Sales enablement training can be as challenging as it is essential, but sales managers are wasting a valuable asset if they aren’t including their superstar salespeople in the sales training process.
The insights and experiences senior salespeople have accumulated over years and years in the industry can be invaluable to their fledgling colleagues, but sales managers are often concerned that leveraging this expertise will muddy the chain of command or confuse their sales team.
This is a mistake. On-the-job learning isn’t an either-or situation; new salespeople can learn from coworkers without disregarding the wisdom of their superiors. And on the other end, sales managers can actually make their job easier by taking advantage of everything their most successful salespeople have to offer.
Creating Training Materials Collaboratively
Even though a learning management system (LMS) offers companies a number of great benefits, its primary functions will always be employee on-boarding and continuing training. With a flexible and highly-customizable LMS, sales managers can easily incorporate senior salespeople’s knowledge into the content they deliver to new recruits.
The right LMS allows managers to craft interactive, engaging courses, on-boarding flows, and product walk-throughs in a matter of minutes, making it easy to insert suggestions from experienced personnel as they trickle in. With a good LMS, tweaking your sales enablement training program doesn’t require a revamp of the whole system, meaning collaborating on training content production can – and should – be an ongoing endeavor.
Encouraging Informal Mentorship
But the real training value of successful salespeople involves a more informal role. According to Bersin by Deloitte, 80% of workplace learning happens via on-the-job interactions, and most people who have worked in an open office environment can confirm that these interactions – not formal company documents – are where they get most of their answers. After all, who prefers scouring a company manual to simply asking Jim or Pam at the desk across from you for help with a question you have?
80% of workplace learning happens via on-the-job interactions
As such, smart sales managers do everything they can to encourage informal mentorship between junior and senior salespeople. Not only does this help new team members learn the ropes, it also counteracts the sort of unhealthy, cutthroat competition that tends to creep into sales situations. If everyone on the sales team is able to collaborate and learn from each other, it’s much easier to foster a sense of “we’re all in this together.”
This understanding is part of what led us to create the People Search and Skill Search features, designed specifically to allow employees to connect with each other across different company outposts, departments, and skill-sets. No doubt, formal sales enablement training is critical to the success of any team, but sales is ultimately about people, and forging strong connections with the salespeople beside you in the trenches day-in-day-out is as important as anything.