Creating learning content for your sales reps is great.
But sales reps don’t (quite) manage themselves. They need capable and committed sales managers to help them close more deals, organize and use sales data, prepare for sales calls, master the sales methodology, and more. Which is, of course, where sales management training comes in.
Sales managers may want to perform all of these duties, but it’s an unacknowledged fact that most managers aren’t prepared to do so. On the flip side, research shows that trained sales managers have a higher percentage of their reps who meet their sales quota.
That’s one reason why sales management training is necessary. Yet research shows that more than 85% of all sales training is designed for front-line salespeople, not sales managers. A recent ASTD study found that “only 11% of companies train their sales managers to a high extent, while 22% don't train their sales managers at all.”
As you may have noticed...
Houston, we have a problem
Sales managers are busy.
Please don't take my word for it. Other people have noticed too.
- Recently, George Brontén wrote an article titled Sales managers: are you doing too much ”busy-work”? where he observed that, “sales managers have a tendency to spend too little time with activities that help create long-term success. In a sales management context, such activities are providing clear goals and objectives to the team, coaching regularly, holding people accountable and developing top-notch skill sets. Unnecessary meetings, time-consuming excel reports and low-priority emails are examples of activities that consume too much valuable time.”
- According to the Economist, "In the corporate world, a “perennial time-scarcity problem” afflicts executives all over the globe, and the matter has only grown more acute in recent years, say analysts at McKinsey, a consultancy firm."
- According to Steve Eungblut, Managing Director of Sterling Chase Associates, the manager’s dilemma is that they are “too busy to get better.” He says "they are managers, but they don’t have the time or ‘mind-space’ to be, or develop towards being, competent sales team coaches or leaders. This classic cycle of ‘paralysis by analysis’ or ‘too busy to get better’ is becoming far more common for sales managers in today’s commercial world of short-term growth demands. This is accentuated by a lack of time and space to plan, a lack of training and coaching (in terms of how to think and act more effectively), and instant information and communications channels that make it easier for the central functions to track performance and demand reports and explanations when things are going wrong.”
Bottom line: Sales managers are starved for time. But how does that impact their training and development? Well, in a typical work week, the average sales manager spends less than 15.8% of their time on training. So it seems like many managers are neglecting the little bit of training and development that they do receive.
Getting today’s distracted, impatient and busy learners to participate in training and development activities isn’t easy. But it is possible.
Give a busy sales manager the solutions they need
Sales managers are the key change agents in a sales force.
If you want to improve sales performance and have a real impact on your salespeople, you should help sales managers do their jobs more effectively.
Frontline sales managers are perfectly positioned to increase sales results. More so than any other role in your company. That means that how they spend their time is very important since their decisions will trickle down to the sales force and can make or break your team.
"Setting expectations, coaching and monitoring performance metrics is the work of sales managers. Providing them with the knowledge, skills and tools to do this effectively and efficiently is required to ensure an organization’s return on its training investment is maximized."~Sales Readiness Group, Inc. in “Maximizing the Effectiveness of Sales Training: Five Factors for Developing Sustainable Selling Skills”
In other words, sales management must be equipped to spend time with front-line sales reps. How do you get the most out of your training investment and get your sales managers ready? Use video in your learning content.
Here are a few reasons video learning is perfect for the job.
- Roughly 60% of students are visual learners.
- Video is excellent for learning reinforcement.
- Video learning saves your company time and money.
- Sales managers are busy so video is the perfect fit for their workflow.
- Video helps "coach the coach, and train the trainer."
- If you want to engage learners, remember that students learn in different ways. The more senses or modalities you activate, the more learning will take place. Video learning triggers two of the four learning modalities.
Not to mention, when you use video as part of your sales management training, you help your sales managers learn behaviors and skills that will aid them in training your sales reps. This leads to more effective sales reps who hit their quota more often.
Let’s have a look at a few tips that will help you get more out of your sales management training.
How to get more results from your sales management training
There are a few ways to use video to improve your training. For example, you could:
- Use video to develop individualized learning for each sales manager. Since each manager has different challenges, they each need different training.
- Video is a great way to eliminate boring training sessions. When you create sales management training using video, make it bite-sized, mobile and easy to use.
- With the right technology, you can use video to cut down (or do away with) travel related to training. After all, with an Internet connection your sales managers can access the training and course content from anywhere at anytime.
- Use video for ongoing training and development. You could create modules organized by topic or skill so your managers can access them as needed.
- Use on-demand video exercises to let your sales managers learn in a low-risk environment.
Now that you’re aware of the benefits to using video for learning and training, it’s time to get started. Are you ready to get more results from your sales management training by incorporating video?
How are you investing your training budget? Join the conversation by tweeting @HireVueSales
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