Reps aren’t the ones who need revving up!

Paul Nolan

You could have an endless budget to invest in training and it would only go so far if you and other frontline managers in your company aren’t invested personally in the process.

“You’ve got to do a coaching session with your frontline managers because it’s essentially malpractice if you don’t,” says Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer of Corporate Visions, a globally recognized provider of marketing and sales training.

Riesterer says research shows that adoption of sales training techniques increases by 40 percent when a manager has been taught how to coach the techniques covered and follows through.

Jeff Seeley, CEO of sales training provider Carew International, says companies’ executive teams worry too much about salespeople buying into the training that they invest in and not enough about bringing mid-level managers on board.

“Once we get people in the classroom, there is a thirst for knowledge. Where we have problems with most of our clients is engaging leadership,” Seeley says. “They say, ‘We have to do something about our sales team,’ but the reinforcement, follow-up and making this part of the culture is the tough part.”

Carew provides executive briefings before training begins as part of its package. Corporate Visions builds a one-day “train the trainer” sessions into its platform (and prices it aggressively enough to make it a no-brainer).

“The sales manager has all of the influence in the world,” says Riesterer. “If they feel like they’ve been let in on what’s going to happen and they had an opportunity to respond to that, we have seen that create the most enthusiasm and best acceptance at companies. All the promotion you can do to salespeople will pale in comparison to what their manager tells them.”