From time to time, our team will be talking with someone in leadership at another organization about working with us, and the conversation gets to the investment.
"So what kind of investment are we talking about?" the other person might ask.
"Well, the monetary investment is $X a year to get started," we'll reply.
"Great, who do I make the check out to?"
"Hang on a minute," we'll respond. "We still need to talk about your time investment."
I can't tell you how many times we've talked to an owner, sales manager, or VP of sales who was more than willing to write a check and expected their sales team to put time into the training, but they weren't willing to invest the time themselves. Not all of them, but it happens more often than we'd like.
As our clients discover, the time that leadership invests in the training is extremely important!
At Sandler, we work with a variety of companies, some larger than others. And if the company is fairly large, there's a decent chance they'll work with more than one of our offices.
Someone at one of those companies called me after seeing something I had shared on LinkedIn. This particular company was investing around $500K to $750K with us on an annual basis. For them, it wasn't a significant amount of money.
The guy who called me was one of their regional vice presidents. He had around 150 people reporting to him that were in some sort of ongoing Sandler Training programs.
Often, one of the first things we help people learn about is something called an up-front contract. Put simply, it's a mutually agreed upon plan for an interaction.
So I said to him, "Before we get too far into this call, you set up our up-front contract."
He responded, "Our what?"
He didn't even know what an up-front contract was! He hadn't made the time investment himself that he was asking his people to make.
I coached him through what an up-front contract was, and he quickly realized that he needed to learn more about the Sandler process his people were learning.
His company had been a client for almost five years at that point. Although they were getting results from their investment with us, it turns out they were only getting part of what they were hoping for. Why do you think that was?
Getting management involved is the key! And prior to our phone conversation, he had no clue.
If you want your sales team to be successful, you can't be hands off. You have to be involved. It's amazing how things can go wrong if management isn't involved in the improvement process at all.