Statistics suggest that skills ‘learned’ during sales training often fall by the wayside if not used straight away, whilst others completely fail to deliver ROI.
One firm believes that experiential learning could hold the key to retaining knowledge and experience after induction, as well as getting the most from the individual.
Oxygen Learning defines experiential learning as a process whereby the learner, not the instructor becomes the center of the experience, so that the learner does 80% of the work with a facilitator coaching them through the training experience.
The group claims that these classes on average are delivering “a 30 percent increase in the learner’s confidence they have learned the new skill and a 30 percent increase that they can apply the new skill”.
But it’s different to ‘on-the-job’ training. CEO Juliana Stancampiano explains that in this type of “Modern Classroom” there are no tables and the room is decorated with colourful visual displays on the walls with upbeat music playing in the background. The focus is then on simplifying the content and blend IQ and EQ skills to better engage with the learner so the knowledge transfer sticks.
The key is to put salespeople in situations that help them understand the core concepts, versus simply telling them why they are important. Instead of lecturing the sales team on product or service features and steps in the sales process you have them “Real Play” situations they encounter on a daily basis so they can repetitively practice skills that can be transferred to real-world interactions – sales calls, customer service, networking and more.
To illustrate the importance of following the sales process, participants are given a complex shape to draw without being provided any direction. After a few attempts they are then given the “instructions” to illustrate that by following a process, the shape is much easier to draw.
When teaching objection handling, salespeople share examples of objections and then split into teams of three where each gets a chance to play their actual role, the role of the customer and be an observer to provide feedback. By having the learner experience each role and practice and observe techniques they’re better prepared when they encounter the situation in real-life.