How We Approach Virtual Sales Training to Ensure Results
This post is an extension of the Ten Reasons Why Our Sales Training Is Different. Read the original article to learn more about why our process equips our customers to achieve lasting results. Read it here.
The impacts of the pandemic left many sales leaders to shift priorities and find new ways to equip their sales teams to succeed. To help ramp up sales teams and enable teams to hit aggressive growth goals, many sales organizations are choosing virtual sales training engagements as a way to move forward with internal process changes. We’re supporting customers right now in implementing their strategic initiatives virtually to ensure their sales organization can execute on new revenue goals and benchmarks.
Like many companies, we’ve had to refine our sales engagement and delivery process. In addition to the proven training processes and methodologies we apply to support our customers in achieving their desired outcomes, we wanted to share how we’re helping clients move the needle right now, in the remote environment.
Adapted our process to capitalize on the virtual environment and ensure adoption:
Maximizing adoption and focusing on measurable results for our customers has always been a top priority. Our virtual engagements are no different. Our experienced team has taken a critical look at what needs to change in a virtual setting to ensure adoption from a remote training environment.
Here are a few ways our virtual engagements equip sales leaders to ensure adoption:
- Work with you to set up strategic adoption plans that are ready-to-launch after the training
- Provide custom, sales consumable content and tools that are build to accelerate adoption and available to your sales teams 24/7
- Leverage virtual executive meetings to ensure managers and team leaders are equipped to make an impact before, during and after training
- Provide virtual learning pre-work to introduce concepts, set standards, and optimize in-training time
- Customize the delivery of the virtual training to fit the geographical criteria of your sales organization (accommodate various time zones, multiple training roll outs, etc.)
- Use best practices and leverage learnings from each training to avoid roadblocks and ensure adoption of the concepts covered during the engagement
Support your ability to lead from the front in a virtual setting
As a sales leader, leading from the front or owning your change initiative is critical to making it stick. Given the current state, leading from the front presents new challenges, with sales teams working remotely and facing at-home distractions of their own. Our virtual engagements take these new challenges into account to ensure sales leaders are able to lead from the front in the development, launch and reinforcement phases of their virtual sales transformation engagements:
Virtual executive meetings are facilitated by our team of experts to help you develop and review the key concepts and deliverables of your initiative with other cross-functional senior leaders. A big responsibility for your team in these workshops is to define 2-3 critical concepts that are ideally suited for a virtual training initiative and aligned with your objectives for the initiative. Do you or your executive team know what you’ll need to align your entire sales organization for success after your sales training or SKO event is over? Here a few things to factor in when you begin to set clear objectives for your strategic sales initiative.
Whether you’re face-to-face or virtual, preparing the sales organization for great outcomes takes good communication and action from sales leaders. In our virtual engagements, we assign critical moments for designated leaders, like yourself and managers, to lead, rather than let our facilitators be the only involved trainers. This action shows your sales team that you and your managers are committed to the change initiative and have a passion for it. Our facilitators work with customer colleagues in advance to ensure they know their roles and are ready to coach on key milestones during breakout sessions, role plays and other exercises.
By participating, not only are you and your managers leading from the front, but you’re staying engaged with the content and refining manager coaching skills to be used long after we all sign off.
We’ve always supported sales leaders in developing a ready-to-launch adoption plan and coaching cadence to ensure managers are equipped to provide effective reinforcement. Along with preparing reinforcement strategies, Ascender Plus™ gives your reps, managers and executives 24-7 access to customized content, tools and resources that support the initiative. In the remote environment, Ascender Plus becomes a place that reps and managers can use to drive adoption through additional training, and understand where reps may be struggling. As a sales leader, Ascender Plus gives you a line of sight into how well your teams are focusing on adoption and enforcement efforts, so you can continue to lead from the front and make adjustments as needed.
Equip sellers to leverage in-the-field time to apply concepts and drive immediate results
The virtual environment allows sales teams to make an immediate impact on the current pipeline and refine their skills because they’re never “out of the field”.
Our virtual sales training sessions are typically spread out over a longer period of days (often 1-2 weeks is sufficient) to provide enough time to cover and expand on all of the critical concepts. 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 they're applying new concepts after a training session. The more success they see in the field, the more likely they'll apply new concepts learned into each of their current and future 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, in a quicker time frame.
Get your managers involved early on to improve their ability to drive adoption remotely
In the virtual environment maintaining ways for managers to be able to coach on the critical concepts of your sales transformation and drive reinforcement is critical. After all, on the front-line your managers play one of the biggest roles in driving the longevity of any change initiative.
Our engagements have always put a priority on training managers and ensuring they can coach to success repeatedly. Here are a few ways we’ve adapted our virtual training engagements to ensure your managers are prepared to drive results:
- Bring managers into pre-training workshops and meetings to get them ramped up on critical concepts
- Work with sales leaders to assign roles and responsibilities for managers leading up to the training
- Working with second and front-line managers to ensure their sales teams are not only completing pre-work assignments, but also comprehending the concepts covered
- Providing managers with designated times to lead during the training engagement, to practice coaching skills and get feedback form our experienced team of sales coaches
Move Forward, Now. Achieve Your Desired Outcomes, Faster.
Don’t wait. Support your sales organization in course-correcting their sales execution challenges so they can succeed against next year’s aggressive benchmarks for the next fiscal year. Without action, their current sales challenges will only continue to amplify.
Use this time to define and align what your sales teams need to consistently move the needle next year, then invest in making it happen sooner rather than later. Your next SKO will likely be your best opportunity to launch a strategic sales initiative and set your organization up for success.
Our SKO resource guide may provide you insights on what sales transformation your organization could use to achieve your desired outcomes and how you can get there faster.