Why Sales Training Fails and Other Wrong Answers

Sales Training Pitfalls and SolutionsOver the course of the past four months there have been two specific discussions on LinkedIn about which are the best sales trainers/methodologies.  (Thanks, Mike Kunkle, for pointing me toward one.)  An additional discussion has been going on for a while on the subject of why sales training fails.

Those of you who read or participate in these discussions, whether on LinkedIn or some other online social platform, know how frustrating it can be when people who don’t have any idea what they are writing about put forth their recommendations as though it were fact, or the truth, or even as if they were making any sense at all.

Regarding the question about the best sales training company, literally dozens of people spewed names of their favorite (or their own) training company without any regard to what the requirements were for the person asking the question.   It was a very embarrassing version of a popularity contest, and believe me, that’s no way to choose a sales training provider. (Disclosure: More than person was offended by my use of the word “spewed.”  I, on the other hand, was offended by their spewing.)

I’m not condemning everyone.  There are many real experts who take the time and effort to explain what they believe are the right answers.  Any many of those answers, from ESR’s perspective, are right.  Some of those experts post comments to help the person asking the question.  Others do it to promote themselves or someone else.  Some do it for both reasons, as I often do.

The question on why sales training fails was bizarre for different reasons.  Here is one exchange I had with another “contributor” to the discussion. He posted publicly:

“Dave- with great respect – how do you become an independent expert in something that you are not?”

I responded privately:

Hi M____, You wrote, “Dave- with great respect – how do you become an independent expert in something that you are not?”

Although I’ve read it ten times, I’m having difficulty understanding the gist of the question. Do you mean how does a person become an expert in something they are not? Or did you mean, how did Dave Stein become an expert in something Dave Stein is not an expert in? It’s the “you” that is confusing me.

Your writing “with great respect” is appreciated and leads me to believe it was the first interpretation, but I just wanted to check.


He responded privately:

Hi Dave,
Thanks for the email
Trust you are in great cheer in all things
The answers are in the questions!

The point is that a question can be recieved (sic) and percieved (sic) to mean different things
Thats (sic) the problem with sales training!

the question though did get you to act and think

What’s up with that? Am I missing something?

In any case, with all this going on about why sales training fails, ESR decided to formally launch an ebook on the subject, with the right answers.

You can click on the graphic to get your copy of The Top 7 Sales Training Pitfalls and 7 Solutions for Sustained Success. (Name and email address only are required.)

If you download and read the ebook, please let me know your thoughts.

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  1. says

    Hey Dave, first, you’re welcome! Then, a couple of quick points and head nods…

    Great work by ESR here, as always. Everything I see form your team is so dead-on accurate and aligned with my years of sales performance experience, that I can’t help but nod my head in agreement.

    This will never come out right, no matter how hard I try, so I will just “spew” it and claim good intentions and no ill will toward the offenders. Sometimes, I seriously can’t believe that people argue with years of experience, well-researched facts, sound business practices, logic, and frankly, timeworn proven-effective methods. I can’t help but laugh to prevent from crying, I think.

    Regarding the LinkedIn emails and the group “experts”… I wish I could say that’s rare, but it’s one of the reasons that I have begin to limit my group participation. Mostly now I lurk, looking for those who speak with logic, facts, and reason, and reach out privately.

    Trusting you are in great cheer in all things, 😉


  2. says

    Yes, Dave, we all spew, fighting to be recognised however I after I recently won a fairly decent training contract, I asked why they choose my firm, the answer was that I was the only company that asked what they wanted to achieve whilst all the others ‘spewed’ what they could do!

    A second case in point was a proposal I had lost, came back to me after two years to engage me over their first choose, the reason, a large variance in the quality of the people who sold the training against who delivered the training.

    I was always told to practice what I preach!