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Trick or Treat (How Halloween’s Catchphrase Can Offer Insight Into Best Practices for Sales Training)

Posted by Sean Mitchell on Oct 27, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Halloween is around the corner. In the U.S., Britain, Mexico, Ireland, and elsewhere, children are preparing to go door-to-door. They will knock and shout “trick-or-treat” in the hope of scoring a sweet haul. It’s fun—but it’s also a metaphor to learn from.

In the U.S., traditions of trick-or-treating for candy date back to the 1920s—roughly same timeframe as modern advertising. It’s really much older, dating back to 16th century Britain and Ireland, where there are plenty of tales of people singing or performing for food and drink. Today, it’s a fun excuse to get into costume and character. Trick-or-treating is a creative escape (with sweet rewards) that kids and adults look forward to every year. But let’s take a closer look.

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Video Practice is the Best Way to Learn

Posted by Carrie Strohl on Oct 25, 2016 9:00:00 AM

As a young Bullfrog at Bret Harte High, to win scholarships for college, I entered speech competitions. I’d stand in my bedroom, practicing gestures, making eye contact with pictures on the wall, and giving my speech out loud. Repeating the live motions, as close to the actual event environment as possible, was the best way for me to learn my speeches and provide a consistent performance.

The way we encode skills hasn’t changed. Humans must practice. Practice makes you consistent, but does that lead to improvement in a skill that matters? As Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” So, practicing the wrong thing just means you’ll consistently do it wrong.

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Interactive Training Basics: You Were Taught, but Did You Learn?

Posted by Donna DeMarco on Oct 20, 2016 10:29:52 AM

Interactive training, whether in-person or online, is just one part of the learning process. Whether you’re a professional sales trainer or a proactive team leader or mentor, you need to know how humans learn—and assimilate that knowledge into their daily lives.

There are many perspectives on the learning process, but the most helpful overview I’ve found  is Noel Burch’s Competence Hierarchy. As you develop courses—video-based or otherwise—it’s always wise to consider your trainee’s journey on this path—and how to move them forward. Here’s a quick visual overview:

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How Remote Work has Changed Professional Communication Skills

Posted by John Parsons on Oct 18, 2016 10:00:00 AM

In his book The Social Animal, cultural commentator David Brooks argues that our subconscious minds, influenced by countless nonverbal cues, determine how we behave. Salespeople and other influencers already know this. For years, they’ve been successful because they communicate well with nonverbals. But has the rise of remote work, and the decline of face-to-face contact, changed this?

First off, let’s admit that some communication skills that will never translate well as virtual experiences. There’s no true online counterpart to a warm handshake or a hug. (I disagree with my friends who insist that such things can happen in VR.) Many nonverbal cues Brooks describes can only be experienced in a live context. Think about meeting a prospect or client for lunch or a drink—where ambient sounds and smells help good communicators thrive. Trying this in a virtual world would be unsatisfying, to say the least.

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Online Sales Training & the Art of Kung Fu

Posted by Bernie Selvey on Oct 13, 2016 10:00:00 AM

I’ve been a fan of Kung Fu ever since I was a kid. I loved all the movies, the David Carradine series, and of course the weekly “Kung Fu Theatre” episode that would drag me into the house on a Saturday afternoon. Now that I’m all grown up—mostly—I see some amazing similarities between martial arts and sales enablement.

To be proficient in sales, it’s not as much about how your body is positioned. It’s about how your relationship with the prospect is structured. It’s also about “learning the right moves,” not robotically but naturally—responding in the moment by knowing intuitively what a prospect is feeling or thinking. That doesn’t happen from watching a PowerPoint.

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The Evolution of Cold Calling: Understanding the Biggest Paradigm Shift in Prospecting

Posted by Ron S. LaVine on Oct 11, 2016 8:01:00 AM

Cold calling is getting a bad reputation. In B2B situations, the best sales training teams are replacing cold calling with Smart Calling or Intelligent Calling.

The latter is defined as the use of a combination of sales and marketing communication channels (i.e., the web, phone, video, physical mail, email, advertising, etc.) to gain Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action (AIDA). The difference today is that, for a salesperson to become more effective, each of these sales enablement strategies need to be combined.

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How to Create Compliance Training that People Pay Attention to

Posted by Darryl Rentz on Oct 4, 2016 8:01:00 AM

Compliance training is not something that people look forward to. While not often associated with positive thoughts, it doesn’t have to be dreaded!

We’re all adults (I’m assuming) and we understand these courses are required—to prevent some serious trouble. We’re willing to comply, to satisfy these requirements. That doesn’t mean such courses have to bore us to tears.

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“Put me in, Coach!” What the NFL and the Best Sales Training Teams Have in Common

Posted by Sean Mitchell on Sep 29, 2016 8:01:00 AM

Interactive training is at the heart of all professions—whether it’s live or online. The start of the NFL season reminds us that sales enablement and professional football have more in common than you may think.

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Sales Enablement Tools: Competency Thresholds

Posted by Michael St. Lawrence on Sep 27, 2016 11:14:29 AM

The key to a great coaching culture is a measurable set of competency thresholds. With it, sales coaches have the performance metrics needed to create a high level of accountability. Combined with online video training, competency thresholds help your sales team members learn, grow, improve, and master selling process fundamentals.

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Sales Enablement: How Communicating in Bullet Points Increases Response Rates

Posted by Ron S. LaVine on Sep 20, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Attention spans are short and getting shorter. As a result, reaching decision makers by phone alone is ineffective. So, salespeople need to learn how to communicate in bullets or written bites. It may sound easy, but it’s not. Here are some important sales enablement rules of thumb for bullet points.

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Topics: sales enablement, professional communication skills

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