Successful sales training implementation can be rewarding with lasting impacts for your company. While the process requires dedication, you can effectively implement sales training with the proper guidance. You know training will become a success when your entire sales organization is on board, ensuring a smoother roll out and a long-term cultural shift.
Companies have been known to roll out a new sales training program with little planning and reinforcement, resulting in low measurement of training effectiveness, engagement, and retention rates. However, with the right strategy, planning and execution, you can prevent many of the missteps others have made in the past.
In this article, I’ll share what it takes to plan, launch, execute, and support a successful sales training initiative at your company.
Prepare for Implementing Sales Training
Gain valuable insight from your team and create a plan to execute the implementation from beginning to end.
Unclear team communication and unrealistic timeframes are a couple of common issues I’ve experienced working with companies that roll out sales training initiatives. A solution to these common issues is having an internal meeting to plan.
An initial meeting will get everyone on the same page and discuss the following aspects of a sales training implementation:
- Communication plan
- Identify champions to encourage a positive outlook and facilitate the rollout
- Determine the necessary technology needs
- Set a realistic timeframe for execution
- Measure efforts and techniques
- Continually monitor and reassess progress
- Reinforce training afterward
Front-line managers have valuable input to add to the planning phase of sales training. Allowing them a voice in the process encourages their engagement and promotion throughout the organization. Front-line managers know the day-to-day truths of what their teams are facing, so they can lend insight. Involving managers early allows time to foster their support and align with their goals for a sales training program.
Gain Your Team’s Buy-In and Get Them on Board
Uncovering what’s in it for your team is vital because it will foster excitement and buy-in for your sales implementation.
What does everyone in your organization stand to gain from participating in sales training? Before rolling out sales training, it’s best to do some exploring with all who will be involved. Find out your team’s values, concerns, and goals. From there, you can find alignment with how they will benefit from this training and communicate that with them. This insight is a part of gaining buy-in, alleviates apprehension, and drives everyone to do the practical, yet beneficial work involved in implementing and maintaining the program.
We often use or hear the term “building excitement” rolling out a new training program. The more realistic and meaningful way to think about it is building the buy-in. Excitement is a phase that comes and goes quickly but building the buy-in by learning what’s in it for someone is valuable. Get to the “What’s in It for Me” to help address common concerns like managing seasoned sales reps and facilitating a common culture throughout the organization. The “What’s in It for Me?” or WIIFM brings widespread value to your sales training and engages your team.
Execute Your Sales Implementation with a Roadmap
Ensure a smooth sales training rollout with the game plan you’ve created during your meeting and with assistance from a consultant throughout the journey. A winning implementation involves deliberate and thoughtful execution, so a point to remember during the process is that communication is key. Keeping your overarching goals in mind guides your journey by building a roadmap, and your project leader becomes your GPS or compass.
Communicate Early and Often
Sometimes, there is a communication breakdown between upper leadership and sales managers and reps. Be sure to give everyone clear instructions throughout any stages of your sales training rollout. For example that applies to an e-learning launch, something as small as telling your team to check email spam folders, whitelisting emails, or providing email introductions for communication from training partners is just as important as relaying scheduling or sending out reminders. Preparation during an internal meeting helps you communicate details, big and small.
Prioritize the Long-Term Gains Over “Just Getting Through it”
Rather than rushing to just get through participating in a sales training program or “just get it done,” think of the long-term gains and results. The point of training is to bring about positive momentum, improvement, and a cultural shift. Working with an external source, like a consultant, to implement your sales training can help you stay on track and get the results you are looking for.
Sales Implementation Assistance
A solid grasp of the goals you are working toward and the milestones you would like to meet throughout contributes to the roadmap for your journey. One benefit of engaging with external resources is having others there to support your team and hold your hand as much (or as little) as you need. As an example, a company implementing the SPARXiQ Modern Sales Foundations training program would have the guidance of a consultant throughout to ensure a smooth rollout, check in as needed, provide guidance, and share best practices. Your consultant will ensure that your company reach its sales training goals.
Be Intentional About Maintaining Momentum after Implementation
Reinforce and measure sales training to ensure changes stick and everyone retains the information.
Once sales training is in motion and implementation is complete, you will want to continue monitoring your efforts. Think about how you will measure how well your sales training is working. Measuring learning retention and the metrics for performance improvement will help you clearly understand the return on your efforts and investments.
Plan for ongoing discussions after training to reinforce what was learned, build upon skills and create an onboarding plan for future employees to integrate the training. Incorporate the language of your sales training into your culture at work through emails and your company website, for example. Other ways to foster long-term organizational incorporation of your sales training are by including the language and processes learned in conversations via your company, team, and one-on-one meetings as well as everyday office talk.
As with learning anything new, implementation takes repetition, practice and review. The value becomes clear when you have a more robust sales force to show for it. One of the best outcomes of a good sales training program is the cohesion within the organization due to having a common language.
Achieve Your Sales Training Goals
Sales training is necessary, so companies often begin shopping for sales training programs but miss a step to ensure a smooth training rollout. Deliberate planning is an integral part of effective sales training. One of the keys to doing so is to gain buy-in from everyone (not just your sales force) in your organization from top to bottom, because this sets a promising foundation for implementing a training program.
My years as a teacher, trainer, and implementation consultant shared a common theme, which is learning and stretching can often bring some discomfort. While many of my students and clients may have experienced some growing pains in learning something new, having guidance and support helped them stay on track to reach their goals. Their joy always came in recognizing their growth at every milestone. With the guidance explored here, you will surely score a winning sales implementation for your company.
Download our eBook “How to Measure the Success of Your Sales Training” to ensure and increase the effectiveness of your training.
eBook: How to Measure the Success of Your Sales Training
Incorporate useful models to build an effective measurement system.
Explore methodologies that allow you to evaluate and measure the success and return on investment of your sales training initiatives.