Make sure the training organization you select has extensive experience with virtual training. Most virtual training delivered today is actually discussion and best practices sharing that isn’t really training, and certainly not practice with feedback. If they haven’t been delivering virtual training for at least 2-3 years, chances are they’re new to this methodology and early in their learning curve of how to deliver dynamic virtual training.
Determine how insistent you are in terms of challenging your sales team to learn, improve and apply what they’re learning? Behavior change and improvement is hard and takes commitment from the top that the sales teams can feel to accelerate progress. A lasting culture shift occurs when top down leadership expects to hear their salespeople use what they are learning.o.
Do not underestimate how important sales messaging is to the success of a sales training project. Sales messaging is the ability to communicate your value proposition and competitive advantages concisely, consistently and compellingly. All too often, training focuses exclusively on process and steps and leaves each seller to figure out the sales messaging themselves. If you want your sales team to be consistent, concise, to the point and effective, you’ve got to figure out sales messaging and train them with practice and repetition to get good at it.
Most sellers will be more effective if they learn a blend of consultative and challenger-insight sales approaches. When you organize your sales messaging, insights and perspectives in a way your sellers can learn and practice them, you’re building the infrastructure for real progress and last improvement with better results.
Teaching sales managers the fundamentals, theories and approaches of sales coaching is nowhere near as effective as putting them into a coaching role right in the sales training. It’s easy to understand coaching, but difficult to do. You learn how to coach by coaching.
Recognize that verbal selling skills are difficult to develop. It’s easier to understand them and talk about them than to develop extreme verbal sales fluency. A small percentage of sellers are talented enough to dramatically improve from an informational seminar. Most sellers need repeated demonstrations, practice and corrective coaching to improve. This takes months to accomplish and it’s unrealistic to think it can happen without a lot of practice, coaching and repetition.
The key to generating maximum ROI on training projects is three things:
1) Integrate call rehearsals for upcoming sales interactions into the training
2) Space the training out over months with the trainees reporting in each week during their training sessions on how they’re applying what they’re learning. This feedback loop is powerful.
3) Set up the training so the Sales Managers are reinforcing it during the week in their sales meetings and one-on-one’s. This is like rocket fuel in terms of accelerating progress.
All too often, sales training is way too complicated and, as a result, difficult for average salespeople to apply. Focus training on core fundamentals like starting the call the right way, communicating powerful competitive advantages, asking great open-ended questions, using insights to challenge the thinking of resistant buyers and using options-based closing recommendations. Practice until they get great at these basics. That builds confidence, muscle memory and ultimately, results.
Recognize, for a company the size and scale of Ingram Micro, there are 4 elements to the sales team that, if the training is planned right, can impact simultaneously Sellers, Front line Sales Managers, Sales Leaders (who the Sales Managers report to) and Sales Trainers. Select a training partner that has experience working with all 4 groups simultaneously.
Pick SaleGym as your training partner. There is no other training organization that will teach your sales managers to coach the way elite sports coaches do and SalesGym will challenge your sellers to get better in a way that is far more active, intense and lasting than competing educationally-oriented sales training groups. Most (90%) sales training produces mediocre results because it’s education, not training. Real training is practice, repetition, correction and more practice … week after week.