Building an Effective Battle Rhythm Part 4: Honing Individual Skills and Expertise
In this the final installment of the four part series, Building an Effective Battle Rhythm, we explore how you can effectively train your your sales team.
Businesses spent over $2.52 Billion on sales training last year, but an effective training program doesn't have to break your budget. The most successful training programs allow sales teams to have access to consistent training activities that facilitate change and reinforce newly learned skills. Your regular battle rhythm is the perfect place to include these training opportunities. By including training opportunities in your regular events, you minimize the amount of time you are taking your team out of the field and you are able to manage the adoption of new skills.
But how do you build training activities into your battle rhythm? It is easier than you think. Contrary to popular belief, training doesn't have to take the form of 1-2 hour workshops. Studies have show that the longer the training is, the less sales people retain long term. Ideally training should occur at all your battle rhythm events in small 15-20 minute bites. Training at this length is easy for your sales team to digest and implement into their daily activity.
Here are three ways to include training at each of your battle rhythm events:
1. Field train and provide detailed feedback.
Spending time in the field with each of your sales team should be a regular occurrence in your battle rhythm. Your sales people develop their talent in the field under real life circumstances. But the post call analysis and feedback is what will cement correct process and technique. As the sales leader you should be observing your team as they are prospecting, meeting with clients, presenting to organizations, and doing anything else that is client facing. It is key that you don't wait to debrief and discuss what happened on the ride along if you want this training to be successful. The longer you wait the less impact your analysis and feedback will have.
2. Hand the training over to your team.
Yes at first glance this sounds like I am advocating that you let the inmates run the asylum. Be assured, I'm not. But what I am suggesting is that you pick the topics but you allow your team to create the training session for your weekly sales meeting by drawing on their experiences and research. The benefits of this is that it takes you out of the spotlight and it allows members of your team to be front and center. It is also relatively easy for you to facilitate. You pick a topic, "questions to disqualify non-buyers early", "trigger events for most qualified opportunities" or something similar; and then assign a sales person to facilitate the training. Be sure to give the person you pick no less than a week to prepare and prior to the sales meeting review the sales person's plan and content to make sure it meets your requirements. If you want you can give your sales person a rubric to follow to help guide the content, but sometimes this stifles your sales person's creativity.
3. Learn from other departments
There are so many departments in a company that impact a sales person's life, accounting, customer service, marketing, fulfillment, finance, etc that sales people don't actually interact with in a meaningful manner. Invite team members from other departments to attend your team meetings and have them provide training or answer questions from the team.
One of the most constant complaints we hear from both salespeople and sales managers is that they hate their sales meetings. They’re boring, going into detail about everyone’s opportunities, or they’re tedious, with only the manager talking. To update your sales meetings, focus on incorporating training and team building opportunities. Sales training should be in EVERY meeting!
Creating a successful sale team is one of the most important responsibilities you will have in business. Giving your team access to the best training will go a long way to achieving your goals as well as developing a culture that your team wants to be a part of. What are you going to do today to start developing your sales team?