This post was originally published by Jenny Boling on lessonly.com.
Onboarding, training, and coaching can make or break a sales reps’ time with your company. After all, 70% of employees say that they’d be willing to leave their current job to work for an organization that’s known for investing in training and development.
If that’s not enough, training and professional development motivates, empowers, and engages reps. And while there’s a lot of pressure to deliver training that meets your sellers’ expectations and equips them to be sales-ready, how can organizations determine if training is actually working?
To find out the answer, it’s best to review the objectives you set out for your employee training plan. Objectives, which are different from goal statements, are detailed descriptions of what your reps should be able to do once they complete training. For example, if your organization creates a new product or service, you’ll want sellers to be able to accurately demo the new item after they finish training. It’s also important to remember objectives are:
- Related to intended outcomes, rather than the process for achieving those outcomes.
- Specific and measurable, rather than broad and intangible.
- Made for the whole team: from intro-level reps up to the highest-performing seller.
If you aren’t sure how to create a training plan for new employees or seasoned sellers, we’re here to help. As you think through your learning objectives, consider zeroing in on these areas:
Think about your business goals
Before you begin writing the objectives, stop and think about what type of change you’d like to see as a result of your training. Make sure to define the “why” behind your training outcomes before you dive into the objectives themselves. A clear goal for your business will allow you to have a healthy and thriving business on your hands in no time. That means that you should first ask yourself these questions:
- What is the primary purpose of this training?
- How will this training plan for new employees help them, and how will it benefit my business?
- What skills or topics do reps need additional training and coaching in to meet business goals?
Keep things flexible
Depending on your industry, it’s likely that new trends and innovations in your market will come up often. That’s why it’s helpful to adjust your training objectives based on monthly, quarterly, or otherwise flexible time frames throughout the year. This approach to a training program for employees will also allow you to switch up the objectives, content, tools, and other learning elements. Subsequently, your reps will be more engaged and eager to learn.
Give the people what they want
How do you know what your sellers want? To find out, you actually need to get to know your reps. After all, you’re writing learning objectives for your sellers—not yourself. Ask them direct questions, run a survey, or get to know their opinion in another way. This will help you identify what areas they want and need additional training and coaching in. The more you invest in your team, the more invested they will be in the company.
Keep it short and sweet
Training employees doesn’t have to look, feel, or be complicated. So, please, keep the learning objectives brief and to the point. When training content is long or too detailed, you run the risk of losing engagement from sellers. That’s why it’s beneficial to present skills or new pieces of information in micro-training formats that require reps to focus on one big topic or skill at a time. Then, at the end of training, gauge their overall level of comprehension through a short quiz or interactive practice scenario. This will help you ensure that training is actually being completed and that sellers can accurately apply what they just learned.
How to measure training outcomes
Measuring rep performance is a vital part of monitoring the growth and progress of any company. According to a BDC study of more than 1,100 small and medium-sized businesses, measuring progress is a hallmark of successful companies. And, the fastest growing businesses were about 50% more likely than other companies to use three or more performance measurement metrics.
The action plan you develop to support your employee training plan should list the metrics you will track. These can be divided into:
- Milestones: the completion of training or tasks by a certain date.
- Quantifiable performance measures like demos, closed-won deals, and pipeline growth.
In order to best correlate training with your business goals, focus on the information that you think is crucial to track. Choose a few major business goals, develop related key performance indicators (KPIs), and focus on tracking and collecting relevant data. Then, rinse and repeat the process over time. Remember, setting well-defined learning objectives will…
- Boost rep engagement
- Facilitate the training process
- Achieve higher results
- Make training and skill assessments easier
It’s Time to Get To Work with Lessonly by Seismic
In order to truly maximize your sales training and enablement efforts, we recommend Lessonly by Seismic. You’ve spent a lot of time thinking about your training program, and now it’s time to get to work. With Lessonly, sales teams can put their training plans into action to deliver onboarding that accelerates ramp time, coach reps at scale, and provide ongoing enablement. Learn more here.