How to Increase Sales Training Results

We’re often asked how we can ensure that sales training will be effective and increase the organization’s bottom line. Our response to that is that we recognize it’s only natural for learners to forget information, so for training to truly be effective, it has to be reinforced.

By reinforcing your sales training, you're not only increasing knowledge retention, but also beginning to shape your learners behaviors to better match your organization’s goals. Weekly training reinforcement should become an integral part of your training after a course ends.

You’ve may have heard a few of these quips before:

  • “Was that covered in the course?”
  • “I don’t think I had enough training.”
  • “I need a refresher, I can’t remember exactly.”
  • “Can you help me? What am I supposed to do here again?”

Typical training courses last two to three days, but almost immediately after the training event, the new knowledge begins to fade. This is where training reinforcement comes in.

Training Reinforcement Best Practices

Training reinforcement, if done correctly, will dramatically increase the effectiveness of your sales training and will shape the behavior of your learners. Here are a few of the best practices for incorporating training reinforcement into your sales training program.

1. Make Training Reinforcement a Part of Your Learning Culture

If you implement a training reinforcement solution, it must become an integral part of your program, not just an additional resource.

The organizations that do correctly utilize reinforcement have much higher training engagement, knowledge retention, and training ROI. How do you make reinforcement an integral part of the training process?

  • Create a safe learning environment on the job.
  • Make managers responsible for reinforcement results.
  • Gather analytics and discuss progress during meetings.
  • Create feedback loops with upper management and HR.
  • Make reinforcement progress visible and encourage engagement in the program.

2. Follow Up Personally With Those Who Are Struggling

Many organizations already have a sales coaching plan in place, but we believe there's an easier, more time-sensitive approach.

Use the data available to you through your reinforcement program to create a coaching plan. You should follow up with those that are struggling as soon as the data begins to show problem areas. Don’t wait until the reinforcement program has concluded to begin following up on a more personal level. Use the data gathered early in the program to intervene and monitor the improvements after coaching. 

Another great tactic is to hold peer meetings where your participants can actively learn from one another. (This uses the 70:20:10 development model.)

3. Make Your Training Reinforcement Program Mobile

Your learners are constantly out in the field or on the phone. Use these devices to your advantage!

The training reinforcement program should be available to your learners no matter where they are. This helps increase program engagement and makes sure your learners are getting reinforcement content at the right time.

With mobile training reinforcement, reinforcement becomes a weekly routine and is integrated into company culture.

4. Get Direct Management Involved in the Reinforcement Process

Getting managers involved in the process will increase a reinforcement program's results. Managers should play an active role in creating a learning culture around reinforcement.

Managers can also use reinforcement to positively impact their own coaching behaviors.

Reinforcement programs are designed to create the highest impact possible. The program has three reinforcement stages, so managers must understand and treat each of these stages differently. The three stages of each reinforcement program are: awareness, knowledge/skills, and application.

For example: The awareness stage is important to create motivation for the reinforcement program. The manager should help promote this motivation.

When a participant is in the behavior phase, the manager must create a learning environment, so that the participant can reflect on the skills they're practicing.

Analytics play a big role in deciding what actions managers ask participants to take. Managers should use reinforcement data to create tasks for learners.

Adding reinforcement results as a responsibility for managers helps increase results. Some of our clients include these KPIs in their official job descriptions:

  • Participation rates
  • Completion rates
  • Reinforcement score minimums (for teams)
  • Completion of actions/tasks

5. Use a Training Reinforcement Solution with Analytics

Did you know that after training reinforcement, there is a 20% increase in reps that achieve sales quotas? But how are those organizations successfully using training reinforcement solutions to increase their results? Training Reinforcement Analytics.

One of the most effective ways to optimize training is to use a training reinforcement solution like Mindmarker. Mindmarker Training Reinforcement comes with a reinforcement analytics tool that will help you create actionable intelligence and drive success.

Reinforcement analytics include everything from participant status reports to behavior change. It allows you to see who has viewed reinforcement content and who needs additional follow up.

This post was originally published on December 10, 2019.

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