How to make B2B sales training more engaging

Despite the fact that B2B sales training has good intentions, members of staff can struggle to see this. For them, it means being away from their desks and missing out on commissions to watch powerpoint presentations and listen to a lecturer.

This doesn’t benefit anyone. The business will waste valuable capital on pointless teaching while employees will grow disillusioned with their job roles. Therefore, more and more organisations are starting to adjust their outlook on B2B sales training and adopt new approaches.

But how can you get your workforce excited about training and more engaged when learning new skills or expertise? Well, here are some suggestions.

Inject excitement by introducing games

While making lucrative sales and closing in on deals, your staff are bound to be quite animated and lively. They need to be enthusiastic about the company’s product or services and high-spirited in order to coax prospects into making a decision.

But as soon as they enter a training environment, buoyant and bubbly personalities soon disappear, as the passive nature of most teaching methods is enough to make employees fall asleep.

To address this problem, think about injecting excitement into training by introducing some games. Get your workforce out of their seats and devise some role-playing exercises or practical demonstrations.

Another option is gamification, which can do wonders for incentivising and engaging your employees. Wranx uses sophisticated and science driven techniques that encourage focus and delivery but also entertain and amuse staff. What’s more, the gamification model capitalises on the human instinct of competition, which is a standard characteristic of most sales staff.

Take training online

These days, sales staff don’t need to travel up and down the country or the other side of the world to speak to prospects. Instead, they can go online, set-up a videoconference, have face-to-face conversations and with any luck, complete those all-important sales.

So, why should you conform to age-old training techniques as well? Chances are your members of staff won’t have a problem with learning about new sales strategies online, but they will surely take issue with conference room training.

From making course information available online to developing cloud-based applications, there are numerous ways you can bring your B2B sales training up-to-speed with today’s digitally connected society.

Another benefit of taking training online is staff can learn at a time and place that suits them. Wranx has a 100 per cent hosted solution, allowing you to make changes and adjustments remotely. Furthermore, it is extremely cost-effective thanks to a pay-user per-month model. Also, you can make it available everywhere because there is no need to install specialist software and you’ll never have to pay for upgrades or suffer from downtime.

Combine training and selling

As mentioned previously, one of the reasons why B2B sales training doesn’t always work very effectively is because staff would prefer to be at their desks closing in on sales.

During a presentation or demonstration, their minds could be elsewhere and they might not be fully focused on what is being said. Sales that are on the brink of being completed could quite easily fall through too.

But combining training and selling isn’t as hard as you might think. Also, employees will be much happier and more engaged with training if they can pick it up at a convenient time.

Wranx training solution is available on desktop, but also smartphones and tablets too. Whichever platform your employees choose to use, they can complete coaching and courses when there is a lull on the sales floor. On top of that, it will much easier to apply new skills and expertise if they are being taught in the same environment as sales.

Utilise the brain’s potential

In standard training scenarios, your sales staff will receive an abundance of information in one go, which is often different to comprehend, remember and then apply at work.

This doesn’t do anything for their motivation or engagement levels either, which will steadily decrease if the teachings they are receiving go in one ear and out the other.

Thankfully, there is a solution. If you adopt a little and often training tactic, your sales staff will be much more receptive to teaching materials and benefit from increased learning at the same time.

The technique known as spaced repetition takes advantage of the brain’s capacity to remember or learn new items when they are sporadically studied over a prolonged period. Wranx will provide your staff with short sharp quizzes every day to gain an understanding of how well they comprehend certain subjects.  This engages employees more than traditional tactics but will also increase their ability and aptitude at work.

Enduring strategies for sales training

In addition to these approaches, which concentrate on increasing sales staff engagement, there are quite a few enduring training strategies that shouldn’t be forgotten about. These include:

Coming up with a coherent strategy – Give your employees a framework, which they can reference when the buying process stalls. This will include things like documenting positive business news, making a case for the company, leveraging institutional resources and being proactive in their approach.

Encouraging teamwork – Instead of focusing on specialised tasks for each and every team member, bring employees together and get them to work towards common goals. This in turn has the power and potential to create customer value and increase bottom-line conversions.

Focusing on improvement – Even if you’ve managed to secure a winning strategy, it might not be equally effective six months down the line. So, always be open to improvement and constantly revisit the skill set of your staff.

Using data – You might be surprised at how data can enhance and improve B2B sales training. Better metrics can deliver results you might not have previously expected, so dig deep and get data that improves your employee’s expertise but also adds to the customer’s overall experience.

Making B2B sales training more engaging

Through gamification, online applications, on-the-job teaching and revolutionary learning techniques, it is possible to make B2B sales training more engaging. Just make sure that any training fits in with your employee’s daily routine and their attitude towards the job, as failure to do so can result in boredom and a lack of enthusiasm.

But even if you do manage to implement more interesting and appealing training, don’t forget about tried and tested strategies that have been proven to work time and time again. These include the benefits of a strategy, the importance of teamwork, the need to improve and the value of data. 

Written by: Persia Shahkarami

Published: 16 Apr, 2015