You need to know why excellent sales training does not last


So, you just finished your kickoff with some great sales training and your staff is ready to go kick some ass. You did everything right. You hired a well-known specialist. The staff learned not only about your products but also how to read body language, ask open questions and lots of other exciting tools.

You are psyched about its impact, and now you just sit there, waiting for the inevitable stream of great numbers to appear on your screen. But nothing extraordinary like what you had in mind happens, so you keep tapping F5 to get the updated results. The first few days it seems like revenue went up a bit, but then the line just flattens out and you end up exactly where you started. Well, actually a bit worse. You now wonder how you could spend this much money on absolutely nothing. You might even swear that you will never waste money on training again.

Before you make that decision, you might want to consider what went wrong.

I’ve been working in a promotion agency for 9 years. We helped a lot of brands to sell their products in peak hours in stores. To do this well, we knew that training was essential. So, we did train the staff and it worked, but just not for a very long time. We also did mystery shopping, so we monitored what the staff did and didn’t do on the job.

The staff almost always did everything very well, apart from two things dependent on proactive talks within 24 hours prior to the assignment they had. Those two things were if they used open questions, and if they had a great sales closure. When a team leader talked to the staff within 24 hours before they meet consumers, the mystery shopping result regarding open question and sales closure went from 2.5 to 4.5 on a 0-6 scale.

The team leader asked which open questions the staff had considered, what their thoughts were on how to convert product capabilities to the advantages of the products, and then by extension to the outcome of having the product. Then they asked which sales closure technique they were most fond of and planned to use when they stood in front of the consumers. And it worked! The staff kept getting the higher ratings from the mystery shoppers and sales went up.

Are you now thinking that I should tell you something new and interesting instead of this, which you already know? If so, I’d rather just tell you to do something about it. Start to train and motivate your staff regularly instead of a one-off that doesn’t work. Don’t use cost as an excuse, because nothing is more expensive than staff who don’t reach their full potential. And with new technology, it’s cheaper than ever to train and motivate your staff on a regular basis.

That’s why we created Frontliners. We want to create more smiles. We want to make sure every consumer is always met with the best possible service from trained and motivated sales staff.

If you want to get ahead, by having the best staff and help them be at their best at all times, you should see this.


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