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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing a Sales Management Training Program

Sales performance improvement

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The early stages of planning a sales management training program are the moments where you make choices that determine the success or failure of the initiative.

For many, the problem is these early considerations seem endless. Evaluating each one is a process that could go on forever. Knowing which considerations matter, and which ones don’t, can help you avoid getting bogged down in details that can push out the start date.

Here, we offer a short list of the five key things to ask yourself before choosing a sales management training program.

1. Is the Sales Management Training Content Adaptable?

There are many programs out there where the training focus might sound good in theory, but do they truly address the real challenges your sales managers are facing? Too often sales management training content is so rigidly structured that it only addresses generic sales management concepts without getting to the core of your team’s real-world needs.

Adaptable content and heavy customization make training useful and keep participants engaged. A heavily customized program ensures your management team knows their time is being spent wisely because the concepts and skills taught directly address their needs.

Adaptability also means having the option for flexible instruction. Selecting a sales management training program that offers a variety of delivery modalities makes the training process more efficient and better aligns content delivery to the concept being learned. Some concepts, especially those that involve role play, are suited for an in-person setting. Others can be communicated on a screen.

2. Does the Sales Training Technology Support Learning?

Is the sales management training supported by useful technology? If the training platform is cumbersome, subject to frequent session timeouts, or utilizes a complicated interface, then your sales managers aren’t likely to embrace it. Choosing technology that makes the content easy to access is key to removing distractions to learning.

Making this work means using technology that offers an active learning experience that delivers learning content in a variety of formats. This variation makes the concepts stick. The formal name for this approach is dual coding. The idea is simple: it’s easier to recall information when we have engaged with it in different ways. Examples include video content, question, and response material, small group work, and mobile-optimized sustainment exercises.

Technology is also critical for making short formats work. Your sales managers need to be able to quickly get in and out of a training module because they will be balancing learning with other responsibilities. If the technology doesn’t allow this kind of quick learning, then your managers will see the program as more of a hurdle than a boost.

3. Do the Skills Translate to the Work?

Will the sales management training drive desired changes? Even if the learning experience was engaging, and the instructors were effective, did the program deliver results? You need solutions that offer clear measurement, so you know you’re getting the results you need.

Effective sales management training needs to include routines for measuring effectiveness over the short-term and long-term, and these measurements need to be easy to interpret. The key is to find a training solution that has a built-in measurement component so that the new skills remain a focus long after training is complete.

A measurement component is also important for helping learners understand the intent of the training. If your managers understand how progress will be measured, they will have a clear sense of the ultimate goal.

4. What is the Science Behind the Training Approach?

Is the content and instructional method backed by science? If you’re going to make a financial investment in training, then you need to know that it stands up to scrutiny. Look for evidence in research and data that validates the material.

Is the research from a reputable source? Is it based on a statistically significant sample size? Is it recent?

Answers to questions like this show how effective the training will be. The strongest training will have research to back up the concepts taught and the instructional design. This is also an opportunity for you to review the social science and psychological research to make an informed determination of the solution’s value.

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5. Is There a Sustainment Plan?

Is the training an event-based approach to change or is it a “journey-based” approach? A journey-based approach is often more effective because it follows your sales managers through their careers.

Look for programs that include a long-term sustainment plan consisting of different modules your management team can access as they grow their skill set. For example, at one point in their development, they may need to improve their coaching skills. At another point, they might need to develop stronger team management skills.

Sustainment is not just a skill development practice; it is also a retention plan. Your managers are more likely to stay with your organization when they feel that you’re investing in them for the long term.

Helping your sales managers get better means getting started. Too often an endless list of considerations prevents this. Focus on these five questions to find a sales management training program that works for your team.

To learn more about how Richardson makes sure our sales management training programs check these boxes and more click here to contact us today.

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