1. Utilize Online Learning
Online training and learning management systems have improved considerably over the last few years. Smart sales managers set and maintain consistent sales performance across their teams by providing standardized learning. By presenting the same material and requiring the same level of performance in the classroom, you’ll be able to monitor and improve each salesperson's understanding of the concepts and ideas put forth.
2. Embed Your Training
Effective online learning is available "just-in-time," providing training and information where it is most valuable. It is embedded in the systems your teams use every day. The key is to create sales training that is super easy to access and provides quality training that is directly applicable to the challenge at hand. In the process, each salesperson gets the right training they need at any stage of the sales cycle, helping them improve their overall skill set and knowledge.
3. Go Mobile
Mobile training and sales go hand in hand. Sales representatives are always on the go. In addition, their skill requirements are constantly in flux due to fast-changing technology, new products, new ways of nurturing leads, new competitors and more. They need fresh, relevant training accessible from anywhere in the world, from their hotel room to the client's office.
Mobile is fast becoming the number one way people receive training — recently, mobile passed the desktop as the most common way to log on the Internet. And almost half of organizations use mobile devices in their training systems in order to promote learning retention and enhance engagement. Just as important, employees, especially millennials, are demanding quality training they can access anywhere.
4. Match Your Culture
Sales performance and productivity is closely tied to your culture, which in turn is reflected in your training program. For example, if you have a high-energy, fun culture, training should follow have a light, positive tone. If your company is more formal, training materials, methods and leaders will be serious as well. In fact, training is more than imparting information — it helps mold company culture and vice versa, each helping boost productivity and reinforcing the organization's mission.
5. Make the Connection
It is vital that you benchmark high achievers and identify connections between their performance and training. Which courses are driving better performance? What training has proven more effective in teaching specific skills that results in better business development, negotiating and closing. Once you know which course are driving strong performance, you can optimize them for even better outcomes.
Company leaders are constantly trying to better connect training and development with performance. The 2016 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Report revealed that 84 percent of executives denote learning as very important or important, and budgets allocated for learning were up 10 percent year to year as well.
It takes all types of personalities to make up a sales team, and they have varying levels of experience. It’s a challenge to get them flying in formation. By utilizing online learning, embedding training in current systems, leveraging mobile technology, matching your company culture and training, and connecting sales performance of highly successful reps to specific training coursework, you can get your entire sales team to perform like the top 10 percent.