Hiring a Sales Training Company
If you want to improve your sales performance, hiring a sales training company might be a great idea. Good sales consultants can translate decades of experiences into measurable improvement over the course of days. If you hire the right company you can certainly see quick results, but how do you know if you’ve hired the right firm? Here are a few things to consider as you search for the right sales training company.
Understanding the Current Stage of Your Company
Some sales training companies will try and convince you that they can help regardless of the problem. You can be easily convinced that they can help because most sales trainers can sell (that’s the business they’re in after all). To avoid the common mistake of hiring a firm that hasn’t successfully solved your sales problem, you need to clearly state what results you expect to receive at the end of the engagement. For example, double annual recurring revenue for our SaaS offering in 12 months. The consultant you need to hire needs to demonstrate that they have done this multiple times, either as a consultant or as a sales leader for a company. Not all sales consultants have the same experience. Good practices implemented at the wrong time will still result in a bad outcome. Map the expert’s track record to your company’s current struggles.
Those That Can’t Do Teach
Many sales training companies teach theory, not execution. They speak in broad generalizations and lack tactical advice to propel your company forward now. Ask questions that will help you determine how much execution the consultant can deliver. If you expect a partner to help you and the team execute the changes required to grow, then you need to be confident that the sales consultant knows how to execute the changes in your business. Don’t let the consultant deliver general principles or theory that aren’t backed by actual results within a similar company. The best sales training companies are still practitioners. For example, I actively serve on the board of advisors for a number of clients, this keeps me relevant. Long-term service with actual companies is a good sign the firm is successful and relevant.
Information is free. Don’t pay for it. The best sales training companies have read all the books, research and information on sales and they have developed their own proprietary methods, practices and frameworks based on many years of experience. Look for firms that have codified their expertise into a framework that is easy for you to follow. Good sales training companies have carved a niche in the broad space of sales training. They don’t accept bespoke work that can’t be mapped to a process, framework or a clear set of deliverables. Good sales consultants already have an offering that solves your team’s problem. If you are interviewing a consultant that can’t produce a framework document or clear product descriptions for the service they are selling you, then move on. For example, I have an offering explicitly for the annual sales planning exercise. It’s very relevant for sales teams that are entering a new selling year. The framework is tried and true. I’ve delivered this offering to countless teams and the results are repeatable.
Remember that sales consultants can sell, even the ones that aren’t capable of teaching you and your company how to improve. Before you enter an expensive engagement, make sure you have a vetting process that clearly identifies the problem you need solved and builds confidence that the prospective firm has a proven track record of fixing this problem for companies like yours.