Should You Train Unmotivated Sales Reps?

Should You Train Unmotivated Sales Reps?

I have been consulting with a lot of sales managers and business owners who need and want sales training, but they are concerned that the training might be wasted on some of their sales reps (sometimes as much as one-third of their team) because this portion of the reps are either resistant, or simply unmotivated.

“Why should I spend the money if one-third of my sales reps are going to tune out?” They ask me.

While I understand this is a reality for some sales teams (sad but true) what I remind these managers and business owners is that the training isn’t for “this group”, but rather for the other part of their team that is actually going to use and benefit from the training.

The improvement this part of the team makes will not only pay for the training in a week, but it will continue to pay dividends weeks and months after the training. Let me put it another way:

Here is a test — let’s say you are a sales manager and you have 10 sales reps. Three of those reps are at 80% of quota, four are at 65%, and three are at 30%. Who should you spend the most time with?

Most managers say they should spend 70% of their time with the four reps at 65%, and 30% of their time with the other 30%. That’s wrong.

The correct answer is you should spend 60% of your time with the three reps at 80% of quota, and another 30% with the four reps at 65%, and just 10% babysitting the other three reps at 30%. Why?

Because you’re going to get the greatest return if you can get the three reps up to 100% of their quotas (and they will be more capable and motivated to do so anyway), and if you can move 65% up to 75 or 80% – great, but the three reps at 100%quota will be your biggest return (and easiest to do).

The other 30% — let’s face it, most of these reps aren’t even going to be there in six months, are they?

So the bottom line is that training always pays off and is worth it, if you’re focusing on who is going to benefit, and how that’s going to pay off for you.

So rearrange your time and resources and concentrate on the winners on your team who are going to give you the biggest return. Provide them with the training and resources they need. Remember, they are the ones that make it all worthwhile.

By Nathan Dean

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