The Association for Talent Development (ATD) 2015 conference survey revealed that the biggest challenge faced by a majority of sales training managers is training reinforcement. Refresher training is crucial for sales success, because the sales force tends to forget the given training over a period of time, as they get involved in routine work activities. Psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus’ research shows that people forget nearly half of newly learned knowledge in a matter of days or weeks, unless they consciously review the learned material.
Sales Performance International (SPI) suggested that sales training reinforcement can be delivered in two ways. They include:
- Scheduled/structured reinforcement
- On-demand reinforcement
This blog is confined to sharing seven handy tools/resources for on-demand refresher sales training. On-demand assets provide highly personalized access to content on an individual basis.
A Playbook, in a business context is defined as a record-keeping book of set strategies for conducting a business campaign. In the contemporary context, it is an iPad/tablet, where you can access comprehensive information, data on sales/business processes.
Playbooks can be integrated directly with mainstream CRM systems, and sales teams can get relevant help with sales tools, techniques, and learning resources right during an ongoing sales opportunity.
- Sales Wikis
Sales wikis are Knowledge Centers for sales teams. In sales wikis, the sales force can find standard, frequently searched content for essential sales planning and management. Guided ‘How-to’ manuals and the like will also be available for sales teams.
Recorded webinars of 10-20 minutes duration can act as an effective sales training reinforcement. Important concepts and topics such as sales skills, planning and management can be covered in these webinars.
- E-learning Courses
E-learning/self-paced training courses are very effective for refresher sales trainings. They are cost effective as they eliminate the huge training expenses and save much time of busy sales personnel. E-learning courses are useful for sales training reinforcement in all competency areas. These online modules can be retrieved as and when necessary by the sales teams.
Videos can be used to demonstrate the best practices in sales approaches. Including scenarios such as regular selling situations, dealing with customers, etc. will engage sales teams. Posing questions based on these scenarios can provoke sales peoples’ thinking process.
- Discussion Forums
Well organized and moderated online discussion forums can provide an effective way for geographically dispersed sales people to discuss challenges and share best practices. Expert suggestions bring color to these forums.
- Sales Tools
Sales tools include internal proprietary resources such as questionnaires, ROI calculators, competitor comparison tables, etc. That provides on-demand training reinforcement. All these can be made available to sales teams on the go through mobile devices such as iPads, tablets, and Smartphones.
Resources for sales training reinforcement can complement individual sales representatives’ learning progress. Incorporating on-demand reinforcement in sales training makes it a comprehensive training program. This will help managers direct their sales force or individual reps focus on specific learning on a continual basis and retain better. More than anything, sales teams’ knowledge retention will be enhanced with reinforcement and the ROI on training will improve. The knowledge retention of sales teams can be the driving force of your organization’s sales success.
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