Sales training tips to give reps a winning edge in the field

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What do sales training tips and hockey have in common?

One of the most thrilling experiences watching a hockey game in person are the line changes. An average NHL hockey player spends more than 30 shifts, each lasting approximately 45 seconds, on the ice when they sprint hard to stay on top and score to win. When a player is done with their shift, they step through two doors back onto the bench while a fresh player vaults over the boards onto the ice. It’s exciting to watch, but rarely shown on TV, which is always following the puck.

Field sales plays a similar game. Those working for consumer goods companies have many customers and retail locations to visit in a given day. To maximize revenue, they need to increase both the quantity and quality of each visit and customer interaction. They run hard and every minute counts.

In hockey, line changes aren’t just about resting your players up between shifts. It’s the just-in-time learning that players consume before their next shift begins. Coaches are always on the ready to provide guidance, show replays on tablets, or pull out marker boards to highlight what they should do differently during their next shift to win the game.

Sales training tips designed for the road warrior

What field sales needs is on-the-go training that can be delivered anywhere, anytime, on any device – the same style of training hockey and other sports players receive in the midst of every game, or lap around the course.

Sales reps who are in the field need to be able to move quickly to cover up to 100 store and customer visits in a day. The last thing you want to do is pull them off the road, out of the field to attend training in a classroom on the latest products, processes, and promotions being run.  

Shorten it up

For new field reps and merchandisers conducting retail execution activities like store audits, product orders, and shelf merchandising, training needs to reinforce what they learned back in the classroom. But don’t expect reps to have time for a one-hour webinar or training update. Field rep sales training needs to be short and easy to consume in the midst of a busy schedule.

This can take the form short microbursts of content like quizzes sent to learners on their mobile phone, tablet or even their smart watch. Regular “drip feeding” training helps with learning retention and is critical for new as well as veteran field sales reps, who can benefit from a refresher on the road.

Make it meaningful

The quickest way to deliver a bad training experience to sales reps is to push training that isn’t relevant to them. Integrating your training, visit execution, and opportunity management platform enables you to deliver intelligent recommendations.

For example, if a field rep is prompted to add another product to a related basket while visiting a store, they can receive training in the moment on how to pitch that product. And if a store’s promotions have been consistently out of compliance, an integrated platform can provide a sales rep with training recommendations to educate store managers and their associates for improved compliance

Leverage video for better coaching

For sales managers, coaching sales reps in the field can be challenging. How do you know if reps are following sales processes without driving around with them all day and shadowing them?

Video makes it easy to assess how reps are working in the field. Sales managers can provide immediate feedback and help sales reps improve their performance. Better yet, AI can score their videos, making it possible for sales reps to perfect their pitches before their managers have a chance to review the video.

By taking steps to make sales training tips more accessible and effective for sales reps in the field, organizations can ensure reps are at the top of their game to  win and deliver a better customer experience.

Find out more about improving retail execution with mobile sales training here.

Jennifer Kling
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Jennifer Kling

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