Leadership, Sales Management, Sales Productivity, Sales Training

Why your sales training needs to be like your exercise routine

A classic mistake with sales training is to do it every so often like once a month or quarter. You’re too busy trying to hit your  numbers and firefighting that training often gets pushed down the list of priorities until we have an urgent issue.  Most sales training, when conducted this way, is often in the format of a whole day or half day of internal training, consultants or an external trainer. Problem is, training will not have an impact in isolation. Done this way it’s such a small part of your team’s work week, month or year.

Think about training like you would exercise

If you don’t work out regularly you get unfit, fat and out of shape. The same goes for sales training.  You can’t just go do a 10k run or play a match without doing anything for weeks. Sales training needs to be like a successful exercise routine: have a good frequency, be varied and be the right length based on your goals.

To get fit you create a plan to do it.  To train your team  for peak performance, you need to do the same. Here are some simple tips you can use to introduce your new approach to sales training.

Create a training plan.  Start somewhere and commit to it

You cannot wing it each week or it will not happen. Your plan should include scheduled group training as well as individual self-paced training. Create a plan so everyone knows where they stand for the week and the month.  This way your team won’t book calls and other meetings in the slots you create for group training.  You need to nail them down to the time and everyone needs to know it’s Monday at 10 am or Friday at 3 pm, that’s when we do this…or both.  This may sound simple but just having it added to everyone’s calendars will make a huge difference.

Get your team members’ support

Getting your team’s buy-in is so vital. Get them to help you create the plan.  Don’t  just present it to them.  They need to create it with you. If they feel they own it they will want it to be successful as well.  As a sales leader don’t think you always have to be the voice running the majority of sessions.  Share the workload between the whole team.  Everyone will bring something different to the table which makes it more exciting for all.

businessman exercising with a barbell. vector. flat design

Make something happen daily

Sales professionals have a real thirst for knowledge more than any other department I have seen. This is because our customers and the way we sell is always evolving.  Create a plan where something happens  every day, no matter how small.  A really simple way to do this is to get your sales reps to listen back to one of their calls at the end of each day or at the beginning of each day. It’s very rare that people listen back to their own calls. They’ll learn more from their own mistakes. They’ll realize what they could have said or shouldn’t have said to make their calls better.  Having that feeling of learning something new every day installed into your team culture will make a big difference.  

Make training bite-sized

Sales people don’t want long learning because everything they do is in short bursts. Their day consists of  jumping from thing to thing so why would they want their learning to be any different? Give them the freedom to train at their own pace in bite-sized amounts.

It’s not always about setting aside an additional block of time for training. It’s about filling the sales rep’s natural desire to learn with short videos, audios or other training materials that can be consumed quickly between their other daily tasks. They need to be able to do it at their own pace. To fit it into their busy work day.  For example, the 60-second micro-learning videos that are sent out daily when you sign up for free at www.getunstuck.clubThese can be watched at different times throughout the day from any desktop or mobile device allowing your team to fit it in even if they are between appointments out in the field. These brief bits of training add up, helping your team consistently grow and improve.

Embedding sales training in the culture is not impossible. It just takes dedication and time. This way of working needs to become a habit. If you train in a gym twice a week it will not become a habit. If you do something daily,  for 21 days or more  it becomes a habit that you’ll stick to. That is why your sales training needs to be like your exercise routine for consistent results.

I hope this helps

One last thing.. Introducing #SalesShaketv

Sales Shake TV is launching in April to answer questions on all things sales, want to feature on the show email your questions here or tweet them to @TomLavery7 with the #salesshaketv

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