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You’ve Lost That Selling Feeling: Now It’s Gone, Gone, Gone

Has your sales kick off training become a faded memory? Are you afraid your sales goals are slipping beyond your grasp? Don’t lose that selling feeling! There are ways to refresh and reinvigorate what you started at the beginning of the year using some easy post training reinforcement.

You are not alone. According to the Aberdeen Group, only 44% of organizations use post-training reinforcement to provide long term support for their sales teams after initial training. Of those firms, the investment pays off with an average of 79% team attainment of sales quota v. 69% for those without continuing training.

Although this continued training is often an afterthought (or perhaps, no thought) it isn’t too late. Simply work with the foundation you built at the sales kick off and add repetition and practice to solidify the desired sales behaviors. Post training reinforcement will refresh the sales team and make both short term and long term goals easier to reach by cultivating better skills and learning.

Don’t inadvertently set yourself up for failure. Brain science has proven that most learning is lost after the first 90 – 120 days, yet usually sales training is planned around a two or three-day motivational event without much follow up incorporated beyond that. No matter how great the event, the initial afterglow fades and true long-term learning is lost. Only through repetition and practice will your sales team internalize the training and adopt the skills and change their behavior.

Tips for effective post reinforcement training using sales enablement tools and bringing back that selling feeling:

1. Design seamless training – Design overall training for the long term. Introduce initial product information that the salesperson needs right away, focus on sales techniques to create great customer relationships, and then master effective closing skills.

2. Keep information and modules short. Have brief, 3-5 minute learning modules that give solid information that immediately help the salesperson at the time they really need it and on their schedules.

3. Make information easy to get to, searchable and fast. Integrate the information and training to be part of the daily workflow. Even better if sales reps can access it in just two or three clicks. Use sales enablement technology to deliver learning modules and prompts to the CRM if you can.

4. Combine content, training and coaching. Having all three and in context when a sales rep needs it is most effective.

5. Create interactive activities to increase knowledge retained. Encourage salespeople to think through examples and participate in providing an answer. Memory games and exercises can be entertaining and have proven to improve recall.

6. Track training modules and virtual coaching activities. Weekly reports give a quick snapshot of training used by sales people with their progression and competency. If managers can zero in on gaps and provide added examples and reinforcement, the faster the salespeople learn and productivity improves.

7. Monitor and track for continuous improvement. Match the usage of training modules and virtual coaching to producing sales. Learn what sales people are using and what is leading to more sales, and you will soon know what they need more of.

Technology and sales enablement applications can make post training reinforcement even easier and less cumbersome by being quick, flexible and relevant. So many of these activities can now be automated and fun for everyone to use and even better — they don’t add to the workload.

With reinforcement and practice, it’s possible to make learning stick. Get a jump on the rest of the year by encouraging skill adoption and genuine changes in behavior, which will lead to increased performance results.

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