Drive Behavioral Change Through a Sales Readiness Culture
One of the main goals of training and coaching is behavioral change. So often these activities, alone, don’t produce the desired improvements. Research by Hermann Ebbinghaus shows that training without reinforcement results in 80-90% of information being forgotten within just one month. A systemic approach to continuous coaching and training is necessary to really prepare your salesforce to be “ready” to effectively engage customers and keep them prepared. A culture of sales readiness will do the job. Let’s look at how developing this type of work environment will result in the behavior changes and outcomes you’re seeking.
Continuous learning: According to Ebbinghaus, the information presented over spaced intervals is learned and retained more easily and more effectively. So, learning in bite-sized, frequent increments, also known as micro-learning, fits into sales rep schedules in their usual work environment. This allows them to remain productive as they learn. It also reduces the number of group trainings, or may completely eliminate them, while improving knowledge retention.
Repetitive practice: Practicing new knowledge application or techniques through role playing is preferable to experimenting with sales pitches or presentation with actual prospects. Your team will be more prepared, confident, and effective in the field as a result.
Feedback: Timely feedback on role play and practice reinforce desired behaviors while preventing the formation of bad habits. This sales coaching and guidance is critical to driving results. According to the 2017 CSO Insights Sales Enablement Optimization Report, formal and dynamic coaching delivers the most significant performance impacts.
Easily applied: When contextual training is used, your reps don’t have to translate what they learn to effectively apply it in real-life situations. This allows them to easily build on what they know and continually improve.
Accessible anywhere: Making the elements of sales readiness accessible from anywhere allows team members to learn and participate at their desks or on the go. This improves compliance and results because it makes it easy to complete desired activities without changing their schedules.
Measurement: The only way to really know if your sales reps are progressing toward the desired level or type of performance is to measure it. Sales readiness includes documentation throughout the process and awards certification when the specified behavior is demonstrated. This may be used to qualify reps to promote new products, ensuring they have the proper knowledge and presentation techniques before doing so.
Best practices: According to CSO Insights, the sharing of best practices across the sales team is a characteristic of a formal coaching process. This was once accomplished by reps riding along, or listening in on calls, with a more experienced one. A far more efficient method is to maintain recordings or videos of desired behaviors. These are then used as examples for those learning them and helps the student to recognize what success looks or sounds like.
Up-to-date information: The sharing of internal communications are the final aspect of the sales readiness culture. They’re critical to keeping reps current on product, market, and company changes so they are always prepared to speak intelligently with customers.
All these elements combined create a culture of sales readiness. They’ve been proven to produce the desired behavioral changes on an ongoing basis. Give it a try for continuous performance improvements and successfully attained goals. To learn how MindTickle can help, check out the value our customers are gaining by reading our customer stories.