With the way business is done these days, if you don’t keep up, you will be left in the dust. Even the most experienced sales reps who have been in the profession for decades will face new challenges that will require new skills and fresh ways of thinking.
No matter how skilled and seasoned you are, you will always have a reason to update your skillset and knowledge–be it new competitors, strides in tech, evolving customer expectations, or steeper company goals.
It’s how it is: Something that has worked in the past might not work as well as things change.
To keep your sales team competent and competitive, training has to be in the core of your sales strategy. Often seen as boring and long-drawn, there are ways to get reps more engaged, involved, and effective.
Here are 4 training techniques that can help your team, for both new and experienced team members.
Make use of call analytics
Any modern sales team need to have a comprehensive metric tracking system in place. A great way to capture data is by integrating your CRM and your phone system with a CTI. For example, if you’re using Salesforce as your CRM and Polycom as your phone system, a Salesforce-Polycom CTI will ensure that you don’t lose valuable data.
Looking at your call analytics dashboard will help identify the weaker points in your sales process and in each one’s daily performance. From there, you can form a training plan that targets these specific areas for improvement without wasting time on things that don’t require urgent action.
Include productivity training
In a world where tech continuously evolves, customers become more demanding, and quotas get steeper and steeper, sales reps need to be as efficient as ever. Of course, sales acceleration tools are real game-changers. However, with inefficient sales reps, those tools might not get used at all.
Make sure to design constant uptraining to keep your reps sharp when it comes to using current tools. Enlist the help of your vendors–request onsite training if possible. Collect all roadblocks experienced and have the vendors’ support teams address them.
Include time management and general productivity training in your regimen. On the personal level, reps must be able to manage time, prioritize tasks, and get stuff done within the timetable of the team. This is an area often overlooked.
The reality is that individual productivity impacts the team much more than just one person’s metrics.
Incorporate achievements-based training
To motivate your reps to appreciate training, you need to recognize the effort they put in absorbing and applying what they learn. When a rep achieves something that’s a direct result of a training program, make sure to celebrate that achievement in a team setting.
Rewarding reps in a timely and direct manner is one of the best ways of showing the whole team what benefits sales training can bring to everyone. As a result, training participants will be more engaged in training sessions. Let’s face it– a lot of reps don’t take training as seriously as they should.
Rewards could be in the form of compensation, attendance to a professional conference, or even free lunch for the team in their name.
Break up chunks of concepts into shorter training sessions
Salespeople need to be agile to be great at their job. That means they thrive in fast-paced situations where information is immediately actionable and there’s little need to store tons of knowledge before getting the chance to use them. Imagine the typical sales training session: Hours of discussion that often stretches over a couple of days. You might be wasting time if this is still how you do training in your sales org.
According to research by Sales Performance International, half of training content is forgotten within five weeks. By the third month, almost 85% has been erased in the memory bank.
A huge movement in the eLearning industry in the last few years might just be what you need.
John Eades of LearnLoft defines it succinctly. “Microlearning is a way of teaching and delivering content to learners in small, very specific bursts. The learners are in control of what and when they’re learning.” Apply microlearning in your training. Revolutionize the way you do sales training by breaking up your training modules into actionable slices. This way, reps are able to pick up skills at a pace that makes sense to their daily tasks.
Follow these tips to get the most results from sales training!
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