This post was originally published by Allyson Dobberteen on lessonly.com.
Ready for a truth bomb? A recent article in Forbes reported that companies with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors by a staggering 147%.
Some of you might be thinking “sweet, that’s my team!” And if that’s you, you’re awesome. We’re proud of you. Hopefully, you’re here to round out your repertoire of training methods and techniques.
But most of you are probably scratching your heads and wondering which employee training methods might actually motivate your team to kick it up a notch. If that’s you, you’re not alone. Only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged at work according to a Gallup poll.
If your organization is like most, your first instinct might be to beef up the bonus structure.
And while bonuses and other short-term incentives can produce blips of better performance, money isn’t generally a motivating factor long-term. In fact, one study found that strategies that focus primarily on the use of extrinsic rewards—like bonuses–run the risk of actually diminishing motivation rather than promoting it.
So what can you do about it? Enter: employee training. We’ve identified a handful of effective training methods for employees just like yours, so that you can empower experienced sales reps to take it to the next level.
5 effective training methods for experienced sales reps
1. Keep things short and sweet with microlearning.
In the good ol’ days, most companies used instructor-led training in a classroom to both onboard and deliver continuous employee training and development. We don’t know about you, but long hours and lackluster participation doesn’t sound that great these days.
Effective training techniques put learners in the driver’s seat. Take microlearning, for example. Microlearning is a form of employee training that presents information in digestible, bite-sized pieces. Most experienced reps have busy schedules, so microlearning makes it easier to make ongoing training a regular habit that reps can tackle when they have the most energy, time, and desire to learn.
2. Use positive reinforcement to focus on what’s working.
Experienced sales reps already do a lot of things right—that’s how they’ve been successful up to this point in their careers. Strengthening your employee training programs doesn’t have to mean completely overhauling their tried-and-true sales tactics. Simply reinforce the behaviors that you want your teams to engage in by shining a light on what’s working well.
At Lessonly, we call this “highlighting what’s working” and we lean into it often. Instead of spending all our time focused on problems, we spend time talking about the actions and activities that really work. Sharing our successes ensures that everyone on our team is equipped with knowledge about what actually moves the needle.
3. Provide personalized learning paths.
Say so-long to a one-size fits all approach. Today’s most effective training strategies take the individual rep or learner into account. Exhibit A—a LinkedIn report found that more than 75% of learners value personalized course recommendations based on their career goals and skills gaps.
Let’s be clear. Personalization absolutely does not mean developing new courses or specific content for each and every learner. Frankly, that’d be overkill. Personalized learning paths simply ensure that the right training is delivered to the right rep at the right time in their training journey.
4. Practice. Practice. Practice.
Practice is one of the most underrated yet effective training techniques in the sales world. Think back on when you were learning something as a kid—a new sport or instrument, for example. You probably watched other kids do it first, listened to a coach or teacher tell you what to do, and maybe even read a book about it. But, you didn’t know if you were any good until you actually gave it a go yourself. And even then, it wasn’t until you practiced regularly that you really knew.
Practice is like that for experienced sales reps, too. It empowers revenue-driven teams like them to hone their skills and get up to speed 2.3x faster in the process.
5. Give them a coach.
There are so many types of employee training programs to evaluate — that’s why you’re here! Coaching just might be the most effective one of them all. In fact, research by the Sales Executive Council found that “…no other productivity investment comes close to coaching in improving reps’ performance.”
The best business leaders treat coaching as a behavior, rather than a task on their to-do list. This ongoing focus on healthy professional development through coaching drives 76% better business results. Let that sink in for a second—it’s big. It isn’t easy to know how to improve training and development in an organization. If it was, you wouldn’t be reading all of these knowledge bombs we’re dropping. We can help make things a little easier—our training, enablement, and coaching software incorporates a variety of effective training methods for employees at organizations like yours. Schedule a demo and learn more.