I am frequently asked by customers how they should deploy their sales training initiative. Recent advances in technology have transformed sales organizations’ ability to deliver sales training using a variety of modalities including traditional face to face training, virtual instructor lead training, self-paced learning and even some hot new buzzwords like “gamification.” As a quick aside, including a competitive element in sales performance improvement initiatives existed long before the term gamification was invented to describe it. However, I digress.
Recently I read a fascinating article on Trainingindustry.com. The article found that over 80% of training leaders believe that the most effective modality for delivering content remains face to face, instructor lead training. While I think that this statistic is largely true, because face to face learning often is more effective as compared to other methods, I also believe that this study misses out on the single most important question when it comes to determining how to deliver your sales training content: “What do we want our people to know and/or do differently after they leave the program?”
Determining Which Modality to Deliver Sales Training
Asking this simple question can be incredibly powerful when it comes down to determining which modality to deliver sales training content through. I recently had a customer who was considering having a large, face to face meeting to cover product training over three days. They were planning to pull a large chunk of their sales organization out of the field to attend this training. I asked them the magic question above, and their answer was “We want them to understand our new solution bundles.” Then I asked whether they could learn what they need to know through a combination of self-paced and virtual instructor lead sessions that wouldn’t require as much time out of the field.
All of a sudden the light bulb went off. Needless to say, this customer chose to use a series of self-paced learning approaches plus some virtual coaching to enable their sales team to learn the new product bundles. This was a huge win-win for their organization as they saved money on the cost of the face to face event while also keeping their revenue generating reps in the field. Most importantly, their sales reps successfully received the knowledge they needed to successfully sell their new product bundles.
Use this concise, yet powerful question to help guide your decisions when it comes to the best modality for delivering sales training content to your organization!