Eric Richardson, while comparing a sales person with a professional athlete, said that unlike athletes, sales people don’t undergo continuous training. This creates a serious disconnect in the world of sales. Manoj Onkar, L&D Head at IL&FS group also states that 90% of training programs fail because they are not treated as an ongoing process, but rather as a timely event. According to him, events such as training workshops or learning programs can surely trigger some thoughts or add more zest into a new initiative, but learning still has to be a continued process.
Sales teams implementing post-training reinforcements see 20% more reps achieving quota.
The way learning happens in itself is changing. Your sales team is more distracted and busier than they ever were, and they want training in ways that do not converge with their day-to-day activities. However, despite this, organizations have kept their training strategies largely the same, making learning more of an event, rather than it being a continuous process.
More than one-third of third year sales professionals average only three to six days of sales training annually and 39% of tenth year sales professionals average zero to four days of sales training.
The solution to this problem is to provide the right tools to sales teams to succeed. After all, your sales department generates a major chunk of revenues in any organization. Your sales people are your brand’s ambassadors and the way they present themselves or behave with potential customers in the market will be a big factor in determining whether they are going to last or not. Given these sales people are so crucial to any business, organizations need to invest in them. But what tool is the most efficient is the burning question.
Every dollar invested in sales training returned $29 in incremental revenues.
The more the impact of sales training, the higher is the probability of sales people meeting their sales quotas. This blog analyzes three tools used widely across organizations for sales training, and their pros and cons.
Instructor led training
The traditional method of sales training is instructor led where training workshops are organized and world class instructors give face to face training on a variety of important subjects. While this is the most common way of delivering training, it also has a number of drawbacks.
One out of seven companies never train their sales people.
From an organizational perspective, there is a huge financial cost in terms of infrastructure and travel. From a training point of view, the retention of the knowledge transferred is very low. Another drawback would be that sales people will be attending these workshops, and would not be spending time out there in the field selling. The most common solution adopted by organizations to counter such a scenario is by scheduling sales training around another event like an annual sales meeting, which in turn can prove to be counterproductive as it comes with the possibility of exhausting salespeople and further lowering their motivation and attention span skills.
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.
Elearning has gained popularity in the last couple of years. The biggest benefit of elearning is the ability to login and at any time and start consuming the courses. Sales is a domain where there are a lot of elements that need training. New features are added to products on a continual basis and sales people need to be updated about them as well as know exactly what the demands are. Training in soft skills like objection handling, sales techniques and cold calling are also essential. Elearning in such a sense allows for self paced online training and trainees can align it as per their work hours.
The best sales training will improve the performance of an individual on average by 20%.
While the economics and convenience of elearning is compelling enough, the question is – Does it actually meet its end objective of improving sales skills? Advocates for classroom training opine that participant engagement and skills application are addresses better in classroom trainings. Most people also vouch for a blended learning system, where they can combine online learning with classroom training. For example, before coming to a classroom session, participants can look up the course in an elearning set up or meet once in a while to discuss the elearning course.
Learning Management Systems
A common way of conducting sales training are through learning management systems. What LMS’s allow is that they provide a one stop platform where content can not only be uploaded and converted into courses, but those courses can also be assigned to people. LMS’s also allow features such as tracking and engagement which helps the admin to understand how well the course has done and what needs to be improved. The feature of tracking can enable organizations to understand who are the high performers and who aren’t.
However, LMS’s also come with a host of challenges which is why a majority of them fail.
Lack of reporting and integration are the biggest LMS challenges, followed by lack of customization.
Product trainings are conducted with the help of LMS’s and sales teams have joined the ranks of their fellow employees and they too access training content through learning management systems. However, the following questions need to be asked while choosing an LMS for sales training:
- Can your system be accessed easily from individuals outside your firewall?
- Will your system support the development and delivery of different kinds of content formats like videos, audios or presentations?
- Will your system allow you to conduct engaging assessments of various types after the training?
- Will you be able to track the performance and learning progress of each learner and takes steps accordingly?
- Does your system work in an offline mode?
- Can your system support an easy and hassle free way of repurposing learning content?
These are just some of the questions that need to be asked in order to evaluate whether or not your system will support sales training effectively or not. If it allows you to train, assess, engage and take productive steps through analytics in a simple way, you might be closer to a brand new sales team with powerful knowledge.
Your sales team is motivated to learn and they always seek out for new sources of knowledge and information to become better with each passing day. However, they are always running out of time and hence wouldn’t prefer getting their time wasted in learning events. You need to find out a way to place highly informative and digital content that they can consume at their own pace, which also does not affect their workflow.
Capabiliti is one solution to help you meet your sales training needs. As a unique concept, Capabiliti has a wizard platform, which takes you into a step by step mode and helps you upload courses, assign them, give you an enterprise – all in a matter of minutes. To know more, contact them here.