In sales, building rapport and trust is an important skill. This translates to gestures like eye contact, handshakes or even hugs to build a connection. In-person sales have stood the test of time but Covid-19 has called for a change in almost every aspect of human lives. Some of the old sales skills may not apply. You see, you do not want to go shaking hands, and it is hard to read a customer’s body language during a Zoom call.
To be an effective sales leader you have to guide your team towards new sales skills. Now here comes another concern— sales team training is usually offered in person. The first thing that comes to mind when you hear about sales team training is conference halls where sales reps gather with their note pads to get sales training from a hired trainer.
Unfortunately, those kinds of gatherings are now out of the question, thanks to the social distancing measures put in place. However, you can still make your training interactive to benefit your team in the best way possible. Read on to get six time-tested guidelines on how you can train your sales team during and after Covid- 19 while still keeping them safe.
Do not just send training videos to your team. While attending long hours of training may not be new to your team, watching training videos throughout the day may be boring to many. You see, no one likes to sit through eight hours of videos. Instead, create short training videos that can be watched comfortably without dozing off. You need to understand that at home there are many distractions and challenges; hence your training videos should not be long.
In fact, there are more benefits to micro-learning than simply not competing with external priorities: Micro-learning can actually be used to create “sticky” learning experiences that are remembered in the long term, rather than quickly forgotten by learners.
Your sales team may be working remotely but encouraging them to discuss important points from the training can be a game-changer. Yes, informal conversations and “social learning” can contribute to 90% of overall learning, where only 10% originates from formal learning sources.
Social learning can help learners retain gained information while still reinforcing the culture of learning and personal improvement. For instance, you can group your learners to help share ideas and come up with solutions to bridge existing sales gaps. Be sure to use collaborative platforms like Zoom or Google Meet to host these interactive training sessions so that your learners can be as social as the digital setting allows.
While remote training is certainly the most viable in these difficult times, you can still blend it with some sessions of in-person training. However, it is important to be extra careful to ensure the safety of your sales team is not compromised. Instead of training the entire department in a single training session, you should split the department into groups. This will give room for social distancing while creating a more personal, social, and effective training environment.
With your learners split into smaller groups, you have the ability to incorporate more discussions within your training session, which ultimately will help you to produce many important learning outcomes, primarily a more thorough understanding of the topics at hand.
Smartphones are common devices in society today. Because of that, social media apps such as Whatsapp, Instagram, and Snapchat are popular. And they can be used to share training videos. Yes, you can create groups on these platforms and use them to reach out to your sales team for communication and training purposes.
That said, just because these apps are always close to your sellers hands, does not mean that you should assume they are constantly available to jump into your Instagram Live training video. Keep in mind that your sellers work around their prospects and customers: Your training should not interrupt their main priority of closing sales.
Being confined to their homes does not mean your team cannot attend live training remotely. You can include instructor-led training in your sessions and invite speakers to help them understand better. Better still, you can encourage them to ask questions on the areas they need more explaining. Ultimately, just because your learners are physically alone does not mean that they cannot connect with others: Ensure your training sessions focus on the human aspect.
Often sellers learn new sales methods but end up forgetting them before much time passes. Rather than host constant refreshers, you should be sure that your training sessions focus on true behavioral change.
Taking advantage of the advanced technology to train your sales team is a great way to keep them updated with the new sales skills. During this pandemic, it has become evident that a company’s ability to leverage technology is a key difference between prosperity and failure in sales.
Sales leaders should commit themselves to finding new ways to support and develop their sales team, while still ensuring they remain safe from the pandemic. Even more so, as companies continue to adapt their brick-and-mortar locations to a more digital presence, you can expect to see these trends continue into the post covid-19 world.