Why hold sales training off-site?

Sales Training

Sales Training

As VPs of Sales and Sales Training Directors think about the sales training to achieve their 2015 sales goals, many decisions need to be made: ranging from what the sales training will cover – to how it’s delivered (online or face-to-face or blended) – to when the sales training will be conducted – to how to communicate the purpose of the sales training before it actually happens.

Unfortunately once decisions are made about the what, how, and when, other important secondary factors impacting the sales training don’t get much attention. One secondary but important factor is:  Where will the training be held?

A few months ago we wrote a blog proposing that sales training and national sales meetings are an odd couple.  An equally dysfunctional idea is sales training programs that are taught on-site. In fact, we’d argue that in many cases sales training conducted on-site can lead to even more downsides than conducting it during a national sales meeting.

Conducting sales training off-site sets a tone from the get-go. It sends a message that the sales training is important and is the focus of the time together.  It also provides the opportunity to select the right type of training room given the structure and format of the training – which is a big deal as any Sales Training Director will tell you.

On the other side of the coin, the off-site commitment prevents sales reps from disappearing for those “short” meetings with someone in corporate because they’re in town.  Or, the reverse – someone from corporate seeking out a sales rep for a “high priority discussion.”

Off-site sales training also encourages socializing during the program that is important to salespeople. By being together – whether in formal or informational social activities – sales reps can meet one another, renew relationships, and learn from one another. Ask any successful salesperson and you’ll hear that social conversations with other sales reps have been one of the keys to their sales success.

Yes, off-site sales training cost more money.  But we would submit this is one of those “for want of a nail the kingdom was lost” type decisions.  Given the total cost of the designing the sales training plus the added payoffs if the training is more effective, then it is money well spent.

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©2014 Sales Momentum, LLC

 

 

 

 

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About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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2 Responses to Why hold sales training off-site?

  1. Jim Hughes says:

    Janet,

    Another nice reply to the previous article. I have been in sales, sales training and marketing for 30 years, and I agree whole heartedly with your conclusions. If people don’t believe us, ask Doc Rivers about the year the Celtics started their season by going to Europe to start training. Lot’s of good things happened. Experiencing stress is also a team builder. Ask people who were in the military. Even my training at IBM which was held in Atlanta built teamwork and friendships I still have today.

    Going off site is just another line item on the programs goals. Don’t skip it.

    By the way, this becomes a great added value for your client. Since all/most of us here provide training, we should know where there are good offsite locations to meet the training needs and at a reasonable cost. Work with the host of the meeting to determine their goals and whether you should plan on an agenda that requires an overnight stay!

    Good Selling
    Coach Hughes
    Sales Leadership Consulting, LLC

  2. Janet says:

    Great points, Jim – thanks for adding them – Janet

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