Has sales leadership become a lost art? I hear all the rhetoric about how marketing has replaced selling, and that consumers are now much more educated and informed as a result of the Internet. But have consumers become more sophisticated out of necessity because so many companies they do business with have poorly trained sales staffs?
I know I am biased on this subject. I was blessed to have received nine months (yes you read that correctly) of intense sales training at AT&T’s National Sales School, and received a world class training experience. At that time, there were a number of companies who had similar outstanding sales training programs including IBM, Xerox and Proctor & Gamble to mention a few. And all of these companies were also recognized as the market leaders in their respective industries. Is there a direct correlation here?
Today, unfortunately, sales training or training in general seems to be an afterthought for many companies. Companies who have abandoned their sales training programs assume new sales hires come fully trained with a Rolodex of prospects, and are ready to hit the ground running. So, here’s a great question for you, if more and more companies adopt a similar philosophy toward training, where do all these new sales hires go to receive the sales training they need in this modern era to be effective?
If we transfer the responsibility for training and development solely onto the employee’s shoulders, aren’t we doing a disservice to both the employee and our companies? Sales leaders are made not born, and it’s time for us to recommit to training, developing and mentoring our high performing sales leaders of the future. To continue to do otherwise, is to put American business and the economy at further risk.
COPYRIGHT © 2010-11 John Carroll