Improving Course Content for Better Sales Training (Part 3 of 3)

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for sales training. The content should not only be tailor-made for the company but must keep the needs of the individual learner in mind, as well.

Too many traditional sales trainings do not take enough care or apply enough due diligence to their courses. Every company training should be viewed as unique and individual—because it is. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. The content should not only be tailor-made for the company but must keep the needs of the individual learner in mind, as well. Here are three essential issues that sales trainers often overlook:

  1. Course content does not suit the company’s sales model 100 percent.

Problem: The content of most courses is too generalized, and the knowledge that is conveyed is not ready for practical use. The participant needs to make more effort to transform the generalized knowledge into his or her own sales process and use the practical skills to apply it in everyday activity.

Solution: In creating a training program, it is better to collaborate with several experts. This could include sales consultants, trainers (developers of theoretical methods and practical trainers), psychologists, experienced salespeople, executives and senior managers, designers, and specialists in memorable content.

To make the course more relevant to the company’s sales model, it would be better to design the content in collaboration with sales veterans to match their practical experience with applicable theoretical sales knowledge.
This provides attractive and real-life interesting content, motivates participants, and gives them the sense of real situations, which leads to better memorization and appeals to the personal interests of salespeople.

The company’s sales process is often very different from the general sales process. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all sales methodology, although many sales training centers would have you think otherwise. Of course, it’s easier for sales trainers to use the same training program and essentially teach the same lessons over and over again, but that won’t achieve the best results.

Not only that, the remedy for one company may be detrimental for another. At the very least, your salespeople will be left feeling confused and conflicted. Each sales model requires its own sales technique and hands-on skills, designed specifically with the job role, within the wider context of the specific company, in mind.

  1. The content of the course does not contain real-life professional language and is overloaded with theoretical content.

Problem: Sales language sometimes can be different for companies. One company will use the word, “lead,” for prospective customers, while others will say “prospects.” “Consultancy” language may not be well understood either. This discrepancy could separate the salesperson from the first slides of the training content, taking them from reality and bringing the brain into a state of simply perceiving interesting information. After that, they will be likely to just forget everything they saw.

Salespeople find it easier to remember simple, easily understandable, well-defined information and definitions—those that are as close as possible to the language of communication with their direct manager and colleagues.


  • The language of instructional content must be coordinated and adapted to the company’s language of constant professional communication. It should not be too theoretical, and vocabulary should be adapted to the language of a particular company and business.
  • The theoretical content should be “simplified” in order to be memorized quicker and easier. During the training programs, the participants (by themselves) should create so-called “mental maps.” By visualizing important theoretical content on their own, salespeople will improve the process of memorization and will have a simple image of more complex theoretical knowledge.

Here is an example of a “mental map” for receiving an incoming telephone call from customer:

When talking to a client, you should be polite. Present your company and introduce yourself. When you start a conversation with a client, you first need to discover the name of the interlocutor and remember to use it two to three times in the conversation. Ask the customer how our company can help them to choose a product.

Mental maps also help salespeople to do free improvisations of prepared tools, like scripts, and achieve livelier communication with the client, as well as guaranteeing the strong vision association of theoretical knowledge.

  1. Lack of ready-made solutions to implement.

Problem: Unfortunately, not all salespeople can transform the information and new knowledge into a ready-made practical solution.
Salespeople are unable to do this for different reasons. One of the common reasons is that they find it difficult to imagine and create—how they can implement a piece of knowledge if it is not the same as what they saw in the  sales training’s examples? Or perhaps they did not use it in role-play games.

Real-life scenarios often vary greatly from training. It can be difficult for salespeople to convert generic examples and information learned from training sessions into practical usage in the everyday, spontaneous, and variable situations they face.


  • Creating practical tools during the training sessions helps to create communication or behavior models for almost each case salespeople could encounter in their actual work. They then can use the skills and explore the new knowledge the next day after.
  • When designing the content of training, involving the company’s sales veterans to transfer experience will bring the content to life and open up the possibility of incorporating real-life hacks or solutions to some sales cases. Seeing how the theoretical knowledge can be found in the implementation in real-life cases from colleagues will prove their effectiveness to salespeople.

Several content issues need to be redressed in many traditional sales trainings. By not enacting the needed changes, companies are limiting their employees’ potential for growth and learning. Treating all companies individually and all salespeople empathetically based on their learning needs and addressing the practical difficulties of applying theoretical information will help to ensure sales training’s success.

To read Part 1 of this series, visit: 

To read Part 2 of this series, visit:

Natalia Kutkovich, BSc, MBA, has more than 20 years’ experience in sales and marketing. She has been instrumental in achieving multimillion euro sales increases over her career. In 2014, Kutkovich became a certified sales trainer. She now works as Training director of Sales Progress (Barcelona, Spain), where she designs, implements, and manages innovative sales training techniques for businesses across Europe