Training can be a challenge for sales leaders. The majority of executives recognize the need for a sales training process, but tracking the effectiveness of training programs can be difficult. We know want reps to hit quota faster, but are we doing enough to support it.

Most companies have an onboarding process or a sales training program. Few companies, though, approach sales training as a way to continually improve sales team performance.

According to Training Industry:

“Without systematic, ongoing learning and reinforcement, approximately 50% of the learning content is not retained within five weeks, much less applied, and within 90 days, 84% of what was initially learned is lost.”

What can you do to make sure sales training delivers lasting results? These three best practices are a great place to start.

1.Virtual Sales Roleplaying

Businesses use virtual roleplaying to track how well their teams communicate a message. Despite it going virtual, roleplaying has been used by high-performing individuals and teams for a long time.

Did you know the NFL role plays 6 days for every 1 game? Broadway performers spend dozens of hours running through lines and choreography before opening night.

Everyone from presidential candidates to actors, musicians, and CEOs; all of these top performers practice and improve through roleplaying and coaching.

The same technique can be, and has been, applied to sales training. For your sales teams, virtual sales roleplaying is a technique that allows them to make constructive mistakes when it won’t cost them a deal. More importantly, managers can track how well a rep performs in a controlled environment. 

Your sales training needs reinforcement.

2. Gamification

You can use gamification as a powerful addition to your training program. Gamification engages and empower sales teams by adding a layer of game-like elements and ranking to non-game situations.

You can benchmark a standard of performance while rewarding the right selling behavior. Gamification is ultimately more carrot than stick. You can use it to deliver positive reinforcement and manager feedback.

Need to motivate underperforming sales reps?

Let them see how they stack up against peers, then provide the training tools to help them climb the ranks.

33% of sales reps rate “technology reinforcements and support” as one of the most desirable and effective ways for reinforcing new sales skills. Gamification is one way to address this ask by providing your sales team with incentives to improve through some good old-fashioned competition.

3. Short videos

When it comes to sales training, more is not always better. Bite-sized videos have proven to be more effective than hour or day-long sessions.  As attention spans continue to shrink, meet your reps in the middle by providing short bits of information that can lead to an overall increase in learning retention. If you deliver material through mobile, sales reps can watch training videos on their own time, at a comfortable pace.

Companies like AOL embrace the “10 Minute Methodology.” They use short video tutorials to help reinforce the learning process and engage new employees.

Want Sales Training to have a Lasting Impact? 

Your sales reps should think of training as a daily activity. When done correctly, a training program that encourages ongoing practice increase the effectiveness of sales training. Your reps will get in the habit of continuous learning and improvement.

According to Aberdeen Research, sales teams who use ongoing training see a 20% increase in reps hitting quota. This compared to companies who only have annual or occasional training.

When you approach training as an ongoing practice and not an event, you’ll see big improvements in your sales team’s performance.

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