The Sales Management Association’s research found that 80% of companies provide one-size-fits-all sales training that is mostly or entirely the same for all its salespeople. This leaves just 8% of companies fully customizing training and 12% using a combination of generic and customized training for its salespeople.
Most sales managers purchase off-the-shelf programs because it's the quickest and easiest approach. Because sales managers are busy, they resort to creating or outsourcing a generic sales development plan without customizing it to fit the needs of the individual sales rep — but no two salespeople are the same. Everyone retains information in different ways, at different rates and has different areas of weakness. It’s counter-productive to assume everyone will have the same takeaways after onboarding, sales meetings, sales training, or weekly sales calls.
The most effective sales training reinforcement programs are:
- Specific to the company, products, and services being sold
- Highly relevant to the individual salesperson’s job role and the demands of the customers they are selling to
- Delivered in the flow-of-work using the spacing and testing effect to help sales reps’ recall information
This brings us to our second C: customization. To ensure every salesperson maximizes their retention of critical business knowledge, it’s important to identify differences — strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles — and tailor development plans to each individual. Through coaching, remediation, and further individual training, organizations arm themselves with a powerful tool to improve a salesperson's confidence and knowledge retention in effort to increase revenue.
Customization Creates Engaging and Relevant Learning Experiences
A generic, one-size-fits-all sales training program is a waste of time and money because most salespeople go through basic sales courses throughout their career. Instead, successful training programs need to be related to what’s relevant to the industry and salesperson — constantly reinforcing must-know product information, soft skills, sales processes, and messaging prevents knowledge from being lost over time and helps sales managers act on knowledge and skill gaps.
Companies need to adapt their approach to deliver job-related training content that meets the individual sales reps’ needs while keeping them productive in the field and providing them with the most important information they need to perform.
Customization Improves Sales Performance and Readiness
When salespeople feel more confident with knowledge related to the product, service, or organization they are representing, they will do a better job, in turn improving their performance. This, of course, plays a huge role in increasing revenue.
When relevant training content is delivered in-the-flow of work using the spacing and testing effect, it's proven to overcome the forgetting curve, which is a major reason companies don’t see results from their sales training efforts. If training content is customized and relevant, it causes salespeople to become engaged throughout the learning process. And incorporating the spacing and testing effect when delivering the content helps reps recall this information for longer periods of time and because of this they it’s helping them do a better job.
Customization Your Sales Training Programs with Qstream
Qstream is equipped to help you customize and improve your training programs. Microlearning — which involves small scenario-based challenges, game mechanics, and job-related training content — is scientifically proven to improve sales knowledge retention and effectively change sales behaviors. Within Qstream’s microlearning platform, sales managers have access to real-time data in dashboards and heatmaps to have visibility into where their salespeople stand with critical business knowledge, allowing them to pinpoint individual needs. Investing in microlearning for customized sales training content will greatly boost sales performance.
To learn more about the three common traits of high performing sales programs, download our 3 Cs eBook.