It is just common sense that practice makes perfect, and this applies to sales training as well also. The more your sales team get an opportunity to practice their sales skills, the better they will be at selling this is where sales training simulations step in. The objective of any sales training initiative should always be to provide opportunities for practice. Companies continually try to give their salesforce the skills that they require to become a competitive advantage by taking the sales teams out of the field—away from their customers—and into a classroom.
The total cost of a training session is not only the price of the program; its also inclusive of the cost of lost time on the field with real customers. Given those mentioned cost elements, it is imperative that all sessions be valuable to the sales team and provide a high impact on the company.
So how can you ensure that your sales training simulations bring you the high impact you need? The principles of corporate e-learning tell us that individuals are responsible for their own learning. Therefore, to create high impact, you must first start by setting proper expectations around the intent of the training and the impact these sales training simulations will have on the sales success strategy and the contribution toward the company achieving its goals.
So how can you make sure that your sales training sessions bring you the high impact you need? To create a valuable and high impact, one must first start by setting proper expectations around the intent of the training and the impact the training will have on sales success and the contribution toward the company achieving its goals.
Here are a few good reasons to consider simulations for sales training:
- They create a realistic environment to test what-if scenarios and provide the opportunity to make mistakes in a safe environment with no consequences in the real world via these interactive training games.
- They provide context, content, and process, which are extremely relevant, realistic, and directly applicable to the job especially through elements like gamification in sales.
- They shorten learning cycles because of immediate feedback and analytics that you can view immediately.
- They drive business impact through the strategic application of critical selling skills like negotiating, closing, etc.
- Some companies now are looking to sales training simulations as a way to realistically combine training in sales call execution skills and sales strategy into a single sales training program.
The notion of SPIN selling acknowledges that sales call execution and sales strategy are two intertwined activities. Of course, the best sales strategy cannot succeed when poorly executed and vice versa. Beyond integration, sales training simulations allow companies to address unique sales performance problems. sales training simulations allow companies to meet this challenge because they are the third answer to a classic dilemma. In situations where the sales training simulation is new and unique, companies often replace their existing sales training with a better fitting program. The obvious downside risk to that approach is you end up replacing the existing common language with an alternative and that creates confusion rather than improvement which is the end result even though the new program is a better fit.
- Some companies employ a second option – do nothing apart from the regular calls with the hope that salespeople, on their own, will adjust their existing skill sets to the new requirements and pick up the required new skills. The usual result is some will but the problem is many will take too long and some will never actually make that transition.
Sales training simulations present a third option that allows companies to help their sales teams adjust and adapt to their existing skills sets to the new buying environment, yet also maintaining the common sales language in which they already have invested. This is possible because sales simulations are highly customized so they can be designed to “drag” the new real world into the classroom and because 100% of the classroom time is spent on the reps practicing and getting feedback on how to adjust and adapt their existing skill sets to the new challenges.
- Companies find sales training simulations as an ideal and efficient alternative to put in place sales training programs that are “sticky.” Simply put, companies seek to decrease the amount of time it takes for sales reps to translate the principles and best practices learned in sales training programs into real performance improvement in the field. Sales simulations are an effective answer because of their realism and relevance and because they focus on practice and feedback vs. lecture.
Highly customized sales simulations can now be designed cost-effectively. These sales training simulations create a high impact and are engaging because they drag the real world into the classroom and realism, relevance, practice, and feedback are optimized. There is little doubt that guided self-discovery via customized experiential learning beats lecturing with PowerPoint decks.
Experienced salespeople reflect a particular type of learner who responds to a specific kind of learning that is found in simulations:
- Fast-paced—a successful learning experience must mimic the dynamic pace of their real-world selling environment.
- Feedback-rich—the experience must give salespeople the opportunity to make mistakes and get expert feedback.
- Challenging and competitive—the program must represent challenging and competitive situations that engage the salespeople in the experience.
- Team-based—the best learning experiences should be team-based so salespeople can share best practices, push back on ideas, and strengthen one another’s thinking.
- Relevant—to deliver strong results, learning activities must be based on real-world situations.
- Fun—the experience must create the motivation to learn.
Relevant feedback and analytics is key to ensuring that the right kind of sales training simulations through corporate elearning and training is provided to the user, that can be gauged and calibrated on the user ’s performance and engagement levels. This will give the user a clear analysis of the areas he is lacking in so that appropriate measures can also be taken accordingly to fix that. This will reinforce learning by creating a spirit of competition among other employees and users and helping them avoid the mistakes created in the game to not occur in real-life scenarios while actually at work.
Therefore, at Indusgeeks sales training simulations combined with high fidelity learning and training simulations to improve your training outcomes by reducing the training time required (for both learners/trainers) and consequently, reduce the overall costs.