Engaged salespeople are the difference between a high and low ROI on your sales training. But with attention spans at an all-time low, what can you do to keep participants focused during training?
These 6 ideas based in best practice adult learning principles will help you earn and hold the attention of even the most phone-addicted or resistant salesperson.
1. Customize the Content
Sales professionals have no patience for training presentations that are not clearly relevant to their daily work. Generic training materials will only bore and frustrate them.
Be sure to work with a training provider who is capable of learning about your business and sales methodology, then providing in-depth and robust customization to your program content. The training should address the challenges your sales reps face in the field including the language and examples with which they’re familiar.
Relevance drives engagement. When salespeople see content from their daily lives, as well as understand how to apply it in their daily workflow, they’ll pay more attention, and they’ll be more likely to apply what they’ve learned back on the job.
2. Incorporate Time for Sharing Best Practices
Facilitator-led training should represent only a portion of your total training program. Best practice instructional design incorporates plenty of time for participants to share their own best practices and to network with one another.
When designing training for your salespeople, be sure to build in time for group breakout sessions and idea sharing. This has the added benefit of building community on your team and improving workplace dynamics.
3. Include Activities that Involve Standing Up and Walking Around
When it comes to learner engagement, hands-on activities and an interactive learning environment far outperform dry PowerPoint-only monologue presentations.
This is especially important for sales professionals who by nature tend to be high energy and never sit still for very long.
Work with a training company with plenty of experience training sales participants and catering to their behavior and learning styles. The most engaging sales training programs will give participants a chance to get out of their seats and engage in interactive exercises.
4. Add a Reward Component
The human brain is wired to be motivated by rewards. This is especially true for sales professionals who tend to be competitive by nature.
Sales training facilitators can keep the audience engaged through a long presentation or a set of complex training materials by including reward elements in the program.
Rewards can be as simple as offering points for answering questions correctly. Additional competitive elements such as games, leaderboards, and prizes incorporated within the training or during reinforcement further strengthen engagement and retention of the information.
5. Activate as Many Senses as Possible
The brain begins the encoding process through the senses. When training involves multiple senses, participants will automatically be more engaged and will be better able to recall the information after the training is over.
Below are some examples that can easily be incorporated into a sales training program:
- Sight. What participants see can either enhance or inhibit the learning experience. Effective training should include engaging visuals such as photographs and well-designed charts. Props and other visual aids can enhance engagement as well.
- Sound. Music and sound effects used with specific elements of the training program bring the content to life and can solidify a mental connection. In addition, a skilled sales trainer will be able to modulate their voice and infuse their presentations with enthusiasm and energy.
- Touch. Hands-on activities that include interacting with props and materials will amp up learning and engage different learning styles.
- Smell. Scented markers are a great way to tie content with a memory and help participants better retain what they learn.
- Taste. Peppermints have been shown to enhance memory and can easily be kept where participants are seated. Of course, a training lasting for more than several hours should include food and refreshments for attendees.
6. Choose a Highly Skilled Facilitator
Nothing makes or breaks a training program more than the facilitator.
A highly skilled sales training facilitator will combine training expertise with real-world sales experience to deliver a program that keeps learners engaged and motivated.
Having real subject-matter expertise on your company’s business model and sales challenges creates buy-in and trust from salespeople.
Work with a training provider who deploys a stringent certification process for facilitators and includes them in the program customization stages.
View the video below to see how The Brooks Group’s sales training facilitators will bring your program to life and help you maximize results and ROI.
It’s not often that you’re able to get the whole sales team together in one place. Make the most of your annual sales meeting by keeping your salespeople engaged, and getting hyper-focused on the things that will improve your team’s performance the most.