Many companies invest a hefty amount of money to sharpen their sales team skills. Unfortunately, many only see a brief bump in performance. Here’s a look at four mistakes that could be keeping you from finding long-term success.
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Not vetting a sales training company
There are many sales training companies you could choose from today. Sifting through your options can be a tedious experience. So, it’s tempting to rope in the first one that seems suitable.
Still, saddling your team with an incompatible trainer can be a misstep. The quality of the consultants you hire has a direct effect on performance. So, it’s important to vet each trainer to ensure they can deliver thoroughly.
Here are some tips to find the best providers:
- Research each company’s track record.
- Request references and case studies from previous customers.
- Verify their credentials and training experience.
- Review their teaching processes and methodologies.
Not reinforcing training
Skills development courses, no matter how effective, rarely stick the first time. Research by Xerox also found that 87% of new knowledge is lost within 12 weeks.
Reinforcing new skills through practice helps learners apply and remember what they have learned. To help cement new skills and knowledge:
- Build an intentional reinforcement plan by scheduling regular review sessions.
- Ensure frontline managers have coaching and reinforcement skills.
- Create bite-sized learning resources to reinforce knowledge.
- Consider providing mobile access to learning materials.
- Regularly assess team performance and competency levels.
Not prioritizing digital learning
Sales reps are starved for time. So, being able to quickly access learning on the go is incredibly useful. Digital learning options give your employees a chance to pick up new skills and knowledge at a time that works for them.
A study by The Research Institute of America showed that digital learning increases knowledge retention by 25-60%. Salespeople are also able to assume ownership of their own skill improvement. This helps foster engagement and boosts enthusiasm for learning.
To create an effective digital learning strategy:
- Provide a range of digital resources like eBooks, simulations, and videos.
- Encourage practice through simulations and gamification.
- Allow 24/7 access to learning materials.
- Include rewards for completing certain tasks and reaching milestones.
- Use micro assessments to track progress and measure results.
Learning is not aligned with company goals
A training program packed with catchy sales slogans can help reps remember what they’ve learned. However, if the content does not match your company goals or sales situations, those slogans will be of no value.
Tying the company’s training goals to strategic business objectives increases team buy-in. It also shows reps how their day-to-day tasks connect with the larger vision. To get started, consider these steps:
- Create a big-picture plan of sales objectives.
- Check for gaps between sales and training objectives and set related learning goals.
- Clearly communicate these goals and their relevance.
- Involve senior leadership to show their commitment.
- Select courses that support the business’s objectives.
- Measure progress and results against these goals.
By avoiding these four mistakes, you can ensure that your company’s sales training has a positive impact on your reps and business.