How a Virtual SKO Can Move Your Organization Forward
Categories: Sales Kickoff
When the pandemic hit, plans were already in the works for many sales organizations to launch a new sales initiative. But those plans had to wait, while companies tried to figure out what they were going to do and how they were going to move forward.
Lately, we've seen a lot of companies come forward, ready to take action. Their leaders realized their company can’t wait any longer to launch initiatives that are critical to their future success. Sales leaders are making decisions on ways to keep their sales reps productive in this economic environment. The organizations that will succeed are the ones that choose to move forward, despite the circumstances.
Why Now’s the Time for Action
Your business has changed, both quickly and drastically; and your customers’ businesses have changed as well. The things that were driving value for your buyers in the past are probably not the same things that are driving value now. Realigning the sales message to respond to what’s going on in the market is an immediate priority for many organizations looking to address their customers' evolving needs.
To help ramp up sales teams and get them ready to execute, many sales organizations are choosing virtual sales training initiatives as a way to move forward with strategic sales goals and internal process changes. Companies are opting for virtual workshops, online coaching and shorter training sessions that are spread out over a more extended period of time.
How Virtual Training Drives Results
Companies that have made the decision to move forward with sales initiatives are already driving benefits from their virtual sales training engagements. These sales leaders are shifting their mindset and perspectives to consider these elements:
- The medium you use to deliver training doesn't change the outcomes. Your outcomes are based on the sales manager's willingness to act and improve their skill set to become great coaches.
- Virtual sales training is still live training. You’ll still engage all attendees, just like you would if they were sitting at a table and you were standing ten feet away. Understand exactly what changes in a live, virtual sales training session, to see how it compares to an in-person event.
- Leadership’s commitment matters more than the training medium. Keep in mind, it's what the leadership does on the front end that will set the foundation for success. And more importantly, what leadership does on the back-end to make the training stick and become a part of the sales organization’s DNA.
Benefits of Moving Forward Virtually
In many instances, virtual training provides benefits in key areas that may have been limited within a traditional, in-person training setting. Here are some significant benefits you’ll find in a virtual training environment.
1. Virtual training isn’t limited by physical or geographical space
With virtual training, you’re not limited by physical space. When you get together face-to-face, you have to plan your activities with a certain group of people in a certain physical space. Sometimes that can strain being able to call an audible in the moment. In the virtual environment, geographic boundaries also go away. You can be more inclusive in how you bring geographically dispersed sales teams into the experience. With in-person meetings, sometimes the inclusion of all geographies is a challenge and may require a compromise, or an additional investment in a second training for those who weren't capable of making the initial event.
2. Virtual training helps facilitators and presenters read the room
Because you can focus in on all the thumbnail pictures of people, it’s actually easier to read the room virtually than in a live training session. If you’re live in the room and there's about a hundred people out there, what you can see is what’s physically right in front of you in the room. You may be seeing five or six people at a time. What about the people in the back? In a virtual setting, when the video is on, you can see all the thumbnails and know that everyone’s engaged. You can read things at a glance and be able to read the room really well.
3. Virtual training drives engagement and group learning
The virtual meeting’s chat feature gives you a great way to get a feel for what people are thinking and where people might be getting stuck. Virtual settings reinforce the concept of people teaching each other. The input you can gather in the chat is an additional dynamic perspective of people’s learning experience that you wouldn't be able to leverage in an in-person event. The chat is great for sharing ideas. It’s easy to capture and publish each day after the meeting to drive continued conversations and identify anything that needs follow up.
4. Virtual training supports a successful adult learning model
Virtual training is usually delivered in shorter sessions over several days, which aligns perfectly with a successful adult learning model. People learn better in small bites rather than in big gulps and a virtual setting can lend itself to that. Because you're spacing your sessions and discussions out over time, the planning team can do a debrief at the end of each day and revise what’s next for the group, based on learning, pace and input.
5. Virtual training provides an immediacy of impact
Because small sessions of learning take place every day, it’s not uncommon for sellers to come back the next day and talk about how they put what they learned into practice. Learning happens only part of each day, which gives sellers time to immediately apply skills and make an impact on live opportunities. This approach to learning increases the seller’s ability to remember what they learned, especially if applying new concepts, after a training session. The more success they see, the more likely they'll apply new concepts learned into each of their current opportunities.
Ultimately, your sales teams will be able to make immediate impacts on the pipeline, before the training engagement has even ended. Moving forward virtually encourages your sales teams to adopt what they learn into their everyday sales activities and empowers the sales organization to move closer to achieving your desired outcomes.
Drive Your Team’s Ability to Launch, Pivot and Grow
Companies that are ready to take action will launch something new, pivot to a new way of doing things and/or grow what already exists. With the right approach, your virtual sales kickoff event can help propel your team forward and drive outcomes for your team’s future success.