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The Great Sibling Swap – (HR and Sales Leaders Edition): A Lesson in Vetting Sales Training

Celeste Berke Knisely
November 15, 2023

For those of you who have siblings, follow along (and if you don’t – well, skip this part).

Remember when you and your sibling tried to get permission for something cool from your parents? You and your sibling had the best laid plan. You talked through the story to get it straight – leaving no stone unturned. One of you – usually the one who is the know it all – would head straight into the lion’s den and face your parents for the big ask.

Inevitably, your parents would start to ask questions that you hadn’t rehearsed; they’d poke holes in your story and you were left wondering what just happened. Neither party would get a win. You’d shuffle back to your sibling with your head held low as even if your parents said yes, it didn’t feel like a victory.

Growing up in a family with four kids, this scene played out many times in my household. My parents always seemed to know more than we did and even with our best attempts to be on the same page as siblings, we just didn’t know what we didn’t know. We we didn’t have the whole story and we never thought about all of the details.


How Is This Playing Out In Sales Today?

Good question and I’m about to tell you!

I’m seeing this play out more and more in the sales arena.

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to a few people interested in Sales Training. The common denominator has been that a Head of Sales or VP of Sales “sent” an individual to gather information and report back.

This person is usually from the HR team and tends to apologize over and over again when they come up short with answers to our questions.

You see, when our team talks to Sales Leaders, we go through a FULL diagnosis. This is often multiple calls! Similar to the line of questioning from our parents, we want to know all the nitty gritty details of your sales organization.



We are diagnosing what is going on, if you have a problem we can solve, if you are willing to solve the problem, just how big the problem and impacts are, what these problems are stemming from, how the team is doing, and what the gap is (just to name a few).

Without this information, we do not have a strong sense of if we can help you!

Sadly, we see many companies “qualifying” through an intake form, without a call, or offering pricing on the first call and treating your organization like a transaction.


We Know – Everyone is SUPER BUSY


Many of the conversations with the HR person we talk to who is vetting sales training starts with this:

The VP of Sales or CRO is really busy and they wanted me to get pricing.

Cool. We get it, everyone is busy.


Picking sales training isn’t just a checklist

Here’s the deal: picking sales training isn’t like ticking off a checklist. It’s more like finding the perfect recipe to solve your teams challenge’s. It can be the difference between completely changing the trajectory of your team or continuing to spiral (just now with more money invested).

As Sales Leaders, let’s do better.

Let’s agree that when we send a sibling (our HR partner) to vet sales training, that we either A.) join them, or B.) prepare them with the information to be able to complete the initial diagnostic discovery.

We learned early on that presenting our parents with very little information never bodes well for kids and the same rings true in the sales arena.

Today is the day we swap out sending someone else to vet something as important as sales training!

And PS….if you are vetting training and no one is diving in deep to get to know the ins and outs of your team, the numbers, the problem and impacts and asking the tough questions – how do you expect the training to teach your team to do the same for your buyers?

Hi. I’m Celeste – and our team is challenge the status quo in sales! If you are guilty of sending someone else on your behalf to vet sales training, let’s fix that. Now more than ever teams are facing declining win rates, long sales cycles and a decline in sales. Our team works with you to turn that around. Many teams see a 10-30% increase in win rates 90 days after training.

If you are experiencing this, book a time here to see how we can help.

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