Sales training, like most other things today, has made the shift online. While online sales training is nothing new, the need to have training 100% online is a change. With…
Sales training, like most other things today, has made the shift online. While online sales training is nothing new, the need to have training 100% online is a change. With sales teams working remotely, there is a need for sales managers to make adjustments to their sales training to ensure the team is ramped up, following the correct processes and operating as efficiently as possible.
Mistakes can happen during the training process. These mistakes could have negative consequences, especially for new hires. Here our Toronto sales recruiters outline some of the most common mistakes to avoid while training your sales team remotely.
Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is hiring the wrong people for the job. Even with an effective training process, if you hire the wrong people, they won’t ramp up and will fall short of expectations. Hire the right salespeople, first and foremost.
Training is an ongoing process. It’s not a one-hour meeting or a task you assign to your remote sales team. Viewing it as a transactional event is a mistake. Training is ongoing. Every conversation you have with your sales team should be an extension of the formal training sessions you have. Being remote, reps tend to miss out on conversations in the office and on-the-job education. One way to attempt to mimic this is for sales managers to provide reps with access to training materials online. You can have scheduled chats about these materials as a way to discuss concepts and address how you implement them in real-time. This allows for training to evolve and continue over time.
Online sales training can often feel like a self-study process. Reps don’t have a colleague or manager readily available to help, provide clarification, and answer quick questions. Sales managers cannot assume reps will automatically reach out during the training process.
Having a strong channel of communication will help reps know when and how they can get assistance. It will also reduce miscommunication when providing instruction. Communicating sales processes and protocols can be complex. Try to offer many ways to communicate during the sales process. In addition to calls and video meetings, consider setting up direct messaging, forums, and chat groups so reps can get assistance when they need it.
It’s important to make remote employees feel comfortable when working through training materials. Sales managers need to check in with their team periodically to ensure they are on schedule, understand the materials, and are internalizing what needs to be learned. When you fail to check-in, your reps could feel as though they cannot ask questions, they could misunderstand directions, and even feel as though they are not supported. On the other hand, it’s also important not to check in too much. Give your team the space they need to get the training done. Work on finding the right balance of support and giving your team autonomy.
“Work on the training materials in your spare time.” This is a common message you hear from sales managers to their sales team. There are many issues with this relaxed approach. Many reps are already pressed for time as it is and have little to no spare time. There is also a lack of motivation and no real sense of urgency to get the training done. Without a deadline, you will have your sales team progressing through the training at different paces. Some will be using the training in real-time with customers, whereas others may not have even started it. This makes it difficult to manage your team, track the success of the training materials, and see if it has led to the desired results. Set training schedules and deadlines so all your remote reps are on the same page.
Getting new sales reps up to speed is challenging enough. Trying to get new employees ramped up remotely is even more difficult. You need a clear onboarding process for all new sales team members to follow. It’s a fundamental part of integrating them into the company culture and ensuring they meet performance expectations as quickly as possible.
While nothing will replace in-person training, it’s important to identify online training tools that can help you most effectively train your remote employees. There are many different types of remote training software available today. Look into tools that can help simplify your training and offer the most value to your sales team.
Training mistakes will have a trickle-down effect. If sales management makes too many mistakes when training new and inexperienced sales team members, issues will creep into operations. A well-trained sales team will be more effective and be in a better position to perform up to your expectations. Invest in training and your sales team.
Whether your entire sales team or just select members are working remotely, it’s vital to have the right approach. It starts with hiring and training. Check out these blogs by our sales recruiting experts about communication tips, team management, and how to get your sales team back on track.
SalesForce Search is a Toronto sales recruiting company that specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit salespeople in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services, and medical devices. Find the right salesperson for your organization, start your search here.
Craig has 10+ years of sales and sales management experience. He specializes in building strong business relationships with clients and has an exceptional history of client retention.