Sales is the soul of the company. A good strategy is worth nothing without a good sales team transporting it to the customer. And building a strong sales team begins with establishing effective sales training strategies. Sales training is essentially an investment made by companies in the form of training.
But the daily schedule of a sales representative can be very demanding.
According to research from XANT labs, sales reps spend a mere 34% of their time actually selling, while the majority of their time is spent on other duties.
With researching prospects, generating quotes and proposals, as well as internal meetings, it becomes more and more crucial to offer training in the most flexible way. Not to mention, the acceleration of hybrid work environments fuelled by the pandemic over the last two years increased the demands for flexible working and training solutions.
So what does successful sales training look like today? Why are so many learning and development (L&D) leaders turning to online sales training solutions — do they actually work?
What’s in this post?
- Why is a sales training course important?
- The rise of online sales training courses.
- What are the advantages of an online sales training course?
- How do you keep trainees motivated online?
Why is a sale training course important?
Companies and investors have recognized that business success today depends significantly on the direct customer interaction of their employees. But even the best sales representatives need consistent training to stay up to date with the constantly changing, volatile business environment.
Successful sales rep-to-client relationships take time to build, as well as a lot of soft skills: communication skills, relationship building, and negotiation skills, to name a few.
It isn't to say that it's no longer important to know your product inside-out -- these technical hard skills of course still remain vital. But the grim economic outlook we've witnessed over the last years means customers are less willing to spend, and consequently, tougher prospects for sales reps.
A McKinsey global survey of some 1,200 respondents across various sales roles, from leadership to the front line, found that fast-growing companies were 80 percent more likely than slow-growing companies to achieve commercial results from the sales training program.
The rise of online sales training courses
Now, we are well into the pandemic and those 'temporary shifts to home office' have become a normal part of our working lives. Employees and employers understand the limitations and benefits of the hybrid working model.
Modified workplace business operations, different urban facilities requirements, and new workplace location options - the shifts ultimately provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine everything about how to run a company - including switching from traditional, passive sales training methods to interactive, scalable, online sales training courses.
This means organizations globally are investing in online sales training courses and executive coaching to stay competitive and focusing hard on diversity efforts to empower teams to continue delivering ongoing value for the business.
What are the advantages of online sales training courses?
- Fully-remote, on-demand training & coaching
- Scale sales training and standardize training program quality (globally)
- Offer interactive & immediate feedback to their learners
- Steepen the learning curve and ensure the sustainability of training programs
How do you keep trainees engaged online?
Despite the rise in online training methods, they definitely don't come without their limitations. E-learning platforms, for instance, provide plentiful knowledge and content, but the lack of interactivity means that they do not have the ability to shape behavior, communication, or interpersonal skills - in other words, the soft skills that are vital to make sales rep to client relationships and connections work.
E-learning platforms, for example, typically measure variables such as the number of modules that have been completed, or access times, but not factors that reflect actual behavioral changes.
Traditional training methods, such as lecturing, are passive and can cause those learning to disengage easily as the information which has to be absorbed is isolated from its context.
So is there an online sales training course that keeps trainees engaged?
As companies are realizing the necessity of interactivity to produce meaningful results within L&D, teams around the world are beginning to address this issue through artificial intelligence (AI).
Companies globally are turning to AI video role plays to help their reps gain self-awareness through testing real-life situations.
Take, for instance, Retorio. Retorio's AI platform combines video analysis with role-plays of client simulations to offer interactive soft skills training solutions for customer-facing roles, such as sales and consulting., etc. their clients, including one of Germany's biggest automotive manufacturers, use Retorio to scale up their soft skills training programs, as well as coach their sales teams.
Want to learn more about how Retorio's AI training platform can change the game in soft skill training your sales reps? Click the button below!
FAQ about Retorio's Training Platform:
1. How does Retorio's AI work?
Retorio works with a video-based Artificial Intelligence system that supports human intuition. Our technology is based on one of the most well-researched personality taxonomies, the so-called Big5 (or OCEAN) model, which has been validated as a reliable predictor of personality and job performance.
Our AI quantifies the behavior that participants of Retorio's assessment show in short video recordings; their facial expressions, gesture, language, and voice in order to derive a perceived personality prediction, meaning that our AI predicts how your candidates and their behavior would be perceived by a representative set of people.
2. How does the training platform work?
In the training overview, you’ll find all information necessary.
Firstly, you have a short introduction to the training, which gives you the underlying concepts of things you will learn in this training. Further, you will find the reason why this training will help you in your everyday work life.
The “What you’ll learn” section precisely shows you actions that are important in dealing with the client scenarios. Those are actions that you will be able to apply after you successfully finished the scenarios.
Lastly, you have the list of training scenarios. Choose from the virtual clients and “Start” interacting with them. If you already finished a scenario, the “See results” button will lead you to your prior results. If you want to improve your score, click on the “Do again” button to start another try. No worries, old results will still be visible to you even if you redo a scenario!