B2B sales companies are constantly looking for ways to improve ROI on sales training. It’s not surprising, given that as much as $20 billion is spent to train sales teams annually, according to ATD. What benefit does that huge investment bring? Sales Alliance found that 80-90% is completely forgotten in just one month.
Businesses are throwing money into the sales training black hole with nothing to show for it. How can you change that?
The answer lies in continued reinforcement.
Why do sales reps forget?
The science behind post-training reinforcement goes back to 1885 with the Ebbinghaus curve: a hypothesis that people forget at an exponential rate. Over time, people forget more and more of the information they were told.
As quickly as20 minutes after sitting through a training program, your sales reps only retain 58% of what they were taught. By the 30-day mark, the majority of that development work has gone completely out the window.
Why does post-training reinforcement work?
Continued reinforcement of training after the fact reminds sales reps skills developed consistently over time. The effect on the brain is that, by repeatedly reinforcing an idea or concept, that information is retained far longer.
In a 2014 study, Richardson found that companies who use post-training reinforcement sustain training 120 days longer than those who don’t (an 87% increase above those who don’t provide that reinforcement).
How can I reinforce sales training within my business?
Training reinforcement is about more than just scheduling more refresher training courses or sales seminars for your team. Build post-training reinforcement into daily selling processes. Here are some technologies and tools that can streamline the process:
Automated Sales Guidance: A sales enablement platform provides helpful tips and advice throughout the selling process based upon individual opportunities, buyers and situations. With automatic recommendations that map to the education they received, your reps will get daily reminders of what behaviors they should be following.
One-on-One Sales Coaching: Do you know which reps are following the training and which ones have already forgotten what they were taught? Use analytics to determine the areas where your sales reps are excelling or struggling. Then your sales managers can provide specific tips on how reps can apply their training to specific client opportunities.
Gamification: Encourage reps to use the techniques they learned in training with activity-based incentives. Don’t just reward the number of calls made in a day. Take it a step further by using analytics to identify the selling behaviors that most often lead to closed deals, then reward increases in those habits.
Sales Enablement technology can reinforce the skills your reps learn, thus improving sales performance and maximizing your investment. It gives management the insights they need into what training works, which reps are applying what they’ve learned, and what further coaching underperforming sales reps need.
A 2015 Aberdeen report found that only 44% of companies currently provide post-training reinforcement, but organizations who do use it see 34% more first-year reps achieve quota.
If you’d like to learn more about how to improve ROI on sales training, contact us today.