Three Keys to Virtual Training Success: Not All Providers are Created Equal

three-keys-to-virtual-training-success-not-all-providers-are-created-equal

If there’s anything the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s this: There are no quick fixes, slap-dash measures, or shortcuts in life, or in business.

Though it is human nature to want our personal and professional lives to bounce back up as quickly as they dropped into the abyss, your business’s recovery from the pandemic will take a deliberate, strategic, and paced effort to yield financial rewards.

So, too, is the case with sales training: Though many providers are encouraging you to use this temporary pause to invest in upskilling your team – as my elders used to say – there’s a right way, and a wrong way.

We see examples of companies who are attempting to simply shift their in-person training into the world of Zoom – compelling people to sit still for two days of instruction, amid the distractions of their work from home workspaces, and expecting it to stick. Others still take a generic approach to sales training, without regard for the nuances of the company’s business model, sales landscape, or the critical skills that sales teams need to be successful right now, in this environment.

Add to this a recent Harvard Business Review feature that noted the growing backlash  and diminishing returns that are coming from pandemic virtual meeting overload, and it’s clear that your investment in virtual training must be undertaken with the same care and deliberation as other corporate investments, and not just a click on a pretty advertising picture.

So, how can you make your virtual training dollar work best for you and your sales team? And what types of attributes should you be looking for in vetting newly minted virtual training programs?

Here are a few considerations to bear in mind

Is It Really Virtual?: As I mentioned above, it’s highly ineffective to take a two-day, in-person class, and deliver it over Zoom for two days as if it was a Congressional filibuster. Two days of instructor-led classroom training does not equal two days of virtual instructor-led training. In a best-case scenario, salespeople typically can focus for about two hours at a time, with frequent breaks and plentiful opportunities for interaction.

Also, make sure the structure and format embraces the kind of experience that is optimized for the realities of at-home, computer-based learning.

Humankind, of the Human Kind: Though many companies are offering facilitation during their virtual sessions, there is a special skill to instructional delivery via virtual means. It’s a distinct skill set that, many trainers will tell you, is very different than facilitating in front of a class of live humans. Not only should your virtual facilitator have the specialized training needed to  ensure the training is successful, but you should ask: Do you have a producer or technical contact to ensure a flawless experience, and to troubleshoot problems? Are your tools accessible across a broad variety of platforms?

Also, does your facilitator and design team know how to mix the right formula of content, visuals, graphics, and interaction to keep things focused and compelling? Do you have things like breakout rooms, quizzes, and chats?

Variety Adds the Spice: Does your content meet our business needs? Can it be customized? During these times, the best training for you and your sales team incorporates information that is truly focused on helping you to move the needle now. That should involve certain table stakes, including customized content designed for the variables of your business, market, or vertical, and pre-work that incorporates your company’s goals and aspirations into the mix.

Looking to boost the effectiveness and performance of your remote sales team? The Brooks Group's IMPACT Selling Virtual Instructor-Led Sales Training Program is the perfect solution. Our expert facilitators can train your team online from anywhere, in a live, collaborative, virtual classroom. Learn more about our Virtual Instructor-Led Training by filling out the form below to request one of our helpful information packets.

 

WRITTEN BY

Michelle Richardson

Michelle Richardson is the Vice President of Sales Performance Research. In her role, she is responsible for spearheading industry research initiatives, overseeing consulting and diagnostic services, and facilitating ROI measurement processes with partnering organizations. Michelle brings over 25 years of experience in sales and sales effectiveness functions through previously held roles in curriculum design, training implementation, and product development to the Sales Performance Research Center.

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