Connect Sales Training With Your Core Sales Strategies
At many organizations today, there is a disconnect between the ongoing sales training and enablement activities and the sales strategy. For example, while the company seeks to expand into new markets, the sales training continues to focus on buyers in existing markets. This severe disconnect results in lost sales opportunities and lower revenue.
Key Sales Enablement Tools to Align Sales Training with Strategy
To align training with strategy, consider a very basic question: “How is our company going to grow?” Will it enter a new market segment or new industry? If so, how will we match the training of sales reps with our strategies for entering the new niche or industry?
Debut a Sales Enablement Calendar at the Sales Kickoff
One solution is a sales enablement calendar that details the training priorities – month by month. A good time to start the calendar might be the annual sales kickoff or a regional mid-year event – anytime you have everyone together for face-to-face training.
Debate Sales Techniques to maintain momentum throughout the year
Arranging monthly “debates” of the training topics on the calendar is a valuable tool. A topic up for debate might be “how to get the meeting with a prospect” or “best practices when whiteboarding,” as well as the sales learning techniques that will drive mastery of those topics among salespeople, sales specialists, etc.
Encourage debate of the topics and techniques among your team based on the competence gaps you need to fill and the key plays you want to make. And as you think about key plays for (say) the next 60 days, be sure to connect them to desired outcomes.
Get Salespeople Engaged
Prioritizing relevant learning topics and key plays tends to engage enablement teams. And if it excites a training team, it’s more likely to excite busy salespeople.
Another way to successfully engage sales reps is to inject more fun and games into the learning process. As a rule, salespeople love to play games for infotainment and learning. (Who doesn’t?) Video is another tool that can keep people engaged as they strive to acquire new knowledge and skills. As you’re choosing new video content, recruit top sales performers and other subject matter experts as your “on-air talent.” You can quickly put together short instructional or best-practices videos with these experts – 60 seconds or 90 seconds – that cover the calendar topics and creates lots of engagement.
If you’re not already using video content aligned with your sales strategies, think about cost-effective ways to start producing it – at scale.
Partner with Sales Leaders to Craft the Training
Finally, to ensure that “disconnects” don’t develop between strategies and training, form ongoing partnerships with your company’s sales leaders to help identify and craft the training sessions.
Arrange calls with appropriate sales leaders and ask “What type of training does your team need for this quarter?” Often, they’ll say something such as, “We want more competitive training” or “We need more product training.”
Whatever training is needed, be sure to customize it for that team. Doing so is guaranteed to generate more enthusiasm among the reps which, in turn, should spark higher attendance.