Picture this: you’ve just launched your new strategic growth initiative – perhaps you’re expanding to a new industry vertical or launching a new offering. Your enablement team has equipped the company, the communications plan has been activated, and the required training has been rolled out to the sales teams. However, when reviewing the post-launch progress with your enablement team a week later, you learn that only a handful of sellers have completed the course.
If only a few of your reps are engaged in a training program, they won’t understand what they need to do to ensure the new initiative comes to life. When done right, sales readiness is a powerful tool in your arsenal for driving positive sales outcomes. In fact, our customers who use Highspot for their sales training report a 27% reduction in sales cycle time.
How can you ensure your training programs are preparing reps to drive strategic initiatives and business results?
Here are data-driven tips to optimize your training programs to ensure reps are ready to execute strategic initiatives.
Build Blended Learning Experiences to Maximize Retention
To ensure reps retain new knowledge and skills, you can create blended learning experiences that combine e-learning courses with instructor-led training. Blended learning helps you boost learner engagement – and ultimately knowledge retention – by offering varied training modalities and formats. This helps you meet reps where they are so that they can pace their learning in a way that fits their workflow to improve learning outcomes.
TIP: Centralize your blended learning experiences within a unified platform to make it easier for reps to engage in training within their workflow and seamlessly apply knowledge and skills right away. According to recent industry research, organizations leverage technology for sales training, they report a 5-percentage-point increase in rep quota attainment.
Bonus: If available, take advantage of a platform that offers mobile learning and tracks progress so busy reps can take some of their courses on the go, then open up their laptops and continue learning when convenient.
Keep Your Lessons Brief to Encourage Completion
Many training solutions follow a course and lesson model, which can be thought of as a puzzle – if the training course is the whole puzzle, a lesson represents one piece. While you may not have time to complete a whole puzzle in one sitting, you can tackle it over time, piece by piece. Since free time is often limited for reps, how does the length of a lesson impact learners’ propensity to finish it?
TIP: If your lesson is over 80 minutes in length, less than half of your learners will complete it in a single sitting. For a target completion rate of 90%, structure your lessons to take no longer than 60 minutes to complete – though the shorter the better.
Bonus: If your platform provides it, adding estimated completion times on lessons, courses, or learning paths is an effective way to boost adoption, since reps will be aware of how much time they should allocate before starting a program.
Use Certifications to Drive Rep Motivation
Certifications are a powerful way to motivate reps. By rewarding your sellers for completing new material, Certifications validate rep skills and empower them to achieve more consistent performance. They also encourage training completion and help you drive clarity with new material. In turn, this can help drive a culture of continuous improvement as reps are incentivized to sharpen their expertise and prove their abilities.
TIP: Use Certifications as milestones in the learning journey to encourage training completion and validate performance improvement. In Highspot, you can tie multiple courses together through a Learning Path and include a Certification at the end. Our research reveals that Learning Paths with Certifications have an 11-percentage-point higher completion rate.
Well-trained Reps Drive Sales Outcomes
Rep engagement is key to landing strategic initiatives. Optimizing your training programs means higher rep adoption, deeper engagement, and a greater understanding of winning behaviors. In fact, reps’ completion rate of training in Highspot is 2.6x higher than the standard LMS benchmark. Training completion improves reps confidence in engaging buyers with your companies strategic initiatives and as a result, sellers garner 15% higher buyer engagement.