Why Almost Every B2B Sales Training Program Fails

12 min read
Dec 21, 2021

A top-level B2B sales training program is the single-best way to boost your company's sales performance, and therefore overall business success.

However, the truth is that the majority of in-person and online sales training programs are virtually useless!  In fact, many of them actually reduce performance rather than boost it.

That being said, we're sharing the top reasons why almost every B2B sales training program fails.  Additionally, we're also sharing what makes top-tier training programs better than all the rest!

As a result, you'll know what to look for in a training program to increase the prospects of your sales team and business at large.

We stand by this for the long-haul: B2B sales training is the absolute best way to improve your company's sales performance and therefore overall company performance.  

However, that is only true if you pick a program with all the traits of a top-tier training solution proven to produce positive results.

Will you do what you need to do to take your business to the next level by taking advantage of the best sales training?  Or, will you fall for the effective propaganda of the worst training programs and get absolutely nothing out of it?


What Is B2B Sales Training?


B2B sales training is a program designed to empower entrepreneurs and their teams to close more deals in less time.  Programs are taught by sales trainers, typically entrepreneurs themselves, who have a proven track record of sales success and therefore know exactly what it takes to dominate in sales.

Training programs guide entrepreneurs through all of the most important aspects of sales.  From lead generation to signing dotted lines, it guides you through all the ropes!

Moreover, training is about showing entrepreneurs how to scale their businesses.  Because, at the end of the day, scaling comes down to sales!  Unless you increase sales, then you don't scale.

In order to teach business owners and sales team members how to close new sales, the best training programs make use of:

  • Module and case studies
  • Complete frameworks
  • Inbound and outbound sales tactics proven to help close deals
  • Mindset improvement 

Not only that, but the best training programs are hosted live, so you can ask questions specific to your own case.

However, keep in mind that not every training program brings all of these goods to the table.  In fact, the vast majority of training programs do nothing of this sort!

Therefore, it's no surprise that most training programs fail miserably.

So, if you want to scale your business, learn methodologies proven to work time and time again, and gain newfound sales confidence, then look no further than a top-level B2B sales training program.


1. Most Training Programs Teach That Complexity Is Better


Do you remember being back in high school math class?  More specifically, do you remember moving through the ranks of algebra, pre-calc, then ultimately calculus?  You began with basic problems and then eventually worked your way up to multi-step, jump-through-hoop-type formulas that sometimes took ten or twenty minutes to solve a piece.

While solving those complicated, long-winded problems is impressive to look at, the truth is that learning them has an unexpected side effect.

And, that side effect is believing that complexity = success, growth, and progress.  More specifically, it's about being conditioned to believe that complexity is a positive!

However, this couldn't be further from the truth, and any kind of mental conditioning that tries to tell you complexity is what's best is just plain wrong.  That includes any and all sales-related complexity.

Still don't get why complexity is bad?  Think of it like this: Sales comes with it's own inevitable set of challenges that teams need to solve.  However, when you start to develop complex processes, strategies, and techniques, you create literal breeding grounds for additional problems to grow from.

Better yet, think of it like this: When you bake a cake that has 5 ingredients versus one that has 25, there are lower odds that you will make a mistake somewhere and ruin the whole recipe.  In the same way, complexity in sales opens the door for countless unnecessary challenges to arise.

The unfortunate thing is that most training programs reinforce the idea that complexity is the root of success.  And the even more unfortunate thing is that taking that advice to heart will inevitably cause a major downfall.


Sales Performance Comes Down to Simplicity


It doesn't matter what it is.... Your B2B sales strategy, sales process, or business development plan... All things sales-related need to be simple in order to not only be effective, but not cause you additional problems.

The best sales tip you will ever get is that simplicity = success.  

Either take our word for it and thrive, or hop on the struggle bus with all the other teams who went the complicated route and successively failed.

Unlike the majority of training programs, the best ones will teach you that improved sales performance comes down to simplicity. The simpler things are, the greater the odds that you have fewer problems and more success.

Not only will the best programs teach that simplicity is best, but they will also teach you how to break down every element of sales into its most simple form.

And the best part is, simplicity isn't just effective at boosting sales, but it saves you more time and energy than you could ever imagine.

We can't say it loud enough... Don't fall for propaganda from low-grade sales training that tells you complex is best.  Because, it's the opposite that's true!


What is B2B training?


2. Training Programs Teach Useless Selling Skills & Information


Would you believe us if we said that most sales reps already have all the selling skills and information they need to be successful?

In fact, most sales reps have more than enough selling-related education!

Given that most sales professionals already have more than enough knowledge, doesn't that make business to business sales training pointless?

No, actually!

And, the reason for that is because top-tier training programs aren't interested in teaching people more skills and information.  Instead, they're interested in teaching sales teams how to apply the skills and information they already have!

You see... There is this fundamental gap in today's sales education system: We have more educated people than ever before, yet having an education doesn't mean anything if you don't know how to apply it in the real world!

School, basic online webinars, and even many top-selling sales seminars are great at teaching you skills and information.  But, having an education isn't enough to be successful!

Therefore, the best sales training programs focus on teaching you how to apply your existing knowledge and skill set to everyday sales-scenarios!  They teach you how to solve problems using the information you already have.

A better word for it is that sales training empowers sales teams!

The gap between where you are now and where you want to be isn't a matter of equipping yourself with more selling knowledge and skills.  Rather, it's about empowering yourself to put your education to use.


Having More Sales Skills Won’t Do You Any Good


Picture this: You make a sales call to one of your top leads.  You think you're doing a good job, but then all of a sudden, the lead wants to negotiate with you!  Thanks to your education, you know that asking mirror questions is one of the best sales techniques to avoid giving in to the lead’s demands.  However, while you know that is true, you haven’t been empowered to know how to apply that technique to the situation at-hand!

If this scenario sounds even vaguely familiar, then you're not alone!  Most B2B sales teams face similar scenarios, in which they know what they need to do, but they don't know how to do it because they are not empowered.

The reason why so many training programs fail is because they gear you up with more and more skills and information in an attempt to convince you that more education will make you successful.

However, all that extra knowledge does little to nothing because it's not what you need to be successful.  

Instead, what you need instead is empowerment... the kind that you can only get through a top-level training program.

Bottom line: If you're struggling to reach your sales goals, stop trying to gain new skills and focus on training programs that empower you to use the skills and information you already have!


Why is B2B sales so hard?


3. Sales Methodologies Aren't Taught As They Should


Speaking of sales skills... Not only do most sales teams not need any more than they already have, but also skills tend to be useless when it comes to solving problems.

Yet, as you already know, the majority of training programs emphasize skills and information above all else!

For example, you can be the best driver in the world, but when a massive rainstorm hits, having good driving skills will only do you so much.  What would be more effective is to be able to flip a switch and have your car drive more effectively in the rain for you!

The hard truth is that skills can only take you so far.  What matters more is having a playbook full of methods that solve problems for you.  Because, let's be real... Sales professionals don't have all the time in the world to solve each individual problem as it comes up.

Yet again, it's rare to find a training program that teaches how to develop these kinds of methods or processes.

In short: It's good to have skills, but what is more important is to have a playbook of methods that efficiently solve problems for you!


Sales Reps Must Create Methods to Solve Problems


Wouldn't it be great to simply press a button when a problem arises and have the issue go away?

Well, the truth is that the whole button-pressing idea is what putting together a sales methodology is meant to accomplish!

Having methods is important for a couple of key reasons, including:

  1. Saving time
  2. Increasing precision

First off, it's only inevitable that challenges arise during the sales process.  However, sales pros don't have all the time in the world to solve each challenge as it comes.  Rather than wasting their time going that route, they should invest time into creating methods related to common challenges.  That way when one arises, all they need to do is initiate the method to solve the problem for them!

Second, methods ensure precision.  If there weren't any lines on the streets, then people would be all over the place!  In a similar way, if there are no sales methods, then solving sales challenges is like trying to jump through flaming hoops.  Do yourself a favor and come up with methods so that when a challenge arises, chaos doesn't break loose on your watch.


4. Basic Sales Training Makes Salespeople Feel Unconfident


Like we mentioned above, most salespeople already have all the talent they need to be successful sales leaders!

Therefore, it doesn't make sense why so many salespeople lack confidence.  You would think that people who have all the potential in the world would be some of the most confident.

However, when you look at it from a different perspective, it makes total sense…

Think of it like this: Most training programs emphasize learning new skills and information.  They send the message that there is always more to learn, therefore a salesperson can never be totally successful because there is simply too much sales-related knowledge in the world for any one person to absorb.  As a result, salespeople are left feeling not just unconfident in themselves, but like they are the problem!

Sound familiar?

To put it more simply... Most training programs measure sales success based on how much sales-related knowledge a sales rep has.  In the end, this message only makes sales pros feel unconfident because there is simply too much sales-related information in the world for any salesperson to learn in their lifetime.

Moreover, sales reps shouldn’t be measured on the amount of knowledge they have because it will make them feel totally unconfident.

The truth is that sales professionals themselves are the solution, not the problem.  Training creates the path to success, but the sales pro is the driver of success!


If You Don’t Have Confidence, You Are Sunk


Want to be successful in sales?  You need to have confidence!

If you're used to taking the same-old sales training that makes you feel like you will never be enough, then just know that your confidence is going to take a hit.

Now, you might be saying to yourself... What makes confidence so important in sales?

It's important to be confident in sales for two key reasons, including:

  1. Customers need to see that you are confident in your own abilities and deliverable
  2. You need to have the confidence to uphold the value of your product or service

First off, if you don't have confidence in your ability to solve customer's problems, why should they have confidence in you?  When making your sales pitches and calls, prospects will get the sense as to whether or not you are confident in yourself.  Give them any sense that you aren't totally confident, then they'll be running for the door.

Second, if you don't believe in the value of your product or service, then you're going to be that salesperson who is always negotiating with or getting sidelined by customers.  Because, if they get a sense that you lack confidence, they might try and take advantage of it by getting you to lower your asking price.  In the end, you need to show confidence in order to uphold your own value and the value of your business.

Bottom line: You need confidence to be the most effective sales professional.  And unfortunately, most training programs tear down confidence instead of building it up.


best B2B sales training program


5. Most Training Programs Leave Out How to Build Relationships


Here’s a question for you: What does it take to be successful in sales?

Sure, developing sales cycles, cold calling skills, and knowing how to use social media are all important, but what about working with potential and existing customers?

If you are new to B2B or are making the switch to B2B from B2C, then you need to know that building strong customer relationships is of the utmost importance!  

Because, unlike in B2C, B2B isn't a matter of making the sale and then never seeing the customer again.  Rather, even after making the sale, you'll need to stick around to help the customer implement the product or service AND answer all of their questions.

Not only that, but getting the prospect to sign their name on the dotted line requires you to show to them that you are capable of fostering an ideal relationship!

Moreover, performance improvement relies heavily on your ability to form strong relationships with your leads from the get-go.  

Unfortunately, most B2B training programs don't even touch on how to build customer relationships.  However, we're here to tell you that sales skills are relationship-building skills, and relationship-building skills are sales skills!

You will never be the best sales rep if you aren't good at relationships.  And if you want to be good at relationships, then you can automatically write-off most training programs because they never even touch on relationships.


Building Relationships Is a Central Pillar of Sales Success


Like we mentioned above, business to business sales isn't a matter of granting the customer's wishes and then never speaking with them again.

Instead, relationships are important because sales teams are charged with the responsibility of implementing a solution to solve the customer's particular pain point.  And when it comes to solving pain points, customers want someone who they know they can trust and rely on!

How do they know whether or not they can trust and rely on a sales rep?

Customers determine whether or not they can trust and rely on a salesperson if they have formed a solid relationship with them!

Moreover, building relationships is a matter of proving to the customers that:

  1. You are in expert in what you do
  2. They can rely on you to communicate with them and solve a particular pain point
  3. They trust you to back up your words with actions

Believe it or not, but sales relationships are quite similar to relationships that you have with friends outside of work.  Because, just like your casual friendships, customers are looking for reliable, genuine people to help and be there for them.

That being said, top-level training programs that teach how to build relationships are less about teaching you any new skills, and more about teaching you how to show off your genuine self.

Because at the end of the day... Customers want relationships with people, not robots!  They want to work with you because they like you.  Therefore, you just need to show them the real you.

The top sales training programs will help draw out that genuine side of you, so that you can form long-lasting relationships with customers.


Final Thoughts on Why Most Sales Training Courses Fail


Straight-up: Most training programs fail.

And if you're like most CEOs, sales managers, and salespeople, odds are you've taken a program before hoping it would bring you to the next level, only to be highly disappointed in the end.

However, now that you know why most training programs fail, you know what to look for when picking out a program for your business.

We will say it one last time: Sales is at the core of business success, and sales training is the best way to improve sales outcomes.  

Will you be the solution to your company's sales problems by investing in top-tier training?  Or, will you face an unfortunate future by falling for the same old training that routinely gets sales teams absolutely nowhere?


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