Advanced Sales Training – Is There Such a Thing?

As a sales training and performance company, we should be pretty well positioned to answer this question. And, from our point of view, the answer (as the term is viewed in the marketplace) is no. We’ll tell you why we don’t believe in the concept of “advanced” sales training and provide some helpful analogies to demonstrate this opinion.

Let’s start by addressing a related misconception: tenured sales reps don’t need sales training.

This is 100 percent false. Sales training is simply the reinforcement and reapplication of the core fundamentals. No matter how good the perceived performance of a salesperson, there is always room for improvement.

All too often, sales organizations overlook tenured sales reps when it comes time for sales training efforts and instead focus on getting newer, greener sales reps “up to snuff.”

As far as we’re concerned, “snuff” is an arbitrary level of mediocrity that begs to be exceeded. At the core of any advanced skill set are solid fundamentals, therefore it stands to reason that higher performing salespeople are not necessarily more advanced, they simply execute the fundamentals better and more consistently.

Here comes the analogy:

When you think of a great professional golfer, it’s likely that Tiger Woods comes to mind.

When Woods was just 21 years old, he won the Masters by 12 strokes. At that point did he sit back and rest? No. He thought there was room for improvement and asked his coach to help retool his swing.

Then, between 2000 and 2002, he won 19 times on the PGA Tour, with six majors, including a stretch where he won four majors in a row. Did he stop there, satisfied with his performance, and rest on his laurels? Nope. Instead, he fired the coach with which he had so much success and opted instead to go back to the basics and learn a new way to build his swing.

Woods never settled for “snuff.” There was always a need for practice and room for improvement. This is the same reason professional basketball players still practice free throws and professional baseball players still field grounders. Solid fundamentals are at the core of any high performer.

This is not to say that different roles within the sales organization do not require different or unique skills, but those new or different skills are always built upon solid sales fundamentals.