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The Quick Way to Tell if Your Sales Training Is Taking Root

Is your sales training changing the way your salespeople think about and approach customers? Or is it just going in one ear and out the other? Are people actually reading and absorbing those email newsletters you are sending out, or are they just scrolling through?

Over time, you’ll be able to tell if your sales training is effective because you’ll see an increase in sales. But that can take a long time, long time. What if you want to know right away if your team is responding?

One quick way to gauge whether or not your team members are incorporating their training into their daily lives is to pay attention to the language they use. Nearly every sales training methodology, whether it’s purchased from a vendor or developed in-house, uses particular terms for buyers, personality types, sales approaches or other factors in the sales process. If your sales people are incorporating those terms into their daily conversations, you know that they are thinking about the ideas presented.

Language is extremely powerful. Researchers say that the words you use can actually change your brain. According to neuroscientists, using and thinking words like “love” and “peace” can actually improve your cognitive function, while angry words “shut down the logic-and-reasoning centers located in the frontal lobes.” In other words, your words can make you smart—or stupid.

Using new sales terminology may or may not increase your sales teams’ collective IQ, but it will definitely indicate that the sales team is changing the way it thinks. And changing the way they think is the first step to changing the way they behave.

Managers and trainers can harness some of the power of language by using the company’s preferred terminology all the time. After all, some of the most effective training takes place outside the classroom. In coaching sessions, collaborative discussions, emails, podcasts, videos and any other training delivery mechanism you use, you should be incorporating the language you want the sales team to be using.

The sad truth is that while 94 percent of companies invest in sales training, only 9 percent of companies report that their training has led to positive behavioral changes in the sales staff. You can improve the odds that your organizations will be part of that 9 percent by choosing your words carefully.

You can find a lot more tips like this in “Maximizing the Effectiveness of Sales Training.” This four-part video training series covers the reasons why most sales training doesn’t work, and the seven-step plan for making sure your training does work.


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