Training Modern Sales Teams Takes More than Just Online Training

70/20/10 is the New 80/20

Any amount of a bad thing is obviously not good. But too much of anything can be bad, too. For example, relying too much on online training, without occasional face-to-face meetings, can create inconsistencies within teams. This is a point that Max Meadow, Principal Advisory Analyst for Brandon Hall Group, investigated in his recent report about the state of modern sales training. He suggests that the 70/20/10 mix of training is the new standard for modern sales training.

More strategic with face-to-face training

In a nutshell, the 70/20/10 model of learning states that 70% of knowledge should come from actually doing an activity, 20% should come from other interactions, and 10% should come from formal learning events. Meadow reports that the majority of successful sales training ideas in his study actively use blended learning methods, a mix of different types of learning activities.

50% of the effective sales programs studied are being created as blended programs, which are a mix of digital learning and instructor-lead courses. 36% were only digital learning programs, and 14% were only instructor-led training.

This shift toward blended learning reflects an effort to make face-to-face interactions more strategic. In-person, classroom style training scored very high on a training effectiveness scale; learners find those sessions to be very valuable. Additionally, online learning and mobile learning were also rated very effective, but were not used nearly as often. These two metrics indicate where learning seems to be heading for modern sales team training.

Team learning as the tool for modern sales training

The problem with instructor-led training, as effective as it is, is that it’s time-consuming for everyone involved, and therefore neither efficient nor scalable. Sales teams spend hours and, sometimes, days attending these classes. That is valuable time spent not selling. Online training, on the other hand, is flexible and can be consumed when and where sales teams need it most. The future of modern sales training will rely much more on online learning to provide information, and then look to instructor-led classes to reinforce it. Meadow noted as much in his study, saying “traditional learning can be converted to [online] forms that are cost-effective and impactful to the learner.” He went on to include a few suggestions about how to do that:

  • Refitting content to suit mobile viewing
  • Making content suitable for just-in-time consumption
  • Building training content and tools that support sales

Making sales training “just-in-time” is difficult to pull off with classroom-style learning, but online tools, like Lessonly’s Salesforce integration, make it possible. Sales leaders can map Lessons to specific steps in their sales cycle and keep reps performing at the top of their game. Lessons on negotiating and discounting policies can be assigned to pop-up whenever a sales associate gets into the pricing stage of a deal.
This is the best type of “just-in-time” training. Associating knowledge that reps need to know with the moments that they need to know it is an effective way to reinforce learning. With this approach, sales leaders have more meaningful in-person coaching sessions focused on individual rep development. This kind of blended, connected learning is where modern sales training is heading—and the future isn’t far.

Lessonly is how modern sales teams learn

Winning sales teams use Lessonly to train and enable their reps. Take a self-guided, five-step tour of Lessonly’s team learning software to see how your sales team can accelerate performance and close more deals. Sign up today.

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