Many companies are wrestling with the question about what their future work environment looks like as they emerge from COVID-19 restrictions. Preferences are mixed, but many employees want to keep working from home at least part of the time.
Blended learning approaches are certainly not new, but given the challenges over the past 18 months, we are seeing many opportunities to apply these approaches in creative new ways. The pandemic heightened interest in hybrid models (a combination of virtual instructor led, digital, collaborative learning, etc.) that already existed – and provided a testing ground for their effectiveness. With the on-demand and collaborative sales training models we’re now using at SRG, we’re seeing outcomes, participant interaction and satisfaction scores improve for our sales and sales management training programs. But do these benefits hold true for every type of employee training? Specifically, can we effectively onboard new sales reps in a hybrid world – especially when we need them to hit the ground running in an even more challenging selling environment?
There are many stereotypes of what makes a great sales rep. Outgoing, smooth talker, able to present their solution pitch flawlessly to the client. Confident – sometimes, too confident. You know the profile, right? But there’s a key attribute that’s not always associated with high-performing salespeople, and it might surprise you.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella often speaks of how his career – and his company – have been shaped by empathy. He views it as a quality to be consciously cultivated, practiced, and applied – “not just as something nice to have, but as the core to the innovation agenda in the company.” He believes empathy can be a differentiator when working with clients. Empathy is the ability to imagine yourself in someone else’s position and understand their situation. It’s the capacity to feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference. It’s not always easy to do.
Most companies don’t go through the process of hiring a sales training partner very often. When they do, they’re often looking to be educated about the selection process – or, in a worst-case scenario, influenced toward an ineffective solution by an unscrupulous vendor.
The expansion of online, collaborative learning is one of the most exciting evolutions to come out of the challenges of delivering sales training over the past year. As the participant feedback suggests below, online, collaborative learning did a great job engaging participants, increasing group collaboration, and reinforcing skills over time – all of which is leading to greater success for learners and better outcomes for companies.