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Guest Post by Hirevue

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 reps who meet their sales quota.

That’s one reason why sales management training is necessary. Yet research shows that more than 85 percent of all sales training is designed for front-line salespeople, not sales managers. A recent ASTD study found that “only 11 percent of companies train their sales managers to a high extent, while 22 percent don’t train their sales managers at all.”

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As you may have noticed… sales managers are busy

Recently, George Brontén wrote an article entitled Sales managers: are you doing too much ”busy-work”? He observed that “sales managers have a tendency to spend too little time with activities that help create long-term success.” 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.”

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 that “they are managers, but they don’t have the time or ‘mind-space’ to be, or develop toward 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.”

Bottom line: Sales managers are starved for time. But how does that impact their training and development? In a typical workweek, the average sales manager spends less than 15.8 percent 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. Front-line 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, as their decisions will trickle down to the sales force and can make or break your team.

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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. Why?

  • Roughly 60 percent 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 2 of the 4 learning modalities.

How to get more results from your sales management training

There are a few ways to use video to improve your training. For example:

  • Use video to develop individualized learning for each sales manager. Because 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. With an internet connection, your sales managers can access the training and course content anytime, anywhere.
  • 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?

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