Two weeks ago, I attended a two-day workshop with a company that has completely embraced and improved the learning process for salespeople, sharing Best Practices and on-boarding. In one word, Fascinating! This is long overdue, but at least programs like this are being welcomed by many of the top companies in the world.
As a sales rep on several national sales teams in twenty years, with teams of of thirty to fifty sales reps, I vividly remember our national sales meetings. All of us would be flown to a major city for five days of sales meetings. We would watch the parade of portfolio managers, compliance experts, sales managers, other department heads and perhaps a guest speaker, give presentation after presentation. By day two, we felt like we were in a hot dog eating contest with Joey Chestnut and our minds and stomachs were feeling like sludge. By day four, we couldn’t wait to get back to our sales appointments in our territory and make more calls and money. On day five, just before we all had to leave for the airport, we were given two hours to talk about Best Practices and what’s working in the field. Many of us cherished that portion of the meeting because we learned from our peers and other top producers on the sales team. Two weeks later, we remembered the ideas we learned from our peers but maybe ten percent of what we learned in the first four days of the meeting. Folks, you can’t sip water from a fire hose. It’s not effective and it’s a major overload of the brain.
Today, thanks to significant improvements in technology, we have better, less expensive and more effective ways to help our employees and sales teams learn new content. There are websites we can log into now that have hundreds of videos that are less than three minutes long, that can teach people specifically what they want to learn and it’s available 24/7. That means they can learn when they want to learn and in ‘small bite-sized’ lessons, not hours and hours of listening to boring presentations.
As a professional speaker who has given more than 5,000 presentations, I’ve always focused on high-impact presentations and brevity. Remember, the mind can absorb only as much as your bottom can endure while you sit in the audience. New employees are now learning what they need to, in a fraction of the time it took in previous years. Sales people are watching videos from the most successful sales pros at their company and becoming more effective by improving their presentations and sales ideas to their clients. The retention rate is improved to over eighty percent vs. the traditional twenty-three percent because of the refresher content and ability to watch more videos on their time. As I said earlier, this is truly fascinating and exciting.