The Brooks Group was recognized by Investopedia as having the best virtual sales training in the country.
So it may come as a surprise to learn that we actually recommend live training, at this moment in time. Yes, we spent years developing a best in class virtual training, were first in the industry to bring in producer roles, have mastered the art of breakout rooms and upped the interactivity for our virtual trainings – but our client’s just love the live classroom.
Virtual training is effective, convenient, and has been a necessity for many through the pandemic.
Why Virtual Training Worked
When Covid hit, no one could attend in-person training. Most companies figured out how to shift to a virtual work environment, and training companies followed suit.
Virtual training worked for salespeople during the lockdowns because not only was their office closed, but their customers’ offices were closed as well. There weren’t as many calls to make, emails to return, proposals to write, or meetings to attend.
People paid attention in training because there were fewer things competing for their time.
We Need Connection
People are social creatures. Not only do we need connection with other people, but we crave it.
Most of the sales teams trained recently are tired of Zoom meetings. They want to meet with customers face-to-face again. That holds true for seeing colleagues as well. I realized during a recent training that the attendees hadn’t physically seen eachother in 2 years! That in-person training injected a ton of energy into the salespeople, and strengthened connections between colleagues.
“I wish this could have been in person”
is the most commonly received feedback after any virtual training.
Live, in-person training also engages more of the senses—which helps hold attention. It also gets people away from their mental to-do lists.
The largest benefits however, are the rich discussions that take place at live events.
It’s natural for people to share what they’re learning with each other during a break. Or a salesperson will ask their manager how something they learned applies to a specific account. Reinforcing ideas in this way is a recipe for creating training that sticks, and your company would benefit if more salespeople had customized interactions that caused them to directly apply the techniques they were learning.
Sellers Excel In-Person
Your salespeople need to get back together!
Research shows that people who work in strictly virtual environments feel greater isolation and less connected to colleagues compared to employees who work together in person. Plus, most salespeople enjoy the socialization associated with face-to-face meetings. In-person training is a great way for people to reconnect with peers and managers.
Salespeople also have the benefit of private, personal interactions during in-person training. During a break in a virtual training everyone is instantly separated. During in-person breaks people can mingle. We typically wallpaper the conference room with sheets of easel paper outlining everything that’s been taught during the training. It’s common to see salespeople reinforcing concepts together, discussing specific accounts with managers, or figuring out how to apply lessons in strategic accounts.
This type of interaction is almost non-existent in virtual meetings.
We’ve Lost the Art of Conversation
I’ve noticed that people sometimes forget how to act when they get back together in person. We’re out of practice speaking face to face, and as such your people may be having a harder time handling difficult sales conversations.
Our newest program, Conversations with Confidence, corrects this by rejuvenating your salesforce. Confidence in a sales conversation stems from understanding what a customer is telling you through their body language, inflection, and tone. We can teach your salespeople how to identify these signs, but we only do it live and in-person where participants can practice the skill set, and get direct feedback without feeling handicapped by a virtual modality.