- January 12, 2009
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
I was on site at a client’s last week to kick-off their training. At the end of the kick-off I asked each salesperson for their three biggest lessons learned. One salesperson had difficulty coming up with anything of substance. It turned out that he was new to sales and when we assessed him two months earlier, our assessment indicated that he was not trainable. The client wanted him in the program anyway because he had a hunch it would work out. “Not trainable” manifests in different ways but usually has the same outcome – salespeople don’t improve.
There were a number of other salespeople who weren’t included in the program because the assessment indicated they weren’t trainable either. After the kick-off the client revealed that those salespeople were, as I predicted to him, relieved not to be included except for one who did want to take part. The one? The assessment indicated that this particular salesperson is trainable but the client did not want to include him.
Trainable salespeople behave differently than salespeople who are not trainable. This provides a nice little glimpse into how they are different. You can develop trainable salespeople but it’s very difficult to develop those who aren’t. Trainable salespeople usually offer very little resistance to training and coaching efforts, while those who aren’t trainable either don’t care enough to participate, or they offer so much resistance that they ruin it for everyone.
By now you’ve read Jim Collins’ book Good to Great. The concept everyone takes away from the book is having the right people in the right seats. With our assessment we not only have the ability to put the right salespeople in the right roles, but to put the right ones in the right training seats too.