According to studies, 75% of learning is forgotten within six days if it is not reinforced. That means if you’re a sales leader investing in one-off or monthly workshops (and not including your more experienced reps!), you’ve already lost. If you want to bring skills to your team and boost your sales growth – and in turn foster greater employee retention – you must invest in sales training reinforcement as part of your wider training and development strategy. That means, making sure your more experienced reps are getting training too.
What is Sales Training Reinforcement?
Sales training reinforcement (STR) is a type of sustainable training to keep your sales reps at the top of their game. The goal of STR is to allow sales reps to practice and improve their sales techniques and skills, and even try out new techniques that may help them sell better. STR goes hand in hand with an always be curious (ABC) attitude that all sales leaders should encourage in their teams.
Not convinced? Here are our 4 reasons why even your best sales reps need training too.
1. Build Your Sales Reps’ Confidence.
Even if they’re a seasoned pro, the sales landscape is constantly changing and adapting. Just look at the last year we’ve had – selling has gone remote, buyers are more hesitant, and new sales tools are flooding the landscape every day. (We’ve written an article all about succeeding as an outside turned inside sales rep if you want to learn more).
So whether your sales reps are taking on a new type of sales (inside vs outside sales), dealing with the challenges of digitalization, or starting afresh, make sure everyone feels empowered to do their best work whatever the circumstances.
By training your experienced sales reps alongside newer ones, you can ensure everyone feels equally confident in selling to the best of their ability. Providing training to your best sales reps will help show them that you understand that the current sales climate may be difficult but you want to reaffirm your confidence in them to keep going. Knowing they have your support and the correct resources to assist them in these unprecedented times will do wonders for your sales reps’ confidence, not just in their own selling abilities but also in the company culture.
Keep all your reps up to date on new developments and make sure no one gets left behind.
2. Build a Consistent Sales Process.
Some sales reps may have been with you for 10 years, and others 10 days. No matter how long, your product(s), value proposition(s), and messaging are bound to be changing and adapting. Rather than just onboarding new reps onto the latest messaging, carry out the same training for everyone to keep your sales process streamlined and consistent.
Don’t assume all your sales reps are using the same messaging, because you may be surprised at the reality. A study conducted by Lucidpress and Demand Metric found that consistent brand presentation increases that brand’s revenue by an average of 23%. A PWC report on the future of customer experience found that 73% of all people point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions. In order to achieve a smooth sales process with a uniform customer experience, you need to be training all your sales reps to make sure everyone’s always on the same page.
Tools like Ciara make scaling a consistent sales process simple with Deal Maps. Deal Maps visualize the sales process in an easy and smart way, and give a holistic overview of each deal’s progress. In Ciara, your entire team has access to your up-to-date sales process and messaging (including keywords, question prompts, objection handling battle cards) ensuring an aligned process. As well, Ciara prompts sales reps in-call to make sure they’re covering the decided talking points, meaning your messaging is being implemented in real-time.
By training your entire sales team and building a consistent sales process, you’ll have long-term gains without the short-term cost of having to pay for an external trainer that’s not well-versed in your specific messaging.
3. Improve Sales Rep Retention.
LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report revealed that 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. What’s more, TINYpulse found that employees who feel like they’re progressing in their careers are 20% more likely to stay at their company for at least another year.
If you combine this desire for career development with the cost of losing and replacing an employee, it just makes sense to keep training your employees, no matter how experienced they are. In fact, according to the Work Institute’s 2021 Retention Report, the number one reason for employees’ premature departure was ‘career issues’ with their current employer, meaning a lack of opportunities for growth.
Just like your company and product haven’t stopped developing, neither should your sales reps’ professional development. By investing in everyone’s training, you can make sure you keep your best sales reps onboard and keep your business growing. Though you might see your ‘best’ sales reps as experienced, there’s always room to grow so make sure you’re fostering a learning environment by giving them training too.
4. Build Your Sales Team's Morale.
No one wants to be singled out for needing extra help or support. Similarly, you don’t want to create an ‘us’ vs ‘them’ culture whereby your newest reps are the only ones who get training while the more experienced sales reps simply do their own thing or think they know it all.
By including everyone in your training strategy, you are investing in the development and progression of your entire business. As mentioned previously, don’t just assume that everyone is selling in the same way or exactly as you first trained them.
When training becomes a team effort and activity, it can help to build unity and a sense of camaraderie among your sales reps as you can really sell them the vision of how this training will benefit not just them, but also the company as a whole. In addition, keeping your entire team up to date and encouraging development regardless of title, will help create a culture of constant improvement and motivate your entire sales team to keep learning and improving.
Whether it’s improving the customer experience through a consistent sales process, or making sure your sales reps feel valued, sales training at every level is key.
For more seasoned sales reps, this kind of sales training reinforcement can let them gain greater, more consistent in-depth knowledge of products and value propositions as well as a better understanding of best practices, sales strategies, and real-time sales situations.
A key benefit of sales reinforcement training is the consistency it can bring to your sales process, especially since the most effective sales training reinforcement should be implemented as part of a rep’s daily workflow. You can achieve this through leveraging modern sales technology; tools like Ciara do just that. Ciara provides real-time feedback to reps in-call, keeping them on track to cover everything needed in a brand-compliant way.
Try Ciara’s Deal Maps out for yourself (for free!) and see how Ciara can help you keep your sales team aligned and sales process running smoothly.