Sales kickoffs (SKO) are going to look a lot different in 2021. A historical in-person event will now be virtual. And, converting a sales kickoff into a multi-day Zoom event will not have the same impact or generate the same results: people will tune out and they won’t learn what you need them to.

The purpose of an annual sales kickoff meeting is to motivate and set the stage for the upcoming year while getting everyone up to speed on new products, processes, and goals. Training is also a key component of an annual sales kickoff meeting, and because of COVID-19, 79% of sales reps have already had to quickly adapt to new ways of selling. And with market conditions and internal issues continuing to impact sales and marketing strategies, training is constantly being adjusted to meet those changes. So, instead of trying to teach the team everything they need to know in futile, intensive training at a sales kickoff (people will tune out and they won’t learn), offer continuous training and reinforcement to ensure your reps develop proficiency in new skills while staying up to date with the important information they need to sell effectively.

Organizations that combined pre- and post-event training, coaching, and reinforcement with their sales kickoff event increased engagement and had a 95% chance of hitting their goals over those who took a more traditional approach. This isn’t surprising since 40% of new information is forgotten within days of training and spaced repetition reinforces learning while increasing retention and proficiency.

Plus, Gartner recommends approaching virtual sales kickoff meetings this way:

  • Divide the kickoff into multiple mini-sessions – avoiding Zoom fatigue and presenter fatigue;
  • Include reinforcement activities instead of new training: build on pre-event learning and what they’re hearing during kickoff;
  • Inspire and build morale with diverse programming; incorporate large group sessions, breakout sessions, Q&A, top performer best practices, and recognition.

It makes so much sense to implement and introduce continuous remote training and incorporate reinforcement activities in your annual sales kickoff agenda to help improve rep performance and hit revenue goals.

Individualized remote training

How can you effectively provide training to your remote sales force, measure their progress, and identify learning gaps to coach team members effectively? Although your team members have just completed a series of training to update their virtual selling skills, they all have different backgrounds and learn at different rates. “Individualizing” or personalizing training prevents boredom for those who catch on quickly and avoids frustration for those requiring additional reinforcement while meeting the needs of each team member. This gives managers a more guided approach to engage with each sales reps on a more personalized level by having discussions based on the reps learning needs. Now you’re probably wondering how you can get to this level of granularity from a coaching and development standpoint. Microlearning plays a critical role in doing quick knowledge assessments of your sales organizations to gain insights into their proficiency levels. Below outlines how microlearning works and how it can be used before and after an annual sales kickoff to support sales reps throughout the year.

Microlearning for continuous development

People have only so much attention span, especially sales professionals. Microlearning individualizes remote training, provides reinforcement, and ensures participation – an active engagement by sales team members to a level that is not typically achieved using traditional legacy eLearning solutions. Measuring progress, identifying learning gaps, and coaching team members to optimum performance is simplified too. Remote learning technology makes it effortless to create new content, deliver it, and engage your sales organization at scale. Follow these easy steps to get started:

Engage an audience consistent with their attention spans, by creating challenges that are no longer than 2 minutes per topic, to push out to your team daily. These initial questions or challenges can review and reinforce the webinar or workshop they attended. Your reps can view these focused microlearning challenges on their mobile, tablet, or desktop devices whenever they have a moment during their regular daily routine. No need to block off hours of time to interrupt their usual workflow and take their time away with customers. This is scientifically proven to help people learn and retain information – and they can apply what they learn right away.

Spaced repetition leads to continuous improvement and better knowledge retention. Micro explanations and scenario-based challenges are repeated and sent over time, reinforce, and test your team members’ knowledge through practice and recall exercises. This helps team members develop new skills or techniques and easily remember new information such as product knowledge for when they need it most during client interactions, preparing for meetings, or when conducting virtual sales calls.

Individual and team leaderboards effectively drive competition and increase engagement in the microlearning process. This results in greater participation and better outcomes. Your sales reps actively await each new micro session or challenge in their quest to be at the top of the leaderboard as they track their progress.

Analytic dashboards help managers gain real-time participation, proficiency, and improvement insights from the captured and displayed rep response data. Proficiency heatmaps facilitate the planning and implementation of individualized, targeted coaching, and the identification of additional training requirements.

In summary

Microlearning technology makes it easier to provide continuous remote learning and virtual sales training to your sales team. It facilitates sales rep engagement at scale while enabling individualized training and coaching. Reinforcement exercises and micro-challenges elevate sales rep performance aiding the attainment of revenue goals.

Qstream simplifies continuous learning. Ready to integrate ongoing remote sales training into your virtual sales kickoff? See how easy it is. Schedule a demo today.

Share it with all your network