How do you decide if providing sales training for your dealership is worth the money? More importantly, how do you also make sure that it’s an investment with a solid return and not just another expense? For many dealerships and companies outside the auto industry, sales training is the fuel for the engine of the company. In Grant Cardone’s book, If You’re Not First You’re Last, Grant tells us the number one reason a business fails is not because it was under capitalized.
“People and businesses fail because they aren’t able to effectively sell their products and services in quantities great enough – and at prices high enough – to remain viable.”
There is a flip side however. Some dealerships and store cultures, see sales training as a waste of time, ineffective and intangible. Some believe it’s best to make it up as you go along… You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, sales people are lazy, you either got it or you don’t got it, not enough time, and so on…
One thing we can conclude either way is that if you’re people can’t service and sell a customer, you’re not going to remain in business very long. And while you may not see training as a viable solution, is it worth considering as a matter of prevention? If you want to avoid getting sick this flu season, how much value is placed on prevention? Once you have lung cancer for example, you’re now treating the disease and minimizing the discomfort. 20 years ago when you started coughing every morning, it would have been preventative to stop smoking and start an exercise regime.
Now the question becomes, is sales training worth it to immune your business and staff from financial and economic sickness and cancer? Preventive actions are always more economical. If 2008 taught us one thing it’s that bubbles like to burst. If your dealership’s prepared, you thrive anyway. If not, then you get to scramble to survive and then you find yourself relying just on luck, not skill. Which one’s more dependable?
Here’s a list of 24 questions to ask yourself in deciding if sales training is worth the investment:
- What do you pay your sales people?
- What do you pay your managers?
- Cash Value of employee benefits (insurance, 401k, vacation)?
- What bonus programs do you offer?
- What is the total compensation for sales staff?
- What is total compensation for managers?
- What is the importance of your sales department in relation to the solvency of the dealership (scale from 1-5)?
- Average time at work for sales person?
- Average time at work for manager?
- Actual time spent per day with clients and opportunities?
- Actual time spent per day prospecting?
- Current time invested in daily training, problem solving and preparation?
- What is your phone appointment to show ratio?
- What is your greeting to demonstration ratio?
- What is your ratio of proposals presented?
- What is your closing ratio?
- What is your current sales effectiveness (scale from 1-10)
- Optional ego factor: go back subtract 5% from questions 12-17 ;-)
- Where do you need to be?
- Desired outcome: What’s the difference between where you are and where you need to be?
- What would the desired outcome mean in terms of gross profit dollars per month?
- What is the cost associated with training per month?
- What is the difference between the monthly desired outcome and cost of training?
- Is It worth it?
Once you’ve decided to invest in training for your people, how do you do it effectively? Learning from experience alone (winging it) is expensive and the last thing you want is your sales people “learning” from your customers.
As a leader of your organization, you may struggle with managers who aren’t consistent, who don’t push the sales staff for excellence and who don’t like to talk to customers. You can struggle with finding the right people to hire and then the one’s you have now won’t go above and beyond. When you’re not there, do you know if there’s any real leadership? Does everyone there seems completely covered up. When and how do you train your managers and sales people? How do you push them for greatness? How do you dominate your market? How do you make sure that your training maximizes your advertising dollars?
Sales training needs to be quick, relevant, and solutions oriented. Sales people learn best when they get the help they need to solve the problems they are dealing with on a given day. Most sales people will resist education but embrace a solution. Give them something that will solve a problem and is relevant to them today and they will use it.
Training needs to be focused on creating and maintaining positive, enthusiastic employees with the right attitude who have a customer centered approach to selling and are operating at high levels of action and activity that will build the business and keep the business secure from any economic $@%# storm that may rear it’s ugly little head in the future.
If you have a question or would like to look at solutions that will help with training, meetings, and troubleshooting, leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Always happy to help!