Virtual Sales Training And Implementation Best Practices, with Kurt Shaver, Episode #138

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By Mario Martinez, Jr. and Mario Martinez Jr. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

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The COVID-19 outbreak has many sales leaders scrambling to create or find virtual sales training that works. In one sense, that’s entirely understandable. As the virus spreads, more and more sales training companies are having to cancel scheduled training events and companies are requiring their sales teams to work from home. Moving forward, methods of training that do not require in-person attendance are needed.

But in another sense, I’m left shaking my head. This is 2020—it seems to me that most companies should have already had some form of virtual sales training in place. We at Vengreso have already created and implemented our own virtual instructor-led sales training program, focused on helping those who prospect via social media to do it in a modern and effective way.

We’ve seen incredible results from what we’ve created because we’ve integrated neuroscience and modern learning principles into our curriculum. On this episode, my guest Kurt Shaver (one of my co-founders at Vengreso) helps me unpack the principles that go into a powerful virtual sales training course to help you equip your sales team no matter the circumstances.

This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at www.SalesCadenceGuide.com

Hands-Down, Virtual Sales Training Is More Effective Than In-Person Events

Recent studies diving into the effectiveness of group training events reveal details that are both alarming and vitally important when developing any kind of training. A study by Gartner reveals that as a result of live group training events, participants lose 70% of what they’ve learned within six days and 87% within six weeks. That’s a very poor ROI in my book.

Comparatively, the Harvard Business Review reports the opposite impact of virtual sales training: through virtual means of training, 80% of the information is retained after 60 days when a technique known as “spacing” is utilized. Interestingly, the utilization of spacing is ONLY possible in an online training environment.

We’ll unpack what spacing is in a moment, but to our point here—the difference between in-person group training and online/virtual training for your sales team could be significant when it comes to retention and effectiveness.

If You Intend To Build Your Own Digital Sales Training, Take It Seriously

During our conversation on this episode of #ModernSelling, Kurt makes a great point by referring to the effort and time required to learn a language. You don’t simply cram to learn the grammar and vocabulary of a foreign language and suddenly become fluent. It takes time—and that's time spent while immersed in the practice and use of the language. That's because practice makes perfect.

Kurt’s point? The same is true for the creation and development of your digital sales training materials.

You must ensure that what you’re creating will contain the right concepts and information AND be effective. For instance, our program took over 10,000 combined man-hours to compile, record, refine, and publish. The results - we received the Gold Stevie Award in 2020 for the best sales training program for the second consecutive year. So, don’t think you can slap something together quickly or easily. It requires funds and personnel to tackle a training project of this magnitude.

If You're Going To Invest In Building Your Own Virtual Training, Do This!

If you’re willing to put in the 10,000+ hours and financial resources to build a truly effective virtual sales training course for your team, good for you! But you’ll need to ensure effectiveness. How do you do that?

Certainly not with a powerpoint presentation and droning narration. In this episode we cover the following seven science-backed components to an effective online training.

  1. Include Gamification
  2. Implement Chunking and Spacing
  3. Promote Deliberate Practice
  4. Integrate plenty of Repetition into your course
  5. Use the power of Video to keep students engaged
  6. Include periodic exercises to Test Knowledge
  7. Supplement everything with Personal Coaching (group or one on one)

Kurt and I define all of these in our conversation and explain why we prefer a group coaching approach to a one-on-one coaching approach, so be sure you listen!

If You Can’t Build Your Own Online Sales Training, What Alternatives Exist?

You may feel like you have neither the expertise nor the interest in investing in the creation of your own virtual sales training. That’s OK, there is no need to reinvent that wheel, especially if you’re only looking for a short-term solution while employees are working from home because of the restrictions forced by COVID-19.

Our program—Selling with LinkedIn® —is one example of the types of resources that are available. You'll find others available online as well. But, be sure you're getting a course that's designed with those seven principles of effective learning. Our course includes them by design. Whatever you decide, ensure that your training dollars are being invested wisely. Listen to learn more about what we recommend and share the show with a colleague who is sitting at home trying to sell in the new normal!

This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at www.SalesCadenceGuide.com

Outline of This Episode
  • [2:13] Kurt’s career sales story
  • [5:27] The current demand and need for virtual sales training
  • [12:20] Critical components to any sales training, but especially online sales training
  • [14:54] Two elements of modern sales training — the carrot and the stick
  • [21:54] A powerful benefit offered by virtual sales training
  • [29:51] The power and importance of incorporating videos
  • [33:50] Coaching is the missing element in many sales training programs
Resources Mentioned Connect with Mario!

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