A custom sales training program gives your individual team members the tools they need to meet and exceed sales goals. Today’s learners thrive with interactive, easy-to-access, blended learning that custom sales training programs provide. Here are five steps to help your organization build a successful custom sales training program.

1. Define objectives and KPIs

Fine-tuning your sales program to match expected outcomes is a critical part of gaining buy-in from your team. Outline why you’re creating the program, for whom you’re creating it, and how it will make their role more manageable, more rewarding, and more successful. Next, outline the KPIs that will determine if the sales training program is working as it should. Some common KPIs for sales program adoption metrics are time of completion and employee engagement. Your L&D team can measure sales training-based KPIs against sales goals and look for positive trends to ensure the training is providing the help it’s intended to give.

2. Identify performance gaps

Defining and tracking KPIs are also helpful to identify where your sales training program is lacking. The first iteration of a sales program may not hit the mark right away. Identifying material or resource gaps in the training or retention and follow-through issues with your sales team will give you a roadmap to improve. In some cases, the training gaps may be a trouble spot that derails the rest of the training for your entire team. In other cases, material may be unclear on an individual learner basis. Identifying pain points through surveys, observations, skill assessments, and metrics from your courses provides insight for the improvement of your sales training program.

3. Make materials accessible

Convenience should be top of mind as you’re developing and launching a sales training program. When the program and on-the-job resources are easy to access and complete, your learners will be more likely to complete training faster and retain more information. Remember that learners will access training in various ways: laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Your sales training should function properly on any of these devices. Ensure reading material is optimized for mobile and tablet and that your team can easily stream video. Add subtitles to your videos and captions for images to support learners with different learning abilities. Finally, organize your sales training program clearly and consistently to make participation simple for your learners.

4. Boost retention

Research has shown that learners can forget up to 90% of what they learned in the first three months after training, but there are a few ways to combat information loss while keeping your team motivated and engaged. Microlearning, or breaking down complex topics into smaller content blocks, is one strategy to enhance retention and engagement by providing bite-size topics. In addition, spacing training out over a few days or weeks can give your team time to digest, retain, and use what they learned before launching into more information. The most important information should also be available as a resource, so your team doesn’t need to memorize it, but knows how to access it later when needed. Also, consider offering mentorship for your team during the course. Accountability with another team member adds a personal element and can make training more enjoyable.

5. Ask for feedback

Feedback on your sales training is critical to its continued success. Although you’ll have KPIs to measure from an analytical perspective, anecdotal details will give you an entirely new perspective on what’s working and what parts need help. Your sales team is on the ground, actively using the training you’ve deployed, and they can provide insight into how your training translates to real-world sales. The more effective you can make your sales training, the better equipped your team will be to perform at a high level.

Creating a sales training program is only the first step. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to maximize the success of your program, provide exceptional information for your team, and help them feel encouraged, engaged, and supported. Download our free infographic for an example of a custom blended sales training program that featured learning paths based on the experience level of each learner.

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