The Online Sales Training Performance Journey
Designing an Online Sales Training Performance Journey
To compete today, sellers must build and draw upon a set of agile selling skills to create a truly differentiated buying experience that meets the customer where they are and leads them on a buying journey that is frictionless and aimed squarely at their unique personal and business needs. They must navigate the customer’s digital footprint and seamlessly transition across mediums to engage and collaborate with the customer to bring differentiated value. Many of these same considerations need to be made when designing and deploying an online sales training performance journey.
Agility in Online Sales Training
Training people on what they already do well in service of a common approach has consistently shown a low return on investment. People need different starting points and paths for learning based on their experience, expertise, and performance. Today’s technology makes this both feasible and scalable.
As you develop your online sales training content it is important that it is built in a way that allows for agility in how it is utilized.
There may be multiple use cases in which you can utilize the same content if set up properly. This will allow you to differentiate the learning experience to meet the unique and various needs of the sales organization at a personal, role, regional, divisional, or holistic level as required.
Making Online Sales Training Frictionless
One of the biggest inhibitors to successful training is that people don’t have time to dedicate to it.
Sellers are constantly under pressure to hit goals while meeting the various demands of the business from updating CRM, recording prospecting efforts, learning about new products, collaborating with team members, and so on. When it comes to training if you can make the experience as frictionless as possible it will increase the participation, buy-in, and support from leadership.
The 70-20-10 model tells us that individuals obtain 70% of their knowledge from on-the-job experiences, 20% from interactions with others, and 10% from formal learning activities.
Sales professionals learn best by doing and today’s learning experience must minimize the distance from learning to doing. By utilizing technology, you can serve up content, tips, and tools to the seller in their flow of work to ensure they are receiving the right information, at the right time, for the right need.
Collaboration Makes Online Sales Training Work
Whether you are drafting a prospecting email, preparing for a call, responding to an RFP, or delivering a presentation you never want to start from scratch. Creating an environment that cultivates collaboration will make everyone better, as they say, "two heads are better than one." Having a repository of best practice examples that everyone can contribute to is a good place to start, but if it is static the information will get stale over time. Allowing participants to rate, review, and recommend content and assets is a great way to encourage usage.
Finally, actual live interaction and collaboration are key. Having an outlet for people to ask questions to their peers for answers can be a great way to build engagement. However, this only works if people actually respond and interact. Some of the best examples of this are those that reward people for asking and answering questions.
Highlighting top contributors or tagging someone as a Subject Matter Expert in a certain topic based on how many questions or discussions, they have participated in can be highly effective.
Adding Value with Online Sales Training
Ultimately, an online sales training performance journey is only as good as the value it provides. From the beginning it is important that you can clearly define the outcome you are trying to achieve and establish success criteria, starting with the end in mind. This helps to ensure you are focusing on content that will drive behavior change that impacts the business results and outcomes you are trying to achieve.
In addition to measuring the impact of training, you also need to be able to communicate the value of participating in the training early on. This message needs to be tailored to the various stakeholders from sales leadership, first-line managers, and sellers to create buy-in by highlighting the benefits they will personally receive.
As you continue to track your identified training metrics these can be used to increase adoption and usage. The easiest way is sharing quick wins people have seen in applying what they have learned to the real-world shows others it works and creates interest.
If you can incorporate data into your learning in the flow of work, you can really drive adoption. For example, within CRM alerting a user with a stuck opportunity that sellers who use this tool or completed this training, etc. have seen a 20% reduction in sales cycle length will bring value to your training for the user in real-time on a real deal.
Click here to learn about our CRM Enabled Workflow Tools that integrate lessons learned into the flow of work.
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Expect What You Inspect
Regardless of the modality in which training is being provided to truly be successful and drive long-term adoption and sustained value you will need support from sales leadership and first-line managers. You should expect what you inspect.
Creating a culture of change leadership will help to inspire people to move from a current state to a future state by creating urgency to change and enabling people to successfully own their piece of the change as defined by John Kotter, a professor at Harvard Business School and author of "Leading Change."
"Change leadership - the ability to (1) inspire people to move from a current state to a future state by creating urgency to change and (2) enable people to successfully own their piece of change on a personal level."
Make sure managers at all levels are incorporating inspection and coaching of behavior change into their regular meeting cadence. This will ensure everyone is using the same language and reinforce that this is more than just a training exercise that is one and done. In these meetings, managers should identify examples of where behavior change has happened successfully and share those quick wins with others. If they identify behaviors that haven’t’ changed they should find out why, provide developmental coaching, and address any resistance as early as possible.
In today’s selling environment to build and implement a successful online sales training performance journey, it must be agile enough to address the unique needs of the organization, frictionless for the salesperson to easily participate in, collaborative to create widespread best practices applications and provide inspectable value that can be communicated, tracked, and shared.
At Richardson, we've put a lot of thought into how to ensure successful online learning journeys for our clients. Click here to learn about AccelerateTM, our online sales performance platform.
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