flexible sales training programs

Did You Know That Most People’s Attention Span is 11 Minutes? | Flexible sales training programs

You’ve taken the first crucial step and assessed the skill, behavioural and attitudinal gaps in your team. Now it is time to plug those gaps. Now you can roll out the right sales training to suit the team. But did you know that a person’s attention span is approximately eleven minutes? This means sitting in a classroom all day listening to someone speak simply doesn’t work.

Thankfully, the sales training landscape has changed. In fact, it’s unrecognisable from ten or even five years ago. No longer is it about bringing someone in for three or four days with endless hand out notes (that no one uses) and PowerPoint presentations. These days, there are plenty of options when it comes to flexible sales training programs. Read on to find what will work for you.

Development Design, But Not as You Know It

You can probably reduce your external sales training budget by about 80% – by training the trainer. This means that you get the best of both worlds. The expertise of the external sales trainer who writes your sales training program and trains your trainer, but the economy of using someone in-house to roll out the program. Another benefit is that the external trainer can continue to provide ongoing support. This can be through coaching those that deliver the training when needed, or stepping in when necessary to deliver some of the key points of the training.

Talkin’ about my Generation …

Another way is through online learning. Generation Y (those born in the 80s and 90s) are permanently plugged into technology. Give them an e-learning tool and it automatically speaks their language. Crucially, there is often no extra investment in IT as the programme is fitted into the client’s Learning Management System. It’s consistent training, available any time and it’s easily trackable. Plus, if a sales person can’t pass a module, his or her manager can quickly intervene with some extra coaching.


Classroom training is still relevant, but not as a one-size-fits-all approach. Remember that thanks to your in-depth assessment of the team, you’re only going to focus on three or four areas where weaknesses in the team have been identified. The key thing is to find something that suits your business. If your team can’t get away during the working day then consider an evening or weekend slot. Equally, you could deliver the training in bite size chunks. Two months of “lunch and learn” sessions once a week, can be very effective for those that can’t spend long periods of time away from their desk.

One-to-One Coaching

One-to-One Coaching is always useful for plugging gaps in the skills or attitude of a particular member of the sales team. A successful sales person about to step into the shoes of a manager, for example, could hit the ground running with some specialised one-to-one coaching.


Is your trainer a credible salesperson?

In most cases, it’s going to be a mix of two, three or all of these methods that will hit the spot. However, if you’re going to use an external provider make sure that they have got a proven track record in sales. They should be able to answer anything the sales team can throw at them – by quoting their own experience (and thus gain instant credibility). In no other business would you even consider using someone to train who hadn’t done it themselves. It should be no different in sales training.


Be Flexible!


A large global furniture manufacturer asked us to enable their trainers to run our specially written programme. We assessed all their people and wrote a curriculum to fill the gaps. We ran the first couple of sessions, then we enabled the in-house training team to deliver the training globally. However, there were a couple of countries that the client felt would work better with an external trainer, so we came in and ran those programmes for them. The client really benefited from this flexible approach.