What is the biggest difference between a single sales training event and a successful sales transformation?
Adoption of any sales transformation initiative is best achieved through regular reinforcement. If your team is planning to launch a new sales initiative, it is important to consider how you plan to reinforce your methodologies in the short-term to make sure they’re sustained in the long-term.
Our customers who’ve experienced the most successful sales transformations instill a top-down approach to adoption of the methodologies. Technology can be an additional tool that effectively ensures your team remains focused on executing the initiative. Below are three ways to incorporate technology into your plan for adoption success:
1. Use Spaced Learning
Spaced learning is a teaching methodology that shows when you’re given repeated information over a period of time, you’re more likely to absorb and learn the information. Patented by Harvard in 2006, research has repeatedly shown the methodology improves information retention.
In Dr. Will Thallheimer’s paper, Spaced Learning over Time, he makes a great analogy – remember cramming for tests in college? You were able to recite the important information come test time but the minute the exam was over you forgot all of that information. Cramming doesn’t help with retaining information and it’s not going to help with sales transformation.
With spaced learning technology, you can provide your sellers with consumable segments of the information covered in training, so that they can apply and master each concept. While this is a great way for sellers to learn a new way of talking about their products, spaced learning can also be a great tool for coaching.
Managers can use these concept reminders to facilitate discussions or highlight the specific areas where their teams may be struggling. Spaced e-learning, repeated reminder initiatives and refresher sessions have been fundamental components to our client’s adoption success.
2. Leverage Social Media
Chances are your marketing team is already using LinkedIn and Twitter to provide a targeted message to your customers. Why not utilize the same technology to communicate information regarding your own sales initiative?
LinkedIn Groups are an effective way to provide a constant stream of information outside of traditional one-on-one feedback sessions and have specific privacy settings so you can share information only with your team. With any new initiative, your salespeople are going to have questions and they’ll need feedback moving forward.
Share key reminders with your salespeople to spark new discussions. If you have an engaged sales team, they’re likely checking Twitter, LinkedIn, even Facebook on a regular basis. Use these channels to send out your own reminders, daily reinforcement tips, and success stories from your team. It’s an easy way to rise above the email noise and make sure your message is not only received, but absorbed.
Don’t let your initiative fall flat because your salespeople can’t get their questions answered. A LinkedIn group provides an easy way for sellers to ask questions and easily source suggestions from the entire team.
3. Meet Them Where they Are
Depending on your company’s organization, you’re likely to have sellers in the office, in the field and working remotely at any given time. Regardless, you must be able to reach all of your sellers wherever they may be. Never is this more important than when you’re driving towards a sales transformation.
If you’re only reinforcing your methodologies in internal meetings or emails, your message may not be resonating with your entire team. Address this fundamental problem by borrowing a multi-faceted communication strategy.
When Nike launches a media campaign, they don’t only do it with one television ad. They do it with a multi-media approach. You see their message in print, on social, on the web, with product placement, etc…
Why? Because to get attention, you need to meet people where they are.
You can use the same techniques with your sales team. It’s much easier to ensure that your important message is heard, if you communicate it through multiple channels. Social media is one tool but also consider video messages, podcasts, newsletters, and other modalities to get the message heard.
Ensuring your initiative becomes more than just a one-time training event takes planning and a commitment to change behaviors. Technology can be an asset that helps you as a sales leader reinforce key concepts and drive measurable results with your team.