Stan Billue's Blog

August 7, 2015

The Massive Failure Of Sales Training

Sales training works.

It’s as simple as that. In fact, a study spanning 24 years (which ended in 2014) tracked 650,000 sales people. The final analysis was that 74% of salespeople fail. The number one reason for failure was… lack of sales training.

Those who received and implemented proper training were at the top of their industry in terms of production and personal income.

Be that as it may, for most, sales training does not provide sustainable results.


Here’s what Sales Performance International found out:

Companies with good intentions put their people through intense multi-day training events hoping all of the content will “stick.” It doesn’t. The “in and out” nature of such training prevents the most critical aspect of training… reinforcement.

HALF of the content of a sales training event is lost in 5.1 weeks.

84% of sales training content it lost within 90 days.

According to Sales Performance International…

“In the absence of a well thought out, “programmatic” approach to sales training, most expenditures are made with good intentions, but largely wasted. Research indicates that without systematic, ongoing learning and reinforcement, approximately 50% of the learning content is not retained within five weeks, much less applied. Within 90 days, 84% of what was initially learned is lost.”

The Solution…

The Stan Billue Sales Training System.

Which is very simple and aligned with the needs of sales people…

Teach salespeople the basics in bite sized chunks. This helps salespeople to understand and internalize the content. For this to happen properly, the training must span several weeks. If too much is presented too soon (as in the typical multi-day events most companies opt for) sales people get overwhelmed.

Systematic on-going training on a daily basis. “Practice, drill and rehearse” has been the mantra of the Stan Billue System for over 30 years. Salespeople must make training a daily part of their routine. One hour of training broken down into short 15 minute sessions works extremely well.

Reinforcement of core skills. Most salespeople have trouble in two key areas. Namely, handling objections and closing. Objection handling and closing skills must be reinforced on a continuous basis. Stan Billue was adamant about the need to go over every part of the sales process a minimum of 16 to 21 times. This is how you make new skills stick.

By combining these elements of a successful sales training program, salespeople who have used the Stan Billue System report outstanding sustainable results.

Request a Free Phone Sales Strategy Session today.

Go here for details…


  1. I feel I have a relatively uncommon perspective because of 20 years sales experience and Ph.D.’s in Data Science/Analytics as well as Applied Behavior Analysis.
    I agree that more training is needed, but we need to break it down to basics. I’m on the young side of 45, but I still know all about the great coaches like Vince Lombardi and Woody Hayes. Every year, no matter how much experience or football knowledge you had they started camp with a lesson I call, “Gentleman, This Is A Football.” They followed that experience up with teaching them the perfect football stance. Only after that did they begin with the “Power Off Tackle” followed by the “Power Sweep”.
    Sales seminars skip the basics and make too many assumptions. I think it’s because they don’t know how to teach what I’m about to discuss.
    Stan, I know your background through several friends and acquaintances we have in common. That’s why I’m confident you’ll agree with me on this topic. There’s a significant difference between the sales person sitting down face to face to close the deal versus closing a big ticket item entirely over the telephone. (In my opinion, a big ticket sale is several thousand dollars or more such as an investment opportunity like a private placement.) In my experience, the sales process is easier than generating the opportunity.
    Businesses with good ideas fail because of what I call the IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME SYNDROME. The reality is more along the lines of If You Build It Then You Need To Go Out & Grab People By Their Collars & Drag Them Into Your Store!!! Most business owners miscalculate what’s required to do this and grossly undercapitalized = FAILURE.
    High net worth investor lead generation is the boot camp of sales. It takes discipline and determination. Generating leads is the difference between becoming a Navy SEAL sales generating machine that closes deals and just another guy that rings the bell. (Of course, I’m assuming the company isn’t providing leads.) I’m referring the sales people that are expected to uncover prospects, generate interest, and close deals. Without a “lead” nothing else happens. That’s why I think sales seminars are a waste of both time and money.
    Lead generation that’s affordable and efficient is the missing link in the sales seminars of big name personalities like Tom Hopkins, Anthony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki, or Brian Tracy. They’re perfect if you’re selling MLM, Insurance, Real Estate, or trinkets, but not one of them teaches how to generate Big Ticket Leads that are affordable and efficient.
    Take the late Chet Holmes and Anthony Robbins as an example. To fill your pipeline of high net worth investors doing it the way they suggest requires a few hundred thousand dollars and about a year to execute. Small business owners don’t have that kind of money or time.
    Sales people don’t need another book or sales seminar. First, they need to learn about the football – they must master the art of lead generation, and that’s what I teach.

    Comment by jbleads1113 — August 9, 2015 @ 8:56 pm

  2. Agreed. However, the folks we work with fall into two categories. They are either inside sales reps. In which case, leads are coming in to them. Or they must do outbound calling. In which case having a lead generation system in place would greatly help.

    I started out in real estate. Cold calling was draining and often wasted a lot of time. I began implementing direct response marketing. Leads flooded in to the tune of 300 to 500 average per month. Life changed. About 5% of those leads wanted to list or buy a house NOW.

    But I still needed to know how to convert them. Since 90%+ of interactions happened over the phone initially, phone sales skills were crucial. Otherwise all those leads would go to waste.

    So again. Agreed. Smart lead generation, proper follow up and knowing how to sell (over the phone and in person) are crucial to success.

    John “Angel” Anghelache
    The Stan Billue Team

    NOTE: Stan passed away in May of 2015.

    Comment by Stan Billue — August 12, 2015 @ 5:51 pm

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