Chapter 4: Beyond the Event: An Overview of a Full Sales Training Solution Including Sales Training Reinforcement

WhatsNextAfterSalesTrainingWhen most people think about sales training, they think about an event—getting the team together for a day or two at the home office or in the basement of the Marriott, with a trainer, to learn the latest and greatest technique. A spiral-bound notebook, a few catered lunches, a couple of role plays and a motivational speech later, everyone goes back to their quest to make their number for the quarter.

In reality, the “event” is only one piece of what’s necessary to drive the change that leadership expects. Assuming that you will have an instructor-led training (ILT) event as part of your solution (still by far the most popular mode of delivering the initial training thrust), think of your solution in three phases: Before, During and After the ILT event.


Before the ILT Event

You will be surprised at how much upfront work goes into planning a successful sales training initiative. This includes:
• Determining your objectives and needs
• Gaining internal support and funding
• Sourcing providers
• Selecting a provider
• Customizing your solution and training materials
• Ensuring whoever needs to sign off on the training solution is ready, willing and able to do so
• Planning the event logistics, facilities, lodging and travel
• Developing and initiating your change management plan
• Determining how and when you will roll your teams through training and reinforcement
• Preparing your leaders and sales managers to support the change
• Conducting skill or behavioral assessments for participants
• Printing and shipping training materials
• Preparing and delivering pre-work to participants
• Preparing to deploy tools, such as CRM apps, needed to reinforce training



During the ILT Event

Yes, there’s more than just showing up. Whether you do this personally or delegate the task, you need to ensure that the day goes off without a hitch. This includes ensuring that:
• The facility has adequate Internet connectivity and audio-visual support
• The facility is comfortable for participants
• Meals are prepared and accommodate participants with dietary restrictions
• Materials, trainers and participants arrive on time and at the right place
• Your facilitators are prepared and engaging
• There is time set aside for networking and leisure
• That someone in a leadership capacity is present to set context for the event

Although the classroom experience is only one step, it is very important because it may be a sales person’s first encounter with new expectations and a new way of doing their job.


Minimize distractions so people can focus on learning. It doesn’t mean they can’t have fun; in fact, they should. But you don’t want to give people an excuse to cop out because the room was too hot or too cold.

After the ILT Event

Here’s where the rubber really hits the road. According to an Aberdeen Research report by Peter Ostrow, Sales Training: Deploying Knowledge, Process and Technology to Consistently Hit Quota, “Best-in-class companies outpace laggards by nearly a two-times factor in providing post-training reinforcement of the best practices commonly learned in classroom-style instructor-led sales education sessions. These firms have learned that long-term success depends on underscoring the best practices in sales training deployments…”

In other words, changing ingrained behavior is a marathon and not a sprint, and includes:
• Reinforcing knowledge
• Practicing key concepts
• Providing coaching and feedback for salespeople
• Demonstrating new applications
• Problem solving
• Deploying support tools
• Holding everyone accountable for the execution of the reinforcement activities
• Ensuring senior leadership continues to actively support the initiative
• Measuring impact and ROI


What this means to you is that you need to think about the big picture, and not only the content and delivery, but also how the entire solution will come to life and thrive in your organization. Make sure you have enough time and enough money budgeted to give yourself and your organization every chance to succeed.

what happens before, during, and after a sales training event?

You have written an excellent piece. I do not say that lightly

VP of SALES, $3 Billion Revenue Co.

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