Why You Should Focus on Virtual Sales Training When You’re Not Selling

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I’ve loved hearing about leaders using this time of unreturned calls and stalled deals to sharpen the saw with their teams. Sure we’re all apprehensive, but so much is out of our control. These leading-from-the-front heads of sales are looking at their to-do list saying, “NOW I have the time I’ve been craving. What can we finally get to doing?”

Cleaning out the pipeline?

Managing dupes and updating CRM?

Building case studies?

(And my favorite) Train the team!

We so seldom come off the game field to the practice field, but I invite you all to join me here in the coming weeks.  

Now, how do you do it?

The goal here is team engagement, team learning, improvement, and team bonding. That means sending them a link to a (mostly) sales pitch webinar isn’t going to cut it. “Click, yawn, take the quiz, take it again” eLearning isn’t either. Don’t phone it in or give them housecleaning learning (you’ll finally pass the HR required learning!). Use this time to bond. Inspire. And practice for when it’s game time!

We’ve been training virtually for a few years now and we’ve learned a lot about what works.  Top tips:

Pick a topic and do it together.

Everyone attends. Meet fifteen minutes early and set expectations/goals for the training (what do you want to get out of it and why?)  Open a private chat channel during the training if it isn’t interactive. Then meet for 30 minutes after to collect best practices and insights. Even better, set goals for how we’ll try and apply the new goods in the coming weeks. Want an A+?  Issue a challenge (best-recorded call sent to me, cleanest pipe by Friday, best case study) and a contest!

Find interactive training. 

Most content houses and webinars are sadly one-way (and a little snoozy). Harsh but fair. Good training is interactive, short, fun and easy to apply to your job. Even online. When I set out to move Factor 8’s content online, I vowed never to have five slides go by without some sort of engagement (sort it, pick it, classify it, choose it). We used real calls and gave script samples for every class.  There should be activities to help apply on the job and a forum to share best practices (we call these Happy Hours). See what’s available to you from your company and associations, but preview first so you aren’t torturing the team instead of building them.

Blend team and on-your-own training.  

If you don’t have access to good virtual training, try a book club. Assign some reading on their own and have each person lead a discussion / chapter or section.  During the discussion be sure to cover how to apply concepts to your company/product/customers, give examples, and then an activity to go and do it. The best part of training is the application portion.  Leaders own this.

Talk about it.

Make sure your team knows your intent and strategy here.  Use the sports and playing field analogy if it helps, but resist the temptation to just assign and micromanage.  Each of my recommendations includes team discussion and sharing for a reason. Working together to build the best messaging and sharing wins along the way will bring you all together and make life much more fun.

If you don’t have access to good eLearning, Factor 8 wants to share a free class in The Sales Bar for you and your team. We know that now more than ever, you need training for your team. Interested? Email “I need training!” to info@factor8.com and we’ll hook you up. Or, hit me up directly if you have a special circumstance at lb@factor8.com

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