Advice: "I hired a sales trainer, but my team isn't using any of the new tactics. How can I get them on board?"

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Dear Quota Team,

I'm a sales manager at a mid-sized company that sells financial services to individuals. I manage a team of 10 reps. I recently hired a sales trainer to run a full-day workshop (over Zoom). The trainer came highly recommended from a friend who is also a sales manager. He couldn't say enough good things about the training and how it helped his team.

My team seemed engaged (enough) during the session, although I did hear some grumbles from a few reps about losing out on time that could be spent selling. Overall I felt that it was a success, and that the trainer had new and interesting strategies that we weren't currently using.

The problem is, it's been two weeks now and it doesn't seem like any of the reps are using the new playbook or tactics from the training session. Every time I bring it up they either dodge the question or make up some excuse of why they are still doing things the old way. I invested a lot of time and money in this new training to help the team, and it seems like they are totally uninterested. How can I get them motivated to at least give it a chance?

Wondering in North America  

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Dear Wondering,

Thanks for writing in. While we’re not experts in sales training, we know a few people who are, so we reached out to Samantha McKenna, CEO of #samsales, a sales and sales leadership expert, to get her take. 

Here’s what she said: 

1. A full day of training can be...a lot.  And teams tend to retain 10% of what they learn without reinforcement.  If it was a one-and-done training without reinforcement, it's going to be tough to build those new muscles.

2. "If it's measured, it'll be done" – is the squad being measured, spiff'd, or KPI'd on the new sales processes?

3. Oftentimes, we see trainers introduce a new 32-step method to sales rather than saying, "Here are ten small changes you can make to what you already do really well." If there's too much to follow, you put adoption at risk.

4. Pull one of your top performers aside and ask them directly why they haven't adopted the new practices. You’ll know if your top performers find value in something; they'll be the first to adopt it. But if they aren't, it could be a sign that the training didn't resonate.

5. Call #samsales next time! Wait… what? Who said that?

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