Searching for Gold: Does Your Sales Training Program Follow This Rule?

We spend the bulk of our time at Lessonly thinking about, well, you guessed it, lessons!

The first lesson I can remember learning as a young child was The Golden Rule. This probably comes as no surprise. In fact, The Golden Rule is widely considered to be the most culturally universal ethics teaching. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In other words, treat others as you would like to be treated. This is an effective guide for most any situation.

What is The Golden Rule of Sales?  

You can make the case that the translation to sales is simple: Sell to your buyers the way you would like to be sold to. As buyers, we all appreciate a smooth, efficient process that results in the best product fit at the best price possible. Oh, if only it were that easy!

The reality is that every buyer is different. Every buyer’s journey is fraught with nuance. With information more readily available, buyers are more informed than ever before.  

When I last purchased a car, I had done quite a lot of my own research. I was down to two options walking in the door. At the dealership, I eventually connected with a salesperson who could clarify a few outstanding questions and help me navigate the buying process. On the other hand, I have a friend that recently needed to upgrade to a larger car, but hadn’t done much research and hadn’t even narrowed his choices. In his situation, he was looking for much broader support in his buying decision. Though vastly different, we both enjoyed our respective experiences and achieved the same goal.

The real golden rule of sales? Sell to your buyers the way THEY want to be sold to!

Equip Your Salesforce

Developing and conducting sales training programs to effectively support the level of expertise sellers require to navigate so many potential outcomes is no easy feat. Combine those challenges with products or services that change frequently, and you’ll find yourself alongside many sales enablement practitioners struggling to keep up. The spectrum of functional sales training topics can span several areas: sales skills training, product training, process training, competitive intel, and more. With such a broad range of content, the rate of change that happens within each is something we observe and hear at Lessonly as one of the biggest challenges to sales readiness.  

Basic sales training programs struggle to stay ahead of the rate of change. Top sales training programs, on the other hand, keep teams aligned with the speed it deserves.  What does this mean, exactly?

The Need for Speed

As a content creator, owner, or manager (or even all three!), you have a front-row appreciation for how quickly training content can become outdated. The sales training material you spent months perfecting for that big product launch? Outdated once the next product release hits next week. Competitive intel you’ve been meticulously gathering and training your team on? It can be useless tomorrow.

Technology that enables quick and efficient content creation (or content updating) is absolutely critical. Having team-level ownership is also key. Aligning the team around important updates should take minutes, not weeks. Relying on HR to build time-consuming content? You’re only falling further behind.  

Beyond the underlying technology, a few other tips that might help:

Don’t recreate the wheel

Whatever you have in mind, there’s a good chance someone else has already done it. Thinking about digitizing onboarding? Need a sales training program template? Maybe an entire sales training curriculum?  There are so many great ideas and proven frameworks just a quick search away!  (Hint: here’s a great place to start).

Ask your sellers for help

One method we’ve seen work especially well at Lessonly is to simply ask your sellers to provide content feedback or to help with identifying outdated content. Ideally, that feedback loop will exist within the content itself. Keep in mind, making this process simple and easy for your sellers is so important for driving the engagement you desire.

Location, location, location

Your sellers have a lot on their plate. I mean, a LOT!

Consider how to best embed your training in the context of your sellers’ day-to-day responsibilities. Training competes directly with a lot of “noise.” Step one is making content that offers real value. Step two is making it as easy as possible for your sellers to access the information. A few strategies that work well: 

Micro-learning 

Attention spans are shorter than ever. Remote learning environments offer even more distractions. There seems to be a general consensus (backed by science) that delivering training in bite-sized chunks leads to higher learner engagement and satisfaction. As you develop content, consider breaking topics down to lessons that take 10-15 minutes at most to complete. This approach also allows your sellers to quickly and easily locate answers in the moment-of-need.

Integrations 

Think about where your sellers are spending the bulk of their day. Tying access to training content to these applications can be a huge time-saver, leading to gained efficiencies and greater adoption. At Lessonly, our Salesforce/Slack Integrations and Chrome Extension are our three most widely-used examples.  

Now What?

As a former boss would often say to me early in my career: “Identify your goal, and work backwards.  What will it take to get there?”

Once you have a general understanding of your buyers, you can work backwards to develop a training program that supports an exceptional buying experience. As you evaluate the types of sales training programs that align with your goals, ensure that your training technology has the ability to support speed in creation and consumption.  

Once achieved, a whole new world is possible.  Your sales teams will be aligned with the latest and greatest information. Your sellers will navigate the sales process with deftness. Your buyers will buy, buy again, and recommend you to their friends.

And that, my friends, is worth its weight in gold. 

 

Do Better Work with Lessonly’s Sales Readiness Software

Lessonly’s sales training software helps teams like yours get ready for any deal. Our powerfully simple platform combines on-demand training, hands-on practice, effective feedback, and actionable metrics and insights to create a winning sales enablement strategy. The result? Shorter ramp times, consistent and confident reps, and more closed deals. Give us a try today.

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