Workplaces have changed. Some companies are working in a hybrid fashion. Some are fully remote. With such a distributed team, do you really think hosting one annual SKO is enough? Can it really give your sales team all the information they need? And will they even retain what they heard? Probably not!
50% of new information is forgotten within an hour of encountering it. 70% is forgotten within 24 hours.
As a sales leader, you may feel tempted to frontload your one annual SKO with all the information. But the need of the hour is more frequent, regular SKOs. And ongoing sales training programs that complement those SKOs throughout the year.
Here are 8 online sales training ideas that go beyond the traditional SKO.
1. Regional Kick-Offs
With the right hybrid event technology, you can now adopt a hub and spoke model while organizing SKOs. This gives you a central location for a select group of attendees to set the stage with top leadership. There can be other smaller virtual or hybrid events held throughout the year. This will help in aligning regional teams and ensure everyone has a voice.
Reasons to organize regional sales kick-offs
Best time to organize regional sales kick-offs
You can organize regional sales kick-off meetings at the beginning of every quarter. You can also organize frequent virtual catch-ups for regular progress updates.
Want to turbocharge your GTM team with an engaging sales kick-off
2. Sales Call Recordings
Ongoing sales conversations are an invaluable source of real-time insights. Through these interactions, you can identify gaps in the sales process and learn what customers really care about. With most sales conversations moving online, you can gain from recording sales calls (using a tool like Gong) and reviewing them with sellers. This can be used as online training content for your sales reps to learn from year-round.
Reasons to record sales calls for online sales training
Best time to use recordings for online sales training
Here are some instances during which you can consider using the recordings.
3. Product/Service Training
This training is non-negotiable. It involves training your sales staff to become product/service experts. A detailed online demo/discussion followed by Q&A is one way of preparing your sales team.
If you’re a software product company you can also organize a bug bash event for your sales team. Sales reps will be required to test the software product and identify as many bugs as possible. The fact that they must interact with every feature makes this a great way to learn.
Only 5% of what is heard is retained. In comparison, when practiced, the percentage retained is 75%. Ensure better retention of product and service information by gamifying the experience. Assessments, missions, and investigations are some ways to encourage practice and repetition.
Reasons to organize online product/service training
Best time to organize online product/service training
Three occasions that call for product/services training are:
Want to take your product/service training from ‘blah’ to ‘boom’?
4. Peer-to-peer Knowledge Sharing
Peer-to-peer knowledge sharing involves the sharing of learning and experiences between team members. Some forms of this type of training are:
Reasons to organize peer-to-peer knowledge training sessions
Best time to organize peer-to-peer knowledge training sessions
Organize this type of online sales training program on a monthly or quarterly basis as a cadence. In addition to this, you can organize these sessions as part of an employee onboarding program.
5. Sales Pitch Training
This is the second most important type of virtual training program required by your hybrid workforce. You can organize regular online sales training to educate your team with the ideal process to follow from lead to conversion. You can also familiarize them with collateral like pitch decks, videos, demos, and more at such virtual events.
Reasons to organize an online sales pitch training
Best time to organize an online sales pitch training
This training is ideal for when you have new members joining your team. A sales strategy change can also trigger such training.
Supercharge your sales kick-off meeting. Avoid these 3 deadly mistakes!
6. Online Sales Certifications & Courses
Provide your sales team with formal sales training and certifications online. It can include training for the soft skills needed to be successful sales executives. While this may need investments, it will be worth every penny spent.
Reasons to facilitate online sales courses & certifications
Best time to facilitate online sales courses and certifications
Online courses and certifications can be mandated as part of employee KPIs. This will ensure continuous learning and growth. Another option is to provide completely optional training programs. Completion of these online sales training can be tied to appraisals and promotions. Gamify this experience with an employee leaderboard to derive maximum results.
7. Mentorship Programs
This program is also known as Buddy Program or Shadow Program. It involves assigning a mentor to new recruits for the first few months. It is especially relevant for a smooth transition in a virtual or hybrid workplace.
Reasons to implement an online mentorship training program
Best time to implement online mentorship training programs
The best time to implement this program is during the first 30/60/90 days of a new hire joining your organization.
8. Training With Industry Experts
Engage industry experts via virtual platforms to train your sales team from time to time. Topics can be sales-related or they can be related to developing soft skills.
Reasons to invest in online sales training with experts
Best time to invest in online sales training with experts
There’s no fixed time to invest in this online sales training idea. Consider investing if you have identified a skill gap and have the budget to invest in a global expert.
3 Things to Remember
A motivated sales team is the first step towards a successful sales strategy. Make sure you get this step right. More so in a world where hybrid workplaces are becoming as real as the air, we breathe.
And as you embark on this journey, remember three things:
If you can achieve this, then that’s a home run.
Stay ahead of the competition. Discover these 6 virtual SKO trends.