In most sales careers, training is an on-going and consistent part of the job. Whether the training is product or industry centric or is focused towards improving sales skills, you will be hard-pressed to find a sales job that does not have a training requirement as part of the job expectations.
New to Sales Training?
If you are new to the wonderful world of sales, expect that most of the training you will attend will be focused on a combination of product/service understanding, learning more about your competition as well as some basic sales skills.
Becoming an expert in your industry and about your competitor's strengths and weaknesses, the more your customers will see you as a subject matter expert. And the more your customers see you as a subject matter expert, the more sales you will close.
Conversely, if you are either not offered sales training or do not take whatever training offered to you seriously, then it will be your competitor who is seen as the subject matter expert.
Been to a Few Sales Training Programs in Your Day?
For those not new to sales, the question becomes how much is "self-training" a part of your professional development program? Self-training can take many different forms. There are thousands of sales training books, multimedia programs, live seminars, business coaches and personal development programs available for personal training.
Perhaps the greatest value of personal training is that it can be directed towards your precise needs, interests or goals, while training offered by your employer is usually focused on their industry or products. The best approach is to maximize any time you spend in either personal or employer training and become the most trained sales professional in your market.
Dealing with Poor Training Programs
Go through enough trainings and you will inevitably find one that is simply terrible. Whether it is a book, a live seminar or a mandatory training from your employer, some training courses have little to no value. However, as a professional, your job should be to find at least one thing of value to take away from the training that you can use to improve your professional performance.
Doing so is not always easy and may take a healthy amount of creative thinking before uncovering something of value. Often times the true value of a training is not realized till well after the training ends. It is important to hold your judgement on a training that does not present some immediate benefits as the benefits may be substantial weeks, months or even years later.
Applying Training in the Field
Even if you take the best, most useful training sessions in the world, read the most inspirational books or attend the most popular live events in the world but do not apply the training to your job; your time has been wasted.
The best take away from any training is how the lessons/ideas learned in the training can be used in your daily activities. Unless you are taking a training course designed by your employer, the best training courses are very general and can be applied to most any industry. Your job, after completing a general training session, is to distill all the advice and integrate them into your daily tasks.