Mountain climbers make sure they have everything they need to attempt a summit. Why? Because mastering their craft could mean the difference between life and death.
Salespeople, on the other hand, may not be so inclined to pay close attention to their training. Sales training has a bad reputation — too often it is outdated, irrelevant and a waste of sellers’ valuable time. But in reality, training done right is the key to unlocking your team’s potential. While your salespeople’s lives may not be on the line, their success is — and it’s up to you as the enablement professional to provide valuable training so that they too can conquer any mountain.
In Chapter 1 of the Definitive Guide to Sales Training and Coaching, we outlined the Path to Mastery, a systematic approach for embedding new behaviors in a revenue organization. Now, we’re unveiling Chapter 2. This section dives deep into how to create high-impact training that your audience gets excited about taking — and it all starts with training the way people want to learn.
The best thing that you as a developer of training can do to build a great product is to put yourself in the shoes of the learner. Let’s get started by exploring the five questions to ask to ensure your training is effective.
Does Your Training Have a Clear Objective?
A clear objective is specific, tied to sales outcomes, and documented. Specificity ensures that your course objectives are clear while tying objectives to specific sales outcomes ensures that they are relevant to your reps and your business’s goals.
Additionally, it’s important to document your objective before your training starts — if you don’t know why you’re doing something, neither will your reps.
Does Your Course Content Achieve Your Objective?
Now that you know where you’re going, think about how you’ll get there by asking whether or not your content achieves your objective.
Get someone who wasn’t involved in building the course to review the material and answer this question, ideally people from your target audience. Gathering feedback before your launch is critical; when you’re close to the content it can be hard to be objective.
Does the Course Drive Behavioral Change?
Your materials should describe how sellers will accomplish a specific element of the sales process. Courses that are not tied to a specific sales behavior, and for which managers never provide coaching support, are unlikely to drive meaningful value.
Additionally, managers should inspect and coach the behavior that the course supports. If your managers don’t have time to inspect and coach the related behavior, then you should question if it is worth your time.
Are the Benefits to Reps Clear?
For new sales plays to land, reps should know if new material applies to one of their opportunities. Understanding how it will help them drives personal investment in the course and ultimately leads to better outcomes — for the rep, and the business. If you are unsure of how a rep perceives your course, ask them!
Is Practice a Part of Your Curriculum?
Mastery of a new skill can only be achieved through practice. In the case of sellers, this means practical application of a new behavior before they use it in a customer engagement.
Your course should include numerous opportunities to apply new knowledge. Don’t shy away from asking reps to resurface information in their own words; this is a great way to build familiarity and drive mastery.
Make 2021 the Year of Great Sales Training
Remember — people need a clear reason to invest in your training and learn.
Get access to Chapter 2 of the Definitive Guide to Sales Training and Coaching, in which we cover eight core truths about how people learn and the principles for designing and building exceptional training that follow from them.