In 2020, sales teams across the globe were forced to transition to remote training. For sales enablement managers, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant re-thinking existing training processes and adapting per the new constraints.
As 360Learning’s 1-woman sales enablement team, I onboard and train every salesperson joining our team – BDRs, Account Executives, and Account Managers. I’ve been doing this remotely for a while now and I’d like to share my experience with you.
Let’s kick things off by looking at the first big challenge: an overwhelming amount of training requests coming from all directions – left, right, top, bottom – at once.
Let’s be honest, it takes a village to properly train a sales rep.
On the one hand, you have requests from company leadership, product, marketing, operations, customer success, finance, legal, etc. for sales reps to be trained on new products, strategies, and pitches. You also have incoming requests from sales reps looking to build their expertise and skills.
On the other hand, you need to work with the subject-matter experts making those requests to deploy effective and timely trainings. For example, you need product managers to explain new features, leadership to outline company strategy, marketers to walk you through new pitches, etc. And for most trainings, there’s collaboration across multiple teams at once.
For me, this is what makes sales enablement so stimulating and fun. However, it also means a lot of different touchpoints for you and your reps.
In a single day of training, your reps might be juggling sessions with up to five different teams, and as many as ten to twenty different individuals.
This can be confusing even in a physical office. In a remote context, it can quickly become overwhelming, both for reps, and for sales enablement managers.
Fortunately, there’s a way to keep everything under control.
I use a three-step process to juggle different training requests:
Here’s an illustration of how the request and project management works in practice for us:
So, that’s how I stay on top of training requests coming from all directions at once. Now, let’s talk about making sure these trainings you’re shipping are actually completed by your reps!
Our second main challenge is something that isn’t unique to remote sales training - it’s something we deal with on an ongoing basis as sales enablement managers.
I’m talking about engaging sales reps with our training.
Unsurprisingly, sales reps are more focused on prospecting than on training – as they should be! After all, the #1 goal for all of us is for them to reach their targets. Nonetheless, it is critical for them to dedicate time to training; in the long run, this will enable them to close more deals, bigger deals, and faster.
So, how can we make sure they’re engaged in their training, especially when working remotely?
I’ve got a few tips to help you out.
I use three techniques to encourage our sales reps to complete their training, all without detracting from their focus on completing deals:
Below, an example of a key feature for remote training – pitch/demo recording for asynchronous distant evaluation! Saving you hundreds of hours of setting up live roleplays:
Finally, let’s look at how you can demonstrate your training ROI.
As a sales enablement manager, I know it can be a common challenge to show the impact of your work - especially in the early stages of training.
Ramping up a sales rep takes patience and a lot of practice. It can take weeks or even months for the best sales reps to really find their rhythm. However, that doesn’t stop a lot of managers and executives wanting to see evidence of training benefits right away.
Here’s how we do it.
To measure the return on investment in sales enablement training, I use the following three steps - even when I’m working with my new reps remotely:
Let’s be honest, this isn’t any remote situation - we’re in a crisis. It’s a difficult time for your sales reps professionally and personally, and they need extra attention and motivation.
Here are a few extra tips to keep your sales team’s morale up:
The challenges of remote sales training are very real. But they can be overcome!
With the right set of tips and techniques, you can turn remote sales training into an opportunity to build expertise and capability, and to draw your team even closer together - no matter where you happen to be in the world.
And if you'd like to learn more about how our Collaborative Learning platform can make your life 10x easier, get in touch!