When your company’s annual sales conference wraps up, what happens next? Your reps board their flights back home, spreading out across the world until the same time next year.
If the event was a success, reps return to their regions with new energy and ideas, but also a lot of phone calls and emails to return. Soon enough, information is forgotten and excitement fades in the deluge of making sales. The needle of growth returns to something resembling the weeks before the conference.
Forgetting is an unavoidable part of learning, and even a great sales training conference can go only so far to sidestep that fundamental truth. But that doesn’t mean that your sales training initiatives are doomed to fade.
Today, innovative companies are finding new and better ways to create a more active and consistent sales training programs, using video to ensure that everyone from new hires to top performers can stay ahead of the curve.
Supplementing your keystone sales training events, video-based training programs can offer more time and capacity for active learning through practice and critique. And when combined with a culture of active and social learning, video offers a unique opportunity to push your sales training to the next level while being more effective, enjoyable and cost-effective for your entire team.
So how to do you turn a medium most see as a one-to-many communication tool into something active and engaging?
If you have hired the right people for your sales team, then you already have individuals that thrive on challenge. But that doesn’t mean that they’re 100% ready to sell for you right out of the gate. Even an experienced sales executive needs time and experience to acquire the knowledge and nuance required to inspire confidence in their contacts and customers, a sympathetic response that can only be transferred if the rep is also confident in their delivery.
Whether your core sales training materials are delivered by video, or in an older format like handbooks or classroom presentations, video-enabled role play can be used to challenge reps, allowing them to both practice and demonstrate what they have learned.
The best part about role play as a training tool is that it is genuinely easy to incorporate into your existing programs. Simply start by having a sales manager record a short, sample prompt that simulates the role of the contact in a sales conversation. Pick any potential challenge that a customer is likely to select in a real sales meeting.
The rep’s job now is to respond, just as they would in a real sales presentation — but here on video, taking what they have learned in the training and applying it to the challenge. Learners are free to take as many takes as they need to develop the confidence needed to elicit the sympathetic response in their prospect while delivering the right message.
When finished, have the rep submit their role play assignment to their manager for review. By dividing the time spent on creating role play challenges for their reps, sales managers can spend more time reviewing the video submissions and providing constructive criticism.
Just like the challenge, video allows an easy way for managers to deliver detailed feedback that can be reviewed again and again.
It’s not just the learners themselves that benefit from the accessibility of recorded video. With the right video content management system, recordings can be shared with anyone who might benefit. Managers might choose their favorite examples from a pool of rep responses to include in a library of best practices.
Over time, this accumulated knowledge creates a diverse pool of resources for both new hires and experienced reps. Just make sure your library is accessible and searchable, so that everyone can find what they need, when they need it.
Of course, once a rep is immersed in the day-to-day of the selling cycle, they are still going to need to learn. Whether your company is changing its messaging, releasing or discontinuing a product, or adopting a new methodology for selling, you need an effective way to communicate with the field.
Here again, video offers a fantastic way to keep your sales force connected and moving forward in the same direction. That’s because video captures all of the non-verbal communication that doesn’t come across on the phone and that is completely lost in email. As the most natural and familiar form of communication, speaking to others via video remains the easiest way to share knowledge.
It isn’t just sales managers who can share their knowledge with the whole team. Long before software existed to easily share video across the Internet with anyone, researchers at the Center for Creative Leadership began to show that a mere 10% of learning occurred through courses and traditional teaching material. Twice as much was thanks to social learning, comprised of peer feedback and collaboration with colleagues.
Before the Internet, working together with others in an office was a critical piece of ongoing learning. In many ways, sales representatives in the field have always been at a disadvantage when it came to learning and the annual sales meeting might be one of the only times for individuals to catch-up with what their company was doing.
Today, anyone anywhere can capture feedback from the field and share it with their colleagues. Using no more than the smartphone in their pockets, salespeople can share real-life examples of challenges they received from prospects and how they overcome them. Reps can become valuable resources to one another, both up and down and across your corporate hierarchy.
The ability to record, make simple edits and share lots of video is possible, but only with the right enterprise video platform. To get your sales force learning better with Panopto, contact our team to schedule a demo or start your free trial today.