structure.pngReinforcement is a critical and an often overlooked component to a sales training initiative. We often have people email us asking for a quick training event for a sales kick-off or a mid-year meeting. While we are always happy to engage with any person who wants to do business with us, we often start the conversation with asking what outcomes the organization is looking to drive. Most of the time, their desired results can be achieved with a “quick training event.”

Perhaps the sales team is selling features and functions or the salespeople are having trouble getting to decision makers. One event may help, but it won’t drive lasting change. You need reinforcement to truly transform your sales organization.

Here are some of our best practices for reinforcing a sales initative. They should be the cornerstone to any training event you launch with your team.

1. Lead from the Front

You can never underestimate the importance of leading from the front. Leaders can’t just show up, give a few motivational talks and then get back to their golf game. Whatever initiative or program you are implementing, it takes top-level executive support to motivate and drive consistency. The C-level should be using the language of the methodology, reinforcing the value and importance of the initiative. (Before Force Management became GrowthPlay, the team produced some great content with The Sales Curmudgeon that really drives home this point. Check it out here.)

2. Equip Them with Consumable Tools

Statistics show that you only retain a small percentage of what you are taught in a training event. Therefore, you need to arm your sellers with content, tools and resources that are easy to use in their day-to-day operations. Think one-sheets not binders full of content. If your tools and processes aren’t easy to use and reinforce, the initiative will fail. Bottom line.

3. Establish Simple Evaluation Processes

Front-line sales managers need simple and objective tools to inspect and evaluate results in the early stages of transformation. A consistent management cadence provides a rhythm that managers can use to coach and reinforce key behaviors. Tools, like Opportunity Qualifiers and Pre-Call Planners, help leverage the methodology. Ultimately, this helps managers inspect opportunities and hold sellers accountable for the desired outcomes.

4. Execute Learning Over Time

Spaced-learning techniques have become commonplace in education and training. It’s an effective approach for your sales initative. This approach to training involves spreading training out over a period of time rather than cramming everything into an initial period of time. It allows learning to continue over time, rather than in one sales kickoff event. Short bursts of information can help keep critical learning points in front of sellers preventing sellers from reverting back to bad behaviors.

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