how and when to refresh sales training content

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The start of a new quarter is always a good reminder to check in on sales content. From internal sales resources to client collateral, it’s important to keep content on point. Sales training content is an essential part of your content strategy, but it’s often overlooked.

Sales training content and collateral is where your sales rep knowledge starts, and gets refreshed. Letting it sit stagnant for too long can quickly lead to inefficient selling and outdated messaging. Unfortunately, sales training content can also be time intensive to update.

So, when exactly should you update, and how should you do it? Use the following guide to determine when you need to refresh sales training content, and what improvements to make.

When to Refresh Sales Training Content

The timeline for updating sales training content will depend on your individual business. Sales team size, technology integrations, product or service complexity, and frequency of organization wide updates will all come into play.

Updating sales training content can be expensive, so the key is to find a balance. You need to find the happy medium between changing content for every tiny adjustment, and completely ignoring the need for updates.

Use the following questions to determine when there is a critical enough event or outcome to warrant a sales training content refresh:

  • Are sales reps performing poorly on sales training assessments?
  • Has there been a launch or update regarding company products or services?
  • Are sales reps consistently missing quotas?
  • Are sales reps struggling to accurately convey messaging and differentiators?
  • Is sales training focused on behaviors that drive results?

If your answers to any of these questions are raising content red flags, you will want to further evaluate if an update is needed. Once you’ve determined when it’s time, you should consider the most efficient way of getting the job done.

How to Update Sales Training Content

The Association for Talent Development’s 2016 State of Sales Training report recommends that sales training content be:

  • Short
  • Engaging
  • Tailored
  • Easy to access

When you’re considering exactly how you should update training, use these suggestions as a roadmap to guide your changes.

First, you’ll need to consider how your sales training is currently housed. Working with an online training software partner is the easiest way to keep all sales training content stored in one accessible, and easy-to-update location.

Next, you need to make sure that apart from updating content to make it accurate, the changes you’re making move you closer to the ultimate goals listed above. Staying focused on meaningful outcomes will ensure that you’re not wasting resources on non-impactful updates.

Here are a few ideas to help refresh sales training content to meet the suggestions listed above:

  • Short. Partner with an online training vendor to build learning modules that are bite-sized and approachable. The days of week long, in-person training sessions are over. Keep each section and topic short to boost engagement and retention.
  • Engaging. Use video and recording technology to increase engagement rates. Classrooms are boring. Instead, use video, gamification, leaderboards, certificates, assessments, and role-playing to keep reps excited.
  • Tailored. Customize your sales training content to each individual rep by assigning them only relevant modules online. Then give them tailored feedback on sales training content assessments, quizzes, and challenges so they have specific suggestions for moving forward.
  • Easy to access. Take advantage of mobile training trends and make your sales training content available to your reps from anywhere. Better accessibility will increase their engagement with content and allow to reference important information on-the-go.

Lastly, make sure you involve the right stakeholders in the sales training content update process. Sales leadership will be driving the force, but you should involve actual sales reps as well as the marketing professionals who will be working on the content as well. Having a wider variety of perspectives and opinions will lead to better content, and improved outcomes.

Updating your sales training content is an initiative you simply can’t ignore. With training content being the foundation of your sales success, it’s important to effectively evaluate when a refresh is needed, and how to do it in a manner that gives content a competitive edge.

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