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Mila D'Antonio | May 30, 2012

Do You Have a Sales Training Disaster Story?


Sales professionals have all experienced this at one time or another: Crammed into the office conference room for two days and forced to eat stale doughnuts and chug strong coffee, they endure listening to a "sales coach" who preaches to them for 16 hours about a new sales methodology or how to connect with customers.

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Often times sales reps forget everything that they've learned as soon as they leave the sessions, and in many cases the information isn't relevant to how they sell to customers.

My sister is an account executive for a major television network affiliate in Pittsburgh. Last month, she and her colleagues spent the day in their conference room learning techniques like "how to make eye contact," and "the importance of a handshake."

Needless to say, she and her coworkers were bored and even angry at their director of sales for not properly researching the coaching session and for wasting their valuable time with such basic techniques.

Many organizations, like my sister's company, focus on the selling basics and overlook relevant concepts like how to effectively reach out to customers at the right time during the sales cycle or how to build an ROI model. In fact, many experts say that 80 percent of sales training doesn't stick. The problem is often the disconnect between management and employees and a lack of proper measurement to ensure the sales training actually worked.

To explore how organizations can avoid sales training disasters and overcome coaching challenges, I plan to feature this topic in an article on June 27. I'm looking to include some of your sales training disaster experiences, as well as positive ones in my article. Please email me at to send me your stories. I look forward to hearing from you.


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