Corporate Sales Training – A Fresh Approach

Let’s be honest for a minute. If you let your staff know they’ve got a corporate sales training course coming up, chances are they won’t be overly excited about it. Even though further coaching and tuition is an important part of personal and career development, it isn’t always greeted with delight or glee.

On top of that, there are no fixed guarantees that your sales staff will retain and be able to apply every piece of information they’ve been told. Even with the best will in the world, the variety of techniques used to teach sales isn’t overly effective or fruitful. Therefore, a great of money is potentially wasted on training programmes that aren’t benefitting employees or the company.

For these reasons, a different approach, such as spaced repetition, will feel like a breathe of fresh air. With this learning technique, engagement and retention levels increase significantly. Along with proving to be a wise investment by the company, sales staff will enjoy and appreciate training a lot more too.


The problem with current corporate sales training

Most of the time, corporate sales training is one-off event which takes place within the space of a day. On some occasions, it might even last a weekend. But there are several downsides to stuffing as much teaching as possible in a short period of time, even if feels like the most cost-effective way of going about training.

Employees will get bored and restless easily, meaning their attention levels drop. By not listening to what is being said, only a fraction of the training will be learnt and retained. Even though these are the members of staff that want to succeed and earn more money, they have to be proactive and incentivised, not only on the sales floor but in the classroom as well.

Common and constructive techniques such as interactive tuition, role-playing and case studies might teach sales staff a few nuggets of information, but concentrated training sessions do not lead to permanent behaviour changes. After all, this is what you want to achieve when you send employees off to training.


Spaced repetition – The alternative to traditional training

One of the most fruitful and worthwhile alternatives to current corporate sales training techniques uses scientifically proven methodology to ensure staff actually benefit from teaching and tuition in the long-term. What’s more, spaced repetition is not a particularly new, complex or revolutionary approach.

In fact, the majority of us have come into contact with this method of working several times before. As a child at school, you were taught to read, write and count through spaced repetition. At first you’d learn the alphabet, recite the letters and then write them down. After that, it was time to put together small words, then sentences and whole stories. This technique of practice and repetition spaced out over time provided you with the ability to read and write, which has never gone away.

There is no reason why this teaching method cannot be replicated in the training classroom, as it has worked in the past and is now how our brains are programmed to learn new information. Deliver a piece of corporate sales training and then follow it up. Revisit it again later with more training and follow up once more. While this might not be the most immediate way to teach employees, a gradual process of tuition is far more advantageous over time.


Implementing spaced repetition

As opposed to traditional training, implementing spaced repetition might seem lengthy or expensive. Therefore, business leaders are sometimes apprehensive or reluctant to introduce it. However, the age-old phrase ‘speculate to accumulate’ could not be more appropriate here.

Any spaced repetition investment will undoubtedly be worth it, as both employee and business performance are sure to increase. Keeping a close eye on budgets and profit margins is understandable in today’s competitive and changeable corporate world, but you’ll have greater chance of achieving success with a more knowledgeable and competent workforce.

What’s more, spaced repetition can also work alongside existing training courses or programmes, which are already set-up or underway. After an employee undergoes some teaching, they can take 10 minutes or so a day to go over these subjects again, remember what was taught and eventually change their workplace behaviour.


Spaced repetition with Wranx

Here at Wranx, we believe accelerated learning is possible through spaced repetition techniques. With our training solution that intelligently adjusts the length of time between questions, knowledge gradually moves from your short-term memory to your long-term memory.

Essentially, Wranx Drills consist of short, sharp quizzes of 10 questions a day. But rather than asking the individual to pluck a response out of thin air, we present both the question and answer. This is because spaced repetition works more effectively by rating how well you know an answer. If you’re confident in your response, Wranx will schedule that question again further down the line. However, if your knowledge of another subject isn’t particularly strong, we will ask the question and show the answer once more the following day.

Prioritising weaker topics and disregarding subjects you strongly comprehend is a fundamental aspect of space repetition. While the schedule of traditional training might go over issues you already understand, Wranx Drills is totally flexible and provides a superior learning experience.


Spaced repetition summary

While corporate sales training is carried out to improve employee knowledge and enhance daily operations, it can sometimes have the reverse affect. Members of staff may become disillusioned or uninterested in the teaching they are presented with, while businesses might suffer from a lack of progress. As a result, a more appropriate and effective alternative is required.

Spaced repetition is nothing new, but it can have overwhelming benefits when applied to corporate sales training. One of the reasons why it hasn’t been widely adopted so far is that managers and leaders are unwilling to wait for the results. But with better technology and ever-changing attitudes, solutions like Wranx Drills have a place in every working environment, especially the corporate sales department.

Written by: Persia Shahkarami

Published: 3 Oct, 2014