainer for their sales teams.