Learning sales skills online is the quick and convenient way for salespeople to master a whole range of skills. Today, it is worth noting that learning sales skills online is not limited to basic topics or a few simple sales training videos. The reality is that it facilitates salespeople to learn both soft sales skills and the hard selling skills. To win in selling today salespeople need to master social selling, soft skills, how to prospect, how to create value, understand buyer roadblocks, how to deliver points of differentiation etc.
Online sales training allows salespeople of all levels of experience to take advantage of this delivery channel to upskill, relearn and acquire new sales skills. In fact, research and numerous surveys show that in recent years it has become the most efficient way to learn and absorb sales insights.
How Learning Sales Skills Online Works
Learning sales skills works the same way as learning any new skill. Every learner must use memory, recognition, familiarity attention, consolidation, engagement, and feedback to learn new skills. Also, the use of video has been shown to increase concentration and stimulate learning.
In sales training, self-examination is more effective than straight learning because when salespeople successfully retrieve a piece of information, they then restore it in a different way than they did before it was used. The result is that not only has their storage levels increased, but their memory has made new and different connections.
This means that learning new sales skills is an active process that involves some level of input to the brain, and the ability to extract meaningful data from the input by becoming aware of it so it reaches the short-term working memory.
Storing and Retrieving Learning
Short and long-term memory are two major categories that describe the way we store and retrieve information that we experience. Memory is information we learn that stays with us over time. It’s stored, and we can recall it again when we need it. We all access our memory in three different ways. 1. recall, 2. recognition, and 3. relearning. Recall is our ability to pull information from our brains that we once learned in the past, an example would be what is a “value proposition” in sales. If a customer asks a salesperson what their company does, they will recall that information.
Recognition is identifying information that is already familiar to us. If a customer poses an objection, salespeople should be able to instantly recognize this and answer. When a customer comes on a Zoom call a salesperson can recognize their face and recall their name. Finally, relearning is measured by the time saved when we learn something again. When we hear sales terms, insights, or information that we have learned before, it takes less time for us to commit it to memory. An example would be when we brush up on the sales process or discovery sales questions for the first time in a few years, we may not remember all the structures, but relearning allows us to identify them up quickly because we have learned on previous sales programs.
How We Learn New Sales Skills Online
Interleaving is a great way to improve retention of sales lessons. Interleaving is the process where a salesperson will move from one set of sales topics to another, allowing their brain to differentiate between the various lessons and enhance neural connections. In sales training, this is achieved in logically connected chunks, what we term “bite sized video lessons”. These are easy to digest and avoids having the salesperson from randomly jumping from one sales lesson to another.
Similar to relearning, retrieval practice does is great for salespeople to cement their learning. Simple techniques like sales quizzes, asking them to explain the sales topic in their own words and asking “how and why” type questions are all examples of retrieval practice. This is an activity where salespeople are challenged to recall information quickly as in a sales call. Research proves that learning via spaced practice is even better. This is where salespeople repeat lessons periodically, which is why sales training online is proving so successful.
Feed a person and they eat for today, show a person how to fish and they can eat for a lifetime
Many sales training programs, especially classroom based training, seem to try to stuff in lots of sales topics rather than space them out, spacing out topics or learning at our own convenience avoids the frustration of learning. Stuffing in lots of topics over a short period of time has the effect of having to reply on memorization, not the actual retention of the material itself. Too much information, delivered too quickly does not work for long-term memory recall.
Ideas For Skills Retention
Ok, So here are some ideas when learning sales skills online or choosing an online sales training program. Whether in school, university or business, every person learns best when the training material is presented to us in an organized manner specific and is engaging. Learning sales skills becomes memorable when:
The training involves real world sales challenges e.g. How to open a sales conversation.
The existing knowledge around selling morphs into the foundation for new sales knowledge.
New insights and methodologies are covered in the lessons.
All the sales topics are understandable and relevant, so they can be applied in the real world.
The lessons and topics are bite sized enough so they can be integrated into daily sales activities.
Sales training has to mirror real world sales situations and the challenges salespeople face. It must be rooted in logic, experience and aligned to all the basic sales insights any salesperson should know so they can build upon them. The material has to match the learners expectations so they will be motivated to apply the learning in all sales activity.
Learn Better With Sales Skills Online
Today, whether selling digital products, financial services, or software etc, thousands of salespeople are enjoying learning sales skills online as the more convenient and retentive way to upskill. However just like any classroom based sales training program, the salesperson needs to come prepared to learn and engage. The salesperson should seek out sales skills online courses that deliver excellence in design, transformation learning experiences and quality sales material. Sales training programs that brings thought leadership for salespeople in the areas of sales tactics, lead generation, sales prospecting, meaningful sales conversations, reducing cost per lead, customer engagement, sales mindset, sales pipeline, and revenue generation.
- All sales training must support the salespersons goals.
- Salespeople must define for themselves what skills they need to improve.
- Sales training must inspire salespeople be the best versions of themselves.
- Real sales knowledge learning will include the hard and soft sales skills.
- The training should include videos and downloadable lessons.
- Training that is up to date, researched and validated.
- Lessons that open up the salesperson to new insights and tactics.
- 24/7 accessible sales program access.
- Training that’s fits in around their life without interrupting your career.
Now more than ever, the sales skills needed to be a really successful are constantly evolving as buyer trends change.
Sales Skills Online – Never Stop Learning
The continued learning of sales skills online and selling techniques should be viewed as career long process. Any salesperson can continue to learn via free sales training or by subscribing to an online resource. There are always new sales skills to learn and tactics to adopt to keep up with buyer preferences. Learning sales skills online has many benefits for the modern, digitally enabled salesperson. Buying trends and the sales process is constantly changing and salespeople need to adjust their work skills regularly. With every passing year, sales roles change massively, and a lot of positions are lost. The good news is that value add new sales positions always emerge. In this day and age, lack of expertise and role contribution to revenue can be the biggest killer of sales positions. Therefore, salespeople should strive to learn constantly.
We live in the digital age where new technologies and roles emerge while some others die out. Future proofing salespeople will increase the number of skills they have mastered as their insurance policy towards emerging trends. Remember, we now have the opportunity to learn and undertake sales training whatever or wherever we decide. So, use the internet and time wisely.
To wrap up, let’s talk about motivation. In learning, intrinsic motivation will win out against extrinsic motivation. That is, salespeople learn something because they want to learn, not just to get a certificate. To really learn, we need to sense that there is something really relevant about a sales topic. The learner should set challenging but achievable learning goals. The time to upskill and learn is now, not later.