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  • Writer's pictureRichard Palmer, SureTrain


One question I’m regularly asked by my clients is “Does sales training online really work, particularly distance learning training?” Well, generally there are four main objections to online sales training - perceived loss of face-to-face motivation that happens in a classroom, perhaps a perceived loss of the interpretation of the material or even the team losing that teamworking element of getting together in a classroom and, some people just say they don't believe it works as well as being face to face.

The last 12 months has taught us an awful lot in terms of using remote training, so let's look at each of these objections separately.

Starting with the perceived loss of face-to-face motivation.

I've been training for many years and I fully understand that when you're in a classroom with people the interaction that you get with the back and forth of question and answer and comment and discussion creates a buzz and creates some motivation which is really difficult with distance learning. Now with distance learning by nature you're working on your own, watching videos, going through assignments and making decisions about what you want to do and how you want to do it, almost on your own. In order to provide that face-to-face motivation, that energy, that buzz, we provide weekly live question and answer sessions where delegates can go online in a live, face to face environment and ask the questions they want to ask, along with other people who are asking very similar questions. In addition to that we run weekly live masterclasses, where a particular section of the training is picked and the delegate will go through a training process for an hour all focused on that particular element of the training, creating understanding and motivation.

The second objection is that there's a perceived loss of interpretation of the material.

In a live environment the delegates are able to ask questions. They're able to immediately discuss the material that they've been learning in a live situation and get that immediate feedback. The trainer is also able to deliver the material in such a way that is instantly tailored and bespoke to the audience. Again, with distance learning, we can't necessarily do that because the distance learning videos that the delegates watch will be generic all the way through. However, we've also added the assignment process into the distance learning programme so every time a delegate watches a video, to work out what that video content means to them, then they will do an assignment. That assignment has been designed to help them to interpret the material into their own language, into their own environment, into their own marketplace and their customers behaviours. So that interpretation piece will happen within that assignment. That assignment can also then be marked. It can be judged and it can be coached and new ideas given back to that delegate through the assignment process. In addition to that of course they then have the live question and answer sessions and the live masterclasses which will help them to interpret that material.

The third objection that I’m often given to online sales training is that the team is losing that teamworking element of working together in a classroom to come up with ideas and solutions and thoughts that help them to generate the interpretation of the material as a collective.

Again, going through distance learning doesn't have to be a solo effort. If we put the team through The New Business Sales Academy at the same time, we can not only measure the team progress as a collective but we can also make that a competitive and a collaborative environment within the system. Some of the assignments actually invoke teamwork, where delegates will be getting together to discuss, to observe and to role-play certain situations amongst their team members. We also have this collective measurement of success where we can create competitions within the distance learning process that enables that collaboration to happen during that the learning phase.

Lastly, sometimes my clients say we just don't believe that online sales training works as well, very much for a lot of the reasons above.

The last 12 months of having to work remotely because of covid has taught us that digital platforms can really work as well as the live environment. We've proven that our distance learning programs will can provide a five times increase in appointments over the standard general sales prospecting methods that are taught. It can provide an increase in sales. It can provide an increase in motivation, but mostly it provides that uplift in skills, in knowledge and ability. However if doubt still remains, if you're still worried about this investment, first of all consider the plus side. You have access to a large quantity of highly effective of training material that your sales team can revisit over and over and over again. It is a lot lower cost than delivering face-to-face training and of course face-to-face training you have to keep reinvesting in order to provide that revisit and refresh of the material that the 12-month program gives you automatically. In addition to that, we provide a money-back guarantee that promises, if you're not happy with the outcomes from the training, within 60 days you can ask for your money back and we will refund you in full.

Just click the link in the comments or if you're on the website already take a look at The New Business Sales Academy to find out more about how online sales training can really drive your sales and profit.

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