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August 30, 2018

How to Get Rock Star Sales Reps to Train Their Peers

Whether we like to admit it or not, watching reality TV competitions can be addictive.

Shows like “The Voice” or “Chopped” put up some of the biggest numbers when it comes to ratings and viewership because it’s fun to get a candid glimpse into how the best and the brightest do what they do.

Similarly, candid videos that show off the best work by our most talented colleagues are fun to watch, too (and fun for them to create). And they provide a powerful means to teach skills… including sales skills.

That’s helpful because certain skills — like overcoming sales objections — are hard to teach. It’s usually easier to just watch a top rep demonstrate his or her technique. That’s why so many organizations use video coaching and certification exercises to source best practice demonstrations from top sellers in the field for sharing with the broader team.

But like any new technology, you have to walk before you can run so that means driving adoption in the field is critical.

Leveraging Salespeople’s Natural Competitiveness

One of my top tips for driving adoption of mobile video coaching and certification exercises borrows a page from reality TV: make a contest out of it.

That way, you can immediately give a shout out to those key sales reps who create some of your company’s best demonstration videos. These are your company’s rock stars — the salespeople great at telling the story of your products or services. People the rest of the sales team would do well to model.

Once reps turn in their videos, let a panel of “judges,” a.k.a. sales managers, watch all of them. Pick the best ones to move up to a winner’s circle. From there, choose the top “master class” video, or share it out to the field for sales reps to vote on their peers.

We’ve had numerous clients do this successfully while even offering a prize to the winner. It incentivizes top sales reps to put up their best performance. Beyond recognizing your top stars, this is a great way to get salespeople to think of your sales learning and coaching platform as a fun tool.

Setting the Field Up for Success

It may be the first time a salesperson is using the platform. Or perhaps a salesperson hasn’t used the tool in a while. Set them up for success by making explicit what you want. How long should the video be? Is there a deadline for turning it in? Which recording mode should the rep use?

Also, it’s critical management watches and responds to videos with timely and substantive feedback.

Reach out and ask them to post comments singing the reps’ praises as well as offering constructive feedback, like “Hey, this was a great job right here, I love how you included that statistic to really back up your point,” or “Hey, I think you kind of missed the mark here. Try rephrasing this line like this…” Set expectations with managers to leave feedback by certain dates. If a rep needs to redo their video, set a deadline for that too.

Whether you’re introducing new salespeople to the company’s sales learning and coaching platform or encouraging your entire team to use that platform more, following some simple tips will ensure success. Make sure your expectations of reps are clear and get managers to leave timely feedback. Give recognition to your top talent, and finally, just make it fun.

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