One of the biggest mistakes a company can make when choosing a sales training program or provider is to look outwards before they look inwards. Let’s go back a few steps and explain what we mean by that.
Imagine you are going to a new hairdresser for the first time. Do you walk into the salon and tell them to “go for it” without explaining what type of haircut you want? Or do you take some time to reflect on the style you’re after and do your best to convey your expectations?
Unless you’ve happened to walk into an amazing salon – with mind-reading staff – then you probably won’t get the hairstyle you want without first explaining your wishes.
The same principle can be applied to choosing a sales training provider. In order to find the right fit, you need to be clear about your own goals. You have to look inwards – and reflect on what’s important to you – before you can look outwards.
A specific solution requires specific training
Think of it this way: there’s no point in hoping a sales training provider will have all of the answers if you don’t know which questions you want to ask. If you don’t come to them with specific problems, they probably won’t be able to deliver specific solutions.
Of course, a good provider will steer the conversation towards your goals and do their best to understand your business – but do you really want to leave this up to chance? As with hairdressers, not all providers have your best interests at heart.
To pick a provider that’s right for you business, it’s a good idea to make a checklist of your expectations. Write down everything you are looking for and refer to this throughout your search.
What if you're not sure what you want?
That’s okay – this in itself can be a goal. Your goal could be to “find a provider that can help me better understand my sales training needs”. As long as you know that you need help in this area, you can communicate this expectation and find a provider who is well equipped to offer solutions.
Once you have established your requirements, the next step is to set a budget and a time frame. Would you like to form a long-term partnership with a provider, or do you just need a one-off course? How much money are you willing to spend for the right fit? The answers to these questions will help you narrow down your options.
Next, create a shortlist of 2-3 providers and dig a little deeper. When you request a quote, ask them to provide case studies or testimonials as well, so you can get a feel for how they work and what they’ve delivered in the past. If possible, ask to see their client list too. The more information you can find out about their track record, the better.
This may seem like a lot of work – and you haven’t even started training yet! – but a little research goes a long way. Sales training is a two-way street; you will get out what you put in. Be wary of any providers that try to tell you otherwise (there’s no such thing as a magic bullet for sales training success).
Want more tips for choosing the right provider? Check out our free guide, ‘Why Sales Training Does NOT Work’, to learn how to avoid making common sales training mistakes.