Changes in selling have revolutionized the profession and how people work. Today there is a focus on performance and sales optimization, which means training should be an essential part of your strategy. It empowers you to be more effective, more productive and more capable of understanding and anticipating the constraints and opportunities that arise from a more connected market, more engaged customers and growing competitive pressure. If you want to help your team win, opt for fun, interactive and systematic training offered on an ongoing basis.
How can you optimize the time and budget you allocate to training? How can you ensure that your money is well spent and that this transfer of skills and knowledge is used effectively?
Continuous training helps you answer these questions. Indeed, it encourages your salespeople to play an active role in their training and to adopt an active learning approach with interactive tools available on demand. They can train when and where they want. Monitoring tools enable you to see their progress, supplement existing training materials and, if necessary, adapt the modules in real time.
While self-training is a major advantage of ongoing education, it is not the only one. There is a study that demonstrates that the optimal concentration time is 10 to 18 minutes per hour. To become more effective, it is better to plan multiple short sessions that occur regularly, as opposed to one long day of training. Consider that 80% of the content of a one-off training session is forgotten within 60 days. Some habits die hard and certain business practices cannot be changed with just one annual refresher course. It is important to repeat the messages constantly to boost this conversion rate, for some aspects of trainings are not implemented immediately and can be readily forgotten.
Learning is also a function of timing. Some prefer to train early in the morning, while others would rather do it late at night, over their lunch break or on the weekend. Continuous, self-directed training allows everyone to go at their own pace and makes your investment truly useful.
Becoming more effective also means adjusting, complementing and adapting your training materials and quizzes to usage statistics and feedback from the field. Digital continuous training lets you analyze large volumes of information and knowledge. Processing this data is valuable because it gives you clear insights about the areas your team needs to work on. For example, a given product or line may be suffering because it is not thoroughly understood.
Adapt to the constraints of the Sales Rep 2.0
If you confine a sales team in a training room for one or several days, it will have an impact on your organization and your business challenges. It is impossible to gather regularly for training because it has a financial impact and because you still need to respond to your customers at all times as they may have multiple needs over the course of a day. By giving your sales reps access to ongoing training, you can avoid these disruptions and let them train at their pace.
The pressure to achieve results also pushes sales reps to give priority to selling what they know how to sell. It’s a perfectly a human and logical response because of their familiarity with the product and understanding of processes, plus there is no encouragement to go outside their comfort zone. The problem is that by focusing on a single segment with a comprehensive line, the salesperson can miss out on sales opportunities for lack of knowledge or confidence. By avoiding the boring PowerPoint sessions, you can instantly maximize the impact of training by concentrating on the essentials on an ongoing, repetitive and optimized basis.
Travel is a major budget item for companies and it is hard to avoid because of the very nature of the business. On-demand digital training enables you to make wise use of time lost in transit, even without an Internet connection. This is a powerful tool to optimize time and your business organization.
Be more responsive and more productive
Continuous sales training enables you to work on motivation and provides self-evaluation resources. Training means building self-confidence to become a more effective professional. This makes it a key tool in career development, which translates into results as your sales reps become more comfortable in their interactions with customers. They also learn to listen more and get better at suggesting real solutions adapted to the customer’s needs, whether explicitly stated or not. It is important that your team be increasingly responsive because everything is changing fast: sales techniques, marketing approaches, new products and the new features or services offered. Marketing regularly adjusts and you have to be able to absorb these updates as quickly as possible and implement them in the field. Without an appropriate, ongoing training plan, you risk ceding ground to your competitors.
Each organization has its own team to protect, develop and push to achieve their utmost potential. In this context, training facilitates professional advancement and benchmarks the skills to acquire, develop or consolidate.
Continuous, on-demand training is a crucial tool in a sound business strategy, which ensures concrete applications of information learned on the ground and a guaranteed return on investment. It is the perfect tool to speed up your project launches, ramp up your team’s operational skills and convert your organization to an agile, more responsive and more effective approach.
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