From Jan. 1st to Feb. 15, I’m in a state of perpetual piss-offedness (I made that word up) every time I walk into the gym and head to the cardio area. Why? Because for the first 45 days of EVERY year, I have to share MY Stairmaster with “The New Years Resolutioners.” Those lovely individuals who, every January, decide that this is the year they’re going to eat better, workout regularly, and get 8 hours of sleep.
Why do I detest them so much? They don’t understand gym etiquette. They talk on their phones, don’t wipe down the machines, and sit on the equipment forever trying to muster the courage to do one more leg press while totally oblivious that I’m staring them down, hoping they will be happy with the four leg presses they did and go home.
I’ve been a gym-goer since I was 16. It’s not a 45-day let’s give it the ‘ol college try thing for me. It’s a way of life. I work out 5-6 days a week year around. I never leave town without my running shoes, sports bra, and tights. I get 8 hours of sleep a night and I try to do my best to put healthy food in my body.
I know. I should be more encouraging and supportive. They’re trying to better themselves. I do want the world, and particularly the US, to be healthier. I just want them to do it at someone else’s gym.
So, what would I rather you be doing to make the world a better place instead of making me wait 20 minutes for my Stairmaster?
Drum roll please……..
Provide your sales team with professional and formal sales soft-skill training in 2024.
As frustrated as I am about the Stairmaster thing, I’m more frustrated that my sales leadership colleagues aren’t providing their sales team sales soft-skill training.
The Art of Sales is endangered and headed toward extinction. I ask the following question of each candidate I interview with my clients:
“What formal sales soft-skill training have you been provided by past employers?”
And the answer I get over and over is this: “I haven’t had any formal sales training.”
THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!
I’m so concerned about this that I’m going as far as calling this sales leadership malpractice. That’s right, malpractice. As in, you should be required to have insurance so when you fail your sales team with zero training, they can sue you for preventing them from hitting quota and making the OTE YOU told them was possible.
It is our responsibility to leave sales reps better than when we hired them. It’s in our job description. It was expected when you were hired that you would provide training to your team. However, as sales leaders, we’re not holding ourselves accountable to consistently providing group training and 1:1 coaching.
We’re so caught up in the Science of Sales -- automation, AI, BI, and “the tech stack” -- that we’ve completely forgotten it’s our responsibility to train this generation of sales professionals. Today’s under-trained sales professionals are going to be tomorrow’s sales leaders, and that scares the shit out of me. How can a sales leader be expected to lead and train their up-and-coming team members or struggling sales reps on The Art of Sales if they have never received any formal sales training themselves?
So, I implore you to make your New Year’s Resolution this: Bring in qualified professional sales trainers to train your team AND you, the sales leader, so that The Art of Sales doesn’t become extinct.