Remote Training Best Practices: How To Train Your Remote Sales Team
Like on-site sales teams, remote teams are also expected to meet their sales goals and expectation. The question therefore is what can employers do to ensure remote employees meet their quota, close enough clients, and follow up on leads like those working from the office? The answer lies in training programs.
Statistics from the 2019 workforce learning report show that 94% of employees favor companies that will help them learn. This is understandable since sales professionals tend to alienate themselves when help isn’t coming their way.
Despite the popularity of virtual training, the biggest concern for most organizations remains how to select the right tools and strategies that guarantee success and ways to ensure retention during the learning phase.
This article will dive deep into best practices for remote training: create an effective training process, organize learning content and select the best training methods for employees working from home.
Best Practices for Training Remote Sales Employees
#1. Create a Learning Plan
As the Sales Manager of your remote team, your job is to work backward and think of the present needs of your remote employees – What area of sales are they struggling with? How can you close the knowledge gap? And what tools can you provide them with?
Carefully break down all their performance lapses and create a learning plan to help the employees perform at the highest level.
For instance, if the rep is struggling with closing clients, your learning plan might focus on: how to improve their negotiation skills, objection-handling tactics, question-asking skills, and best ways to practice active listening.
#2. Determine your Training Delivery Model
There are two major delivery methods to choose from: Synchronous and asynchronous.
With synchronous, the Sales Manager gathers trainees from different locations simultaneously and delivers his teachings in real-time. The advantage of this method is that it facilitates learning among large groups, improves real-time interaction, and gives room for feedback. Such training is delivered over video conferencing tools such as Google Meet or Zoom.
With asynchronous learning, it’s quite different. Instructors record on-demand videos hosted on learning management software such as Teachable, Thinkific, and Kajabi. The advantage of this learning model is that it supports self-paced learning, and students can learn on their schedule.
#3. Set Training Rules and Schedules
With your learning plan and delivery model sorted, it’s time to set a training schedule. How long will the training last? (assuming you went the synchronous way), What time and day of the week will you meet? And what’s the duration of each meeting? 1 hour, 2 hours? Whatever you decide, ensure the attendees are aware so they can fit it into their schedule.
To ensure the meeting goes as planned, consider creating rules and regulations. This could range from informing attendees to keep their microphones muted during presentations, maintaining punctuality, and raising hands when they want to speak.
#4. Opt for Gamification Software
Take advantage of today’s technology and add extra spice to your training. Aside from video conferencing tools such as Zoom, which allows screen sharing, a remote training software like SalesDeck with Gamification features helps improve engagement by using a card-playing system that initiates a tw0-way conversation without causing distraction.
But rather than getting too fancy, it’s best to ensure the tool you choose for your virtual training is easy to use, seamless to explore, offers attendees a chance to leave and rejoin, and allows participants to mute and unmute. When you utilize a tool such as SalesDeck for sales training, a grading system rewards hardworking attendees who turn in their assessment test, which breeds healthy competition among remote workers.
#5. Make It Convenient for Attendees
Since you will have attendees from different time zones, choosing a training platform that allows them to join from anywhere with any device is important. Mobile-friendly platforms are easier to set up and are known for having a higher attendee rate and keeping employees engaged. Don’t be the reason your employees miss a training.
#6. Record your Training
Even though synchronous training utilizes real-time interactions like traditional classrooms, all meetings can be recorded and in a directory where everyone has access. This ensures absent members can follow up on what they missed, while those present can always rewatch to digest difficult concepts.
#7. Invite Guest-trainers
Inviting guest speakers to employee training programs offer attendees a chance to steal their brains and squeeze out as much knowledge as possible from the expert’s experience. To help remote workers get the most out of this short cameo, inform them to prepare their questions ahead, and similarly, inform the expert on the area your team could use his help.
But the expert’s interaction with the attendees doesn’t have to end there. Provided he gives his consent, share his contact or social media profile with attendees, and encourage them to reach out when they need advice. As you can see, this indirectly presents a networking opportunity.
#8. Carry-out Assessments
If you’re doing a 1-hour session on Zoom or Google meet, a part of their assessment would be asking attendees to summarize what they learned and send it to you. But if you utilize LMS software, it’s important to meet face-to-face with participants once a week to evaluate their learning and understanding. That’s the best time to ask questions rather than leaving it all to assumptions.
#9. Measure Results
How do you measure the effectiveness of your remote employee training? You will have to leave it to the result. For instance, if you trained your team to close more deals, as we cited earlier, you expect their closing rate to increase by 5 -10% after the training.
However, if nothing changes after the training or your remote team abandon the strategies they learned 3 months after the training ends, it’s easy to conclude that the training didn’t create any impact. This is not uncommon with employees working from home; getting them to do your biddings is usually difficult.
Remote work gained widespread popularity during the covid-19 pandemic. While the pandemic has become a thing of the past, remote work is here to stay, and businesses have no choice but to meet the needs of employees who work from home.
Businesses have to constantly check in on the progress of remote workers while also ensuring they get all the needed help which comes in the form of training. And part of that success comes from choosing the right training tool.
If you need a tool that helps keep employees engaged, tracks the progress of training attendees, and rewards them based on participation, SalesDeck fits that description.