Wrapping up your sales kickoff is a relief. The hours and energy you spent preparing and executing resulted in an excellent event. But ongoing sales training is actually just as important as the success of the in-person event. People forget 80% of what they have learned within the first 90 days, so you need to consistently reinforce to the topics discussed during the kickoff and implement a strategy to ensure continuous improvement and learning. Through ongoing sales training, certification and coaching you can keep the momentum from SKO throughout the year.
Training has traditionally been a singular event to teach reps about a new product, process or methodology. However, it should be an ongoing practice that ensures sellers to stay on top of the latest and most relevant information to present to prospects and existing customers.
You don’t want training to be something your reps dread. They’ve already experienced the long SKO event so another long meeting won’t be very effective. Instead, offer materials reps can review at their own time and pace, making it far less overwhelming and more empowering. Quizzes and surveys delivered via video and mobile allows sellers to review information at their convenience, while giving you an understanding of how reps are performing on their own and in comparison to one another. Not to mention, the ability to view who has and has not completed training means you can give nudges to those who need it.
Ongoing Sales Certification
To confirm reps grasp the SKO concepts and subsequent training, you must certify your reps on those subjects. This encourages friendly competition and incentivizes sellers to become certified. Integrate certification programs with your content management system so sellers can access relevant information and test themselves when they’re confident and comfortable with the material.
Don’t certify every single skill, however. Reserve certifications for specific — and critical — concepts such as knowledge surrounding a product, mastery of a program or comprehension of certain sales methodologies.
Your entire sales team needs ongoing training and practice to develop and evolve with your business, but managers should dedicate individual time and attention to each team member. This includes one-on-one meetings, analysis of training and certification completion, and observation of behavior and performance.
One-on-one check-ins should focus on reps’ performance and satisfaction in their role and put them in control of the conversation. Asking questions such as, “What has been going on with you?” or “How do you feel you’ve been doing over the past month?” encourages honest feedback and transparency.
Managers’ observations and analysis should also lead these discussions. If a salesperson has not completed certain training materials or received a low score, that person may require special attention. In addition, the day-to-day happenings on the sales floor can give insight into potential problems that need to be addressed. For instance, a manager may notice tension between two reps, causing them to feel more frustrated and therefore not sell successfully. By talking through things in a private setting, these issues can be resolved before they get worse.
SKO is sets the tone for the year ahead. However, without reinforcing the content covered, you’ll soon find the tone reverts back. Training, certifications and coaching are all integral to getting the information to stick amongst all reps and continuing development for the next year and the years to come.
Showpad’s content platform integrates with your current systems to provide an easy way to distribute content throughout your organization and track performance. Learn more about our training and coaching capabilities here.