In my sales consulting practice, I have conversations with senior managers every day about sales professionals who are not generating enough volume. At some point during our discussion, executives will often comment, “I don’t have time or the money to train them.” Without an investment of time, money and training, it is highly unlikely that sales results will miraculously improve on their own.
The truth is, success in selling doesn’t happen without a well-trained and coached sales staff.
All managers understand that they need good sales professionals if they want to grow their business to the next level. But, scaling a business isn’t easy and requires managers to make tough decisions about who they hire and what areas they need to invest in to reach their goals.
In my experience, managers recognize that something needs to change for better sales performance and training could be an important solution for them. But sometimes, training isn’t the right choice if the sales talent isn’t there.
Here are three questions managers should ask themselves before investing in a sales training program:
- Is the lack of performance because the producer is not matched for mortgage sales? If the answer is “Yes,” a training investment isn’t the right solution.
- Is the lack of performance due to an employee with sales talent having trouble adjusting their selling techniques, especially prospecting? If the answer is “Yes,” the originator needs coaching first before training.
- Is the lack of performance because the salesperson is not using the latest selling techniques although the employee is willing to change? If the answer is “Yes,” this employee is the perfect candidate for learning new selling techniques and is someone who will be worth the training investment.
Good sales training can be a significant investment so managers must understand why originators are failing to perform. Lenders should identify individual sales problems before enrolling originators in a training program and hoping that sales results will improve.
What is Good Sales Training?
Good sales training has several components that should be considered before sales managers select a program and roll it out. I’ve been successfully training originators for years and in my opinion, these are the required elements for a high-quality training program that delivers results:
- Sales training should be live and conducted by an actual trainer who has sold for a living. Today, “live” doesn’t necessarily mean on-site but refers to training delivered live via webcam. Many programs use previously recorded video content that does not enable students to ask questions. Selling can be a complex process and when students have questions, they need to be able to speak to an expert right then and there.
- Sales training should be personalized and relevant to the group’s overall level of expertise. Students with similar issues should be grouped together so they can share their selling experiences. Training should have high interaction with instructors and ample time for student participation. This means that originators should be asked to present or show that they have absorbed the new learning material.
- Students who are part of a sales training program should receive feedback on their performance as well as post-training follow-up to reinforce key learning points once students have had a chance to implement the training material out in the real world.
Good sales training can be hard to find but is often well worth the time and effort, paying for itself many times over. The quality of the interaction that originators have with consumers shouldn’t be left to chance. A great customer experience starts with the partnership between lenders and their originators. The better trained sales professionals are, the more likely their lenders will be successful.