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June 18, 2019

How Allego Helps Sales Trainers Solve The ‘One-Room Schoolhouse’ Dilemma

When it comes to national sales meetings or product launch trainings, smaller sales training departments face the same dilemma as one-room schoolhouse teachers: How do you leverage your limited time and resources to train a diverse group of people—all at the same time?

If learning content for the event is too advanced, new hires may get hopelessly lost. If it’s too basic, you risk putting the experienced reps to sleep.

At large organizations, the simple solution is to divide the reps into different classes, design customized content for each class, and run concurrent workshops. Of course, this solution traditionally requires a sizable budget and enough staff to develop all that extra content and run all those extra workshops.

Doing More with Less

But today, thanks to modern sales learning and readiness tools, even tiny training departments can deliver concurrent, customized learning experiences.

Here’s how some Allego customers have done it:

Train sales managers to facilitate workshops. At one company, Allego was employed to help train the regional sales managers to facilitate extra workshops. Any print materials for use during workshops were loaded into Allego to help the facilitators prepare. This allowed them to quickly locate and familiarize themselves with all the handouts, as well as the activities and exercises they would lead. This freed the five-person training department to focus on other tasks before, during, and after the national sales meeting.

Deliver all pre-meeting work via Allego. Instead of handing each attendee a thick stack of workbooks before the meeting, the training department loaded the pre-work into the platform, and delivered it through a single channel. (Ideally, you’ll do this two to four weeks before the event). Instead of giving the reps 20 pounds of paper, or asking them to keep track of two-dozen emails with multiple attachments, all the content will be located in one place.

Make the vital new information—e.g., industry trends, new product specs, etc.—required reading for everyone. Mark the less vital information as “optional” or “for new hires.” That way, your experienced reps will know that they can safely skip this material.

Enlist customers as virtual speakers and role-players. Using mobile video, some Allego users have enlisted their customers as virtual workshop speakers and role-players. In the pre-work content, they include short videos of customers discussing their biggest challenges, as well as recent changes in the industry and marketplace.

Some companies also record video of reps doing role-playing exercises, having reps act the part of customers interacting with either top-performing reps or with reps who make one blunder after another. When these role-play videos are shown during the workshop, the facilitator can periodically stop the action to ask attendees what the rep in the simulation has just done correctly or incorrectly.

Odds are good that every rep, no matter his or her experience level, will learn something valuable from watching these videos and engaging in the Q&A.

Create a continuously updated playbook. Some Allego customers include “playbooks,” filled with new market information and industry trends, in their pre-work materials. Others have taken this concept a step further by continually updating the playbook after the meeting. This helps ensure that reps of every skill and knowledge level are equipped with the latest news and information.

Whenever possible, the playbook should also include updated mobile-video exercises and quizzes, which sales managers can then incorporate into their coaching sessions.

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