"This sales training will increase your sales."

How often have you heard that when looking for sales training? Whether it’s a book, a CD, DVD, or a live course by a well known sales trainer, how do you know if it will work for you. If you’re investing money into improving your sales skills, or the skills of your employees, then it’s important you get a return on your investment.

It’s not just money you’re investing, but also your valuable time, or the time of your sales team. That’s time that could be spent on other actions to generate business. Work out what each hour of training is going to cost you, not just the cost of the training, but also the cost in lost sales of the training and putting it into action. So getting a good return is important.

Is it right for your product

Look at how the sales trainer, or author, presents sales closing techniques. This is a good indicator of how appropriate the training is for your product.

A high value or technical product can’t be sold with one line closes that would be effective in retail sales. Selling with a process that includes closing and agreement gaining at each stage is a good way to sell some products, but only if it’s necessary. If your product has one unique selling point, such as a competitive price, then do you really need a long sales process?

Consider the process that the sales training uses and assess it against the type of product that you sell. You are looking for selling techniques that match the value, technical level of the features, and the main selling points of the product or service you sell.

How will your customers feel

Put yourself in your customer’s position. How would you feel if a salesperson tried to sell your product to you, using the sales pitch that is going to be trained to you or your sales team?

Will it keep the buyer’s attention? Are they going to feel patronized, confused, rushed, or bored? Will there be buyer’s remorse, and cancelled orders, because they have been manipulated into agreeing to a sale? It’s important for sales trainers to get the balance of logic and emotion in a sales pitch just right. You don’t sell dream vacations with technical data, and you wouldn’t sell a technical piece of machinery on pure feelings.

Financial return

I’ve worked with companies that were looking for a sales training but had no idea of the results they wanted. Think about it, whether it’s for yourself, or for your employees, what do you expect from the training? Would you buy any other product or service for your business without having a clear objective of what you want to gain?

Before you buy a sales book, course, or training program, clearly set out what you want to gain from it. You might think a book is a cheap enough investment. It’s a small cost even if there is no, or little, increase in sales as a result of the purchase. But what about the bigger investment you are making. Your time has a value, it’s precious. When you buy any type of sales training, even a book, you spend time taking in the training, and time putting it into action. Invest your time wisely.

Think about the results you want from your investment, and then find the right training. Not the other way around. Look at targets, revenue, and budgets. Calculate the increase in sales you are looking for, either as a percentage, or as a number of sales. When looking for the right course of action use this figure as a way to assess the training offered. Ask yourself, what will this sales training cost me in time and money, and what increase in sales can I realistically expect.

Consider your investment

The most elaborate, expensive, or most time consuming sales training may not be the most effective for you, or your business. Just because sales training is expensive doesn't mean it works. Look for value as you would with any other business purchase.

Look for the reasons why the training will give you the results you want. Has it worked for others, are the selling techiques proven in real sales situations, and what results have been achieved. Only when you can see the reasons and evidence as to why this sales training will work for you should you invest in it.

Author's Bio: 

Hi, I'm Stephen Craine, a working sales manager for a major company. To stay successful in my role I constantly update and improve my sales skills and knowledge. It keeps me in a job, and it's how I earn my living.

You can see the sales course I use with my sales teams at Sales Training Course. Consider if it's the right training to achieve your goals and how it measures up when assessed against your needs.

You can see more free sales training on all aspects of the sales process at my website Sales Training Sales Tips.