Should Virtual Classrooms Replace In-Person Events to Keep Valuable Reps in the Field?

January 10th, 2019

With demand on the rise for measurable sales skills training that keeps reps in the field, companies are turning to virtual classroom experiences as a replacement for in-person events. But should they be? Or do the same flaws of the traditional classroom-only approach get exacerbated in a virtual classroom environment?

The issue? Changes in the modern seller profile are creating challenges as teams move towards being desk-less, digital, and distant.

When thinking about virtual selling, how often do you take time to consider the ways in which your team might be struggling with job-specific training? Truth be told, this is something many companies are starting to realize – and address.

According to research from CVI4 out of 5 salespeople aren’t getting the skills training they need – and while some attribute this to budget limitations, the majority blame time-out-of-field constraints. It also makes sense that oftentimes, managers end up choosing training that isn’t very flexible or individually-specialized. So, how are companies thinking of tackling this?

Virtual training gives your team different kinds of opportunities – ones that with their flexibility and timeliness, can actually increase productivity in the long-run. Take custom scheduling for example: when training activities fit into your sales teams routines without disrupting their flow, learning can actually become much more continuous.

Teams benefit and learn on a daily basis with ongoing reinforcement videos, opportunities to review and compare with peers, and revisit key concepts on demand. Coaching becomes more comprehensive too: reviewers and managers have a renewed flexibility to review and provide more detailed feedback on assignments.

But the most impressive finding from CVI research is the fact that virtual training increases sales reps confidence twice as much as traditional classroom training. This is huge if you add to this the typical cost savings gained with virtual training sessions.

Running a successful virtual training program, however, requires a different approach. It is not enough to upload your traditional training content online and share it with everyone. The truly impactful virtual programs follow a framework consisting of:

  1. Identify knowledge and skills gaps
  2. Plan and deploy  personalized programs
  3. Enable practice and feedback
  4. Leverage guided coaching

To learn more about this framework for virtual training and the details behind what make for successful programs, watch the online recording of where Gopkiran Rao, SVP Strategy at MindTickle, and Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy Officer of Corporate Visions, explore a virtual training approach that breaks free of classroom constraints altogether.

Click here to watch now.