Companies that offer sale skills or methodology training programs will sometimes provide automated tools to help improve post-training adoption of those selling best practices. These organizations keep sales training and the use of supporting enablement tools as completely separate educational experiences. We don’t believe that that is an optimal approach.
In the past, incorporating automated tools as a wholly integrated part of a sales training experience entailed risk for potential failures in hardware, software, or network connectivity. It was simpler and safer to keep technology and sales training segregated.
But today, it makes no sense to separate skill development and the tools that support new behaviors. In fact, we have been delivering sales training experiences with seamlessly integrated, automated support tools to clients for the last several years – with excellent results! The benefits of such an integrated approach have been overwhelmingly positive.
So what are the benefits of integrating sales training and enablement tools?
1. It makes the learning experience more realistic. Bringing sales enablement tools into the classroom creates a more realistic learning experience. It removes any questions about what the salesperson is going to have to do and how they’re going to work once training is complete. It creates a smooth transition between the classroom experience, and everyday usage and application of the trained skill or methodology.
This makes the learning more digestible. Bringing sales enablement tools into the classroom makes the methodology being learned really come to life in a way that’s a lot easier for sellers to understand. In fact, learning feels more real and less theoretical or conceptual, so to speak, especially when the training requires salespeople to work on live deals or live accounts.
2. It enables better coaching and reinforcement. Bringing sales enablement tools into the classroom creates better alignment between a salesperson and their sales manager. It more realistically establishes what good looks like, shows salespeople and sales managers what to do, how to do it, and how work is going to be inspected. Everyone leaves the training on the same page, knowing what they’ll do the moment they get back to the office, in the field, or on the phone.
3. It enables better and faster adoption. When bringing sales enablement tools into the classroom, we go through extensive preparation with our clients. We start by deploying tools in advance and actually having participants use the tool to complete pre-work, allowing them some forward exposure. This enables participants to become familiar with basic functionality, which they master as they go through the whole program. No momentum is lost since there is no lag between training and the deployment of tools.
4. It gives sales leaders insight into change. Our sales enablement tools have robust reporting functionality that enable the sales leaders to see the rate of new process adoption and the positive impact that it’s having on performance. Since tools are deployed prior to the training, they’re used immediately. Sales leaders have a window into adoption and performance improvement almost immediately.
In fact, we strongly recommend incorporating the use of supporting enabling tools within the classroom experience. Do not implement a new process or methodology without first thinking through implementation and sustainment. If tools are not integrated into the classroom that you are considering, then you risk losing momentum, and are adding additional disruption and complexity to your sales performance initiative.