The vast majority of the programs we put together are in-house sales training programs. After 36 years of creating these programs, we've learned a lot! So, if you're building an in-house sales training program, avoid the mistakes we've made...
Not every program we deliver is at a client's location, though. Every few weeks or so, we get the opportunity to host a group of salespeople or sales managers at our training center in Greensboro, NC. This week was one of them. The excitement around the office increases dramatically because 20 or 30 salespeople generate a lot of energy. We kept the energy positive by watching the little things.
There are a few tricks to make an in-house sales training program effective. As basic as some of this might sound, it truly is the little things that will make your event successful or a flop.
Successful In-House Sales Training Programs
Aside from being delivered by highly skilled facilitators, successful in-house sales training programs require successful execution on some fundamental logistics. You might not think some of these things are that important, but trust us. They are. How do we know? We've learned the hard way!
Preparation: Participants in your in-house sales training program should know where to go, how to get there, and what to expect well in advance of the program. Sure, they may have last minute questions (or forget to look at the directions until the last minute!), but it's much better to prepare them early than to scramble at the last minute.
Comfort: Make sure everyone is comfortable. This includes everything from the chairs to the temperature of the room (depending on the room, 70 degrees is usually perfect).
Food: Having ready-access to food is an important component, too. Keep some snacks in the room. Oh, and lay off the carbs. Bread and pasta put people to sleep -- avoid them.
Breaks: Make them plentiful and tell participants when they're coming. Salespeople need time to make calls, check emails, and touch-base with customers.
Content: If it's an in-house sales training program, it better be highly customized! For more information about that, check out this post.
Exercises: Involving participants is important. But their involvement better not be "cheesy." The exercises you include should be real-world application of the principles you're teaching.
Facilitate: Don't lecture. Rely on the expertise in the room. Work hard to highlight the knowledge, experiences, and abilities that participants have. Incorporate them into the session.
Shipping: If people are flying in, be prepared to ship materials back for your participants. Sure, they might miss the chance to review the materials on the plane, but at least they won't have to cram them into an already overstuffed bag.
How else do you make sure an in-house sales training program is delivered effectively?