September 5, 2016

Certain things in life are just forgone conclusions.

A dry red wine and steak make a great combo. Of course.

Avoid politics and religion on a first date. Sounds smart.

The positive effects of a great sales training workshop on employee performance is fast becoming a foregone conclusion in the B2B world.

According to an infographic put together using data from the American Society of Training and Development, the right kind of sales training can yield a 50% higher rate of sales per employee. As business professionals, investing in the right kind of sales training is an ever-important decision. Learning the top skills needed to run a great sales training workshop can give you an advantage when choosing the right one for your business. Let’s look at what it takes to run a memorable, successful workshop.

Skill #1: Knowing who to train

A pro step you can take before the first person is seated is to make sure the right people are the ones taking part. It’s safe to assume that your sales force doesn’t perform identically when compared to each other individually.  Many of us are familiar with the old 80/20 rule (80% of your sales will come from the best 20% of your sales staff.) but modern data puts that rule more likely at 90/10, or higher in some cases!

This means not all of your staff will benefit equally from sales training, yet many managers have a tendency to send their worst performers to training in the hopes that they will somehow get fixed.  Training the best people yields the best results. Formal tests can identify those with the aptitude to excel and get the most benefit from a business sales training workshop.

Skill #2: Engagement

Essentially, most of the general concepts will be familiar to the sales people in attendance — many have attended similar trainings in the past. What separates a great sales training workshop from a mediocre one hasn’t only to do with the quality of the materials being presented, but how they are presented. Ask any teacher — it’s challenging to digest complex ideas and processes and present them in a compelling manner that finds its way into our long term memory. The best sales trainings incorporate direct participation from the audience. Whether it’s a Q and A session, role play scenarios, or team-based competitions, the idea is to present real-world applicable sales training in a way that makes sense and isn’t boring.

Skill #3: Reinforcement

The same infographic from above states that people forget about 70% of what they were taught 24 hours after a sales training. That means even if you had the best, totally awesome business sales training workshop ever, you still have some work to do when it comes to getting those sales people to fully invest in the material learned and produce a positive change in culture (and revenue).

This means that your sales training company should offer services such as post-workshop coaching, multimedia and online resources, and consulting with managers and executives to get their buy-in as well.

Sales training workshops provide real results and can motivate and inspire your sales force to reach ever-higher goals — as long as they are delivered skillfully as described above.