Learning should not start and stop; rather, it should be a continuous activity for your sales development representatives. Now more than ever, sales executives need to understand that everyone learns differently, and there are many outlets reps can use to support and expand their professional skill set. Most people understand and possess the skills to complete their job, but it’s always important to help develop and hone those skills so employees can become exceptional. As the viral professional development quote states: “What happens if I train my people and they leave?” A better question is “What happens if you don’t train them and they stay?”
Understand that not everyone learns and retains information the same way. Always ask.
Are you thinking about budgeting for a training course that’s delivered via video every week? The content that you’re purchasing may very well be worth the money, but remember your end goal of developing your team’s skills. If you have a team of people who absorb more from hands-on training, then purchasing that video course may not be the most efficient investment for you or your team.
Granted, not every single person will prefer and digest training the same way, but why not ask your team how they learn best? Get a general idea of what works for everyone before investing your resources.
What Our Millennial Sales Development Reps Prefer
I was curious about how the sales development reps in my office prefer to further develop their skills. As many people classify the different generations, you could say there are a great deal of millennials here at QuotaFactory. Most material about millennials state that they prefer to absorb information quickly and have it be readily available. However, after sending out a poll asking their preference that included options such as reading blogs, asking your manager, and reading books or ebooks, the answers were surprising.
Most people would assume that our millennials SDRs would prefer short blog posts or videos. However, most said that their go-to resource was their manager, followed by a combination of techniques to improve such as call shadowing successful reps and listening to people nearby to pick up new messaging. Only after those answers did they mention reading blog posts and attending occasional webinars.
The end goal should not be “what can we give our reps for training” rather “what training can we supply our reps with that will be the most impactful.”
After polling our office, we understand that the best method of training to further develop our SDRs skills (after core training) is a combination of working with their managers, call shadowing successful and seasoned reps, and providing them with insightful material they can digest throughout their tenure at the company. It’s not about showing them how to do something, rather than showing them that they have the potential to do something better; by absorbing and processing information to the best of their abilities then putting that knowledge into practice.
As stated in a study done by Intelligence Group, in What Millennials Want In The Workplace by Rob Asghar on Forbes, “72% would like to be their own boss. But if they do have to work for a boss, 79% of them would want a boss to serve more as a coach or mentor.” In PWC’s whitepaper Millennials at Work, Reshaping the Workplace, 35% said they [millennials] were attracted to employers who offer excellent training and development programmes for this reason and saw it as the top benefit they wanted from an employer. The most valued opportunity was the chance to work with strong coaches and mentors. Millennials relish the opportunity to engage, interact and learn from senior management.
It’s in everyone’s best interest to have a development program in place for both sales and marketing teams. It might not look the same for every company or team, and it might be completely different than how the manager who is administering the training was originally trained. It’s not about creating or purchasing the best training material, it’s about taking that training content and delivering it in a method that works best for your team in order help them go from good to exceptional. What learning techniques work best for you and your sales development team?