Yes, you heard me right – your problem is not your problem! Let me give you an example with a “hypothetical” client.

The (hypothetical) client called us and said they needed us to create a sales workshop for them. When we asked them why they wanted a sales workshop they told us their sales team needed training because they were not performing and not meeting their targets. But they needed a really good sales programme because the last one they did was rubbish and it didn’t work. They also told us they didn’t have much budget because the boss didn’t really believe in training because all the training they had done had had no impact on their results.

We went to talk to them and interviewed a number of their sales team and discovered that they all knew how to sell, but most of them didn’t really know what they were selling and they had no clue about their target market because it kept changing. On top of that the sales manager seemed to think that the best way to motivate the team was to come in every morning and shout at everyone and tell them if they didn’t perform better they would lose their jobs. As a result the sales team were stressed and demotivated and were starting to disengage.

They didn’t need a sales training programme. What they needed was to connect fully to the brand and deeply understand what they were selling and what really motivated their clients to buy and they needed to get a strategy that would work for them and they would stick to long enough to start seeing results. They also needed to learn to work together as a team. Most sales teams are not teams at all – they are a group of people running in parallel and often competing with each other rather than supporting each other. The sales manager, who was causing a lot of the problems, need to learn some real leadership skills and learn how to manage people or to be moved back into face to face sales, where he had previously performed really well (which was why he got promoted!).

Their problem, poor sales performance, was only a symptom of a whole load of other problems. Treating the symptom was always going to be a complete waste of money, no matter how brilliant a sales training programme we created for them.

So we treated the real problem. And within the first month sales increased 23%.

Your problem is not your problem.

Oh and BTW, if you want to know exactly how we treated the problem, email us (susan@wlp-success or Donna@wlp-success) – we’d love to come and tell you all about it and we might bring cake!

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