As we’ve pointed out in previous blog posts, experienced sales leaders know that the best way to improve your win rate is to improve your reps’ effectiveness. Increasing sales activity is one piece of the puzzle, but it must be combined with greater effectiveness to be successful.
Your single greatest tool for increasing your reps’ effectiveness is your training plan. Ongoing training and coaching keeps reps’ skills sharp, and keeps them on top of the latest tools and techniques needed to generate successful sales conversations.
While the current coronavirus pandemic has put traditional in-person training sessions on hold, smart leaders are embracing virtual sales training – and are seeing huge benefits as a result.
Virtual Sales Training Can Outperform Live Sessions
One of the biggest myths surrounding virtual training is that online training is a pale imitation of live classroom sessions. A recent industry survey found that while 65% of companies plan to increase their investment in virtual training, only 10% believed that virtual training could be as good as live, instructor-led classroom events.
But in a controlled field test comparing reps who participated in live classroom training and online-only training, the results were abundantly clear:
Sales teams who completed online training delivered 23.2% more pipeline than similar teams who received live classroom training
Sales reps who completed online training experienced twice the boost in confidence levels when engaging executive decision-makers, compared with those who attended live classroom training
This field test demonstrated that the self-paced, flexible, and personalized experience of virtual sales training can present drastic advantages over a live-classroom setting. When the reps deeply engaged with the training content in a virtual setting, they not only learned critical new skills, they also gained confidence in their ability to apply those skills to the real-world sales environment.
How Virtual Training Benefits Your Sales Team
In addition to improved performance, virtual training offers your organization several key advantages over live classroom sessions, including:
Reduced Costs – Virtual training eliminates the need for travel and classroom costs, and can reduce opportunity costs associated with time out of field. This can reduce your overall training costs by up to 50% without reducing the training itself.
Scalability and Accessibility – With travel coordination eliminated and scheduling concerns simplified, virtual training can be implemented quickly and effectively to address strategic needs. Large-scale training rollouts can be completed in a matter of weeks rather than months, and can be immediately accessible to all members of your sales team, regardless of location. This is particularly crucial when travel concerns – such as those created by the current coronavirus pandemic – might otherwise hinder your organization’s training plans.
Targeted Training – The agile nature of virtual training allows for highly targeted programs, tailored to either individual, team needs, or acute strategic objectives. Rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach, virtual training provides greater flexibility to created targeted content that addresses specific skill gaps or performance indicators, like decreasing pipelines, diminishing close rates, declining sales activity, etc.
It also allows for the rapid creation and deployment of training based on time-sensitive strategic needs, such as product launches, price changes, industry developments, supply chain disruptions, or other timely communications.
Deeper Learning Opportunities – A self-paced online training environment often allows for added depth of engagement with training material versus in-person training. Live classrooms can create limitations, as both participant and instructor attention may be divided and time constraints may prevent every attendee from participating. Online training can give participants more opportunity to practice and complete assignments to demonstrate proficiency.
Leveraging Virtual Training Expertise
Not all virtual training is created equal. The right approach and training curriculum can make a significant difference in the success of your training program. Maximize your investment in sales training with curriculum that targets your team’s specific skill gaps and sales DNA, and a platform that simulates the real-world environment and keeps reps engaged with the right combination of content, implementation guides, and personalized action plans.
The sales training and coaching experts at HireDNA can help you navigate the learning curve, deliver high-quality training that works within the workflow of your sales team, and feel confident knowing you’re going to deliver the same or better results as an in-person classroom.
HireDNA was recently recognized as an emerging leader in corporate training and coaching. Our experts can assist with any questions about building first-in-class, on-demand sales training tailored specifically for remote sales forces.