What Separates Good Sales Training Companies from Great Ones?

If there’s one thing that’s pervasive in the world of sales right now, it’s that everything is changing. The way products are sold. The way salespeople must interact with their clients and overcome objections they’ve never seen before. Even customers’ needs, wants, and expectations are constantly evolving. Organizations across the world rely on training companies to help their people stay ahead of the curve, and there are so many that are really good at it.

But what separates good sales training companies from great ones?

What makes a valuable partner in this training space?

As we learned in a recent Disruptors & Innovators podcast, the training companies that truly make their clients better see themselves as being in the business of change, not sales performance.

  • They help clients think a certain way.
  • They help clients accept change as a positive.
  • They pride themselves on being thought leaders.
  • They seek to understand their client’s culture.
  • They find better ways to deliver training and help content be absorbed.
  • They find solutions to internal problems.
  • They help companies become adaptable.
  • They help clients react strategically.
  • They are always evolving their training practices.

What’s the Role of the Training Company?

There’s this analogy I’ve been hearing people use about learning and how it’s relatable to in vitro vs. in vivo research.

The idea is that with in vitro, you take an organism out of its normal biological context and do some sort of operation on it. Comparing that to training companies, you’re essentially telling your client, “I’m going to stop you from what you’re doing, take you into a classroom, look at some things, and maybe try to fix you a little bit. And then, we’ll put you back into your normal environment to resume your work.”

Conversely, the in vivo approach means that you meet these people where they’re living and help them understand the situation they are in while applying proper context. You’re helping them understand in the situation vs. taking them out of the normal situation. And by doing that, they learn how to change their behaviors and do things differently to succeed.

You can see how the in vivo approach might be a better option for most sales organizations in today’s environment — especially with training and corporate settings. We’re getting away from this, “Stop what you’re doing and let me just jam this way of thinking into your head,” and instead going with, “Let’s go look and see how we can make subtle changes and work within the context of how you do your job.”

At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself if the training company you’re working with is making people better? That’s a decent way to judge the impact of a training company — are they making the organization and the people in it better every day?

If the answer is no, you should do something that will.

The Role Simulations Play in Forming Great Training Companies

Buying has changed, folks. You have to have the agility and the judgment to know when to apply the methodology, and simulations are perfect for that. In simulation, they get to practice in a spot where the stakes aren’t quite as high. It’s practice in a safe, private and personal environment that doesn’t quite have the consequences of a meeting going wrong or a conversation that maybe went in a direction they weren’t prepared for.

Thanks for reading. And to learn more about what great training looks like, visit www.sciolytix.com.


Author: Dario Priolo

Dario brings over 20 years of experience in the sales enablement and talent development industry. He has led marketing and strategy as CMO for leading companies like the Hay Group, Miller Heiman and Profiles International and has been part of 4 successful exits, including his own start-up.