Scoring Big Gains Is All About Consistency
It’s the beginning of football season, and we all love rooting for teams that pull together and chalk up wins that no one thought possible. Building a winning team isn’t always about having naturally gifted star players but rather a great coach who has a consistent training plan and coaching approach for the team. His or her unfailing attention to developing skills can turn a mediocre team into champions.
Sales trainers and coaches can work with their sales teams in the same way to reach year-end sales goals. Athletes don’t practice hard initially and then relax in a start-and-stop pattern. Rather, they keep up the momentum and hard work throughout the whole season by reinforcing skills all the time and fine-tuning their approach for each opponent.
When coaching your team, first, make sure everyone is familiar with and competent in the basics. Run some drills for initial sales conversations, and reinforce the knowledge of which play to run next to move the ball (buyer) down the field. That is the foundation. Then, add consistent repetition and practice so the sales teams retain this learning to improve and change behavior.
According to the Aberdeen Group, only 44 percent of organizations use continued learning reinforcement to support their sales teams after initial training. Results are noticeably better when learning is consistent and repeated. ValueShift, BigTinCan, and Salesforce report that organizations with a training process show up to 45 percent to 50 percent higher net sales per rep.
Consistency is the key. Brain science has shown that much of our learning is lost after the first 90 to 120 days if we don’t review the information in some way. Fortunately, in business, we have the benefit of technology that makes it easy to encourage repetition and practice automatically. Continuous training reinforcement will keep your sales team improving. The successes that follow will be exciting and motivating, helping the team reach even higher goals.
Here are four tips for incorporating continuous learning for your sales teams:
- Keep information brief. Use short learning modules (under five minutes) that provide information in chunks. We all like quick tips and plays that actually work.
- Create an easy path to the information with fast ways to search. Incorporate the information and training into the daily workflow, and aim for access in just two or three clicks. Add prompts into the customer relationship management software, if possible.
- Combine content, training and coaching in context. Ideally, a sales rep should be able to access learning the moment when he or she needs it. In addition to providing the right information at the right time, include tips on the best ways to present that information to prospects. It’s like whispering into the player’s ear during a game.
- Design interactive activities. Encourage salespeople to think through sales scenarios and provide an answer. Memory games and exercises improve recall. If salespeople can think through scenarios during practice, doing it under pressure will come naturally.
Coaching and training salespeople is becoming more sophisticated with advancements in sales technology. We can also embrace brain science and present information in ways that work best for learning. This makes training and coaching more flexible and relevant. Any time learning activities are automated and built in to the system, everyone is more likely to engage and become a champion.
Chanin Ballance is CEO of Veelo, an award-winning cloud-based marketing and sales performance platform. Chanin is a frequent speaker on the topics of learning and retention, brain science, mobile engagement, and sales enablement solutions.