Sales Training Reinforcement: Making Sure It Sticks – Part One Of Two

Sales Training ReinforcementThe training of salespeople is an ongoing process that doesn’t have a marked finishing point. These representatives can always learn new techniques and strategies for making their value proposition.

A sales management team needs to have a clearly defined system for reinforcing the initial training, and implementing new methods through the use of creative and informative activities.

According to Heather Kivett, President of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm, there are specific tools that a management team can use to help their employees retain new techniques. She noted that e-learning, telecoaching, livecoaching, role play activities and interactive games can help to hammer home ideas.

Jeopardy-esque games can also work, as the representatives are presented with a series of questions and are asked in a competitive environment when time is of the essence. This may help to imitate the high-pressure nature of a sale.

Kivett noted that there are more basic activities involving questions on the latest sales strategies, but the key to reinforcement is still the sales manager and their targeted approach.

“You would put up a phrase or an objection that is typically heard by a representative, and the sales representative would have to give the appropriate response based on their training for how they would handle it,” said the executive. “Or you can just ask targeted questions as part of a knowledge based game – What is the third step of the sales process?”

Teletraining is another way that these activities can be run from a remote location. While some managers may favor a video version of this, it is often a problem due to the different internet connections, type of software and the PC versus Mac quandary. This type of technology is not fine-tuned enough yet, according to Kivett.

Representatives can use their phones to connect to a bridge line, that other salespeople and the manager dial into, and the sales coach can run the training exercise from there.

This allows a sales management team to monitor the activity without being directly seen. They can contribute to the exercise if they want to, but this type of correspondence may be best kept to the interactions between the sales coach and the representatives.