Another element is sales reps’ lack of engagement in their training. If you and your team are just going through the motions of a coaching session, none of it will stick and you are wasting your time (and that of your reps). So how to make your reps engage and get more out of their training sessions? Make it fun for them!
That’s right, coaching doesn’t have to be a grueling, monotonous, and stressful process where your reps feel like they are on the hook or just get bored and tune you out. Read on to learn how to create a relaxed, motivating environment for training.
All of the techniques described in this article can be enhanced through the use of the latest AI technology to track your junior reps’ progress and give them real-time feedback. Attention will make all your training sessions fun, interactive and streamlined, saving you tons of time in the process.
One of the single biggest pitfalls managers fall into during coaching is giving long, tedious presentations. This usually causes information overload, where your team is not able to digest the material you are exposing them to.
Not only does this bore your reps and almost invariably cause them to tune you out, but you are wasting valuable time that could be spent on more effective training methods. 70% of learning takes place by doing! So as a rule of thumb you should try to make sure your reps spend at least 70% of their training practicing what they learned in the remaining 30%.
Your presentations should always be focused on practice, not theory, and contain valuable information that your reps can start implementing and acting on today! Then you can give them direct, targeted feedback based on their performance instead of generalizing and lecturing. Remember, the more specific and tailored a training session is, the better.
Make sure to call out individual reps to break up your presentations. Even if you are lecturing, have your team
This keeps them focused and on their toes, cause they might be called on to participate at any moment!
Since you want to focus on active learning, the following exercises can be a great way to keep your reps engaged and have them learn faster by doing.
The most simple exercise you can do is a basic sales role-play. Have one rep play the buyer and another the seller and then have them rotate. You can pick different personalities and roles for the ‘buyer’ to act out, so your team members can get used to dealing with different types of prospects. To make the role-play more challenging, you can also pick any object in the room, give the ‘seller’ only a minute or so to prepare, and then have them field objections from the seller.
You can also frequently test your reps’ knowledge during product reviews by having the whole team ask them questions about new release features and elements of the product. One fun way to do this is to go around a circle and have everyone name a feature or selling point. The first person who can’t come up with any features is eliminated! You can keep going for as many rounds as you like.
Another popular and effective game is the ‘hot seat’. A rep sits in a chair facing his fellow team members who ask him questions or give objections about a product he is supposed to be selling (again, this could be anything from a hypothetical product to an object in the room). When the rep falters or is unable to answer an objection quickly and effectively, he’s out of the hot seat and another team member replaces him. Whoever lasts the longest in the hot seat wins!
As often as possible, you want your reps to act out and practice the roles they’ll be playing in their sales calls in front of their team. For example, get them to try out that new cold-call script and have other reps give them objections. The idea here is to get your reps to think on their feet and handle pressure. If they can perform well and relax in front of their manager and whole team, talking to prospects won’t seem as daunting.
This also enables them to refine and practice their scripts and hone their technique. Lastly, it provides a great opportunity to provide feedback and let the team critique each other’s techniques.
A great way to keep your reps engaged and focused during training is to reward strong performances. This can mean rewarding people who meet or exceed their training goals with anything from cash prizes to better leads. People are proven to learn better and focus more if they know they will be rewarded, and especially if they can stand out among their peers.
Another incentive could simply be highlighting and praising star performances in training in front of the team. It is important for your reps to feel that you are keeping track and that their good work will be recognized.
Attention enables you to track your reps’ progress on a variety of different metrics, giving you opportunities to reward standout performances.
Lastly, make sure to give your team the space to coach each other. Often reps will respond better to guidance or feedback from their peers than from a manager- it can encourage a bit of healthy competition!
Have your star players provide insight and share what worked for them. This can do the following:
The key here is you want to develop a culture where your reps want to distinguish themselves and beat records, but they also want to help each other so better through mutual training and feedback. You want a sort of hybrid between a competitive and collaborative spirit- it’s a delicate balance, but the best teams always run this way!
We know you want to make your sales training as effective and engaging as possible. That’s why we recommend these tips for making sure that it is both of those things. Shorten the amount of time spent on each lesson so that they don't feel like a burden, try some exercises during training sessions, act out scenarios with your team members in order to enact real-life examples, provide incentives for good behavior, and emphasize teamwork by having peer coaching throughout the process. Feel free to share any experiences you have with fun training sessions in the comments below!
Attention can help keep your junior reps engaged and accelerate their progress by providing instant feedback. Click here to give us a try!
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