• Are ISRs Internalizing Your Training?

    It’s never fun trying to get through to a struggling inside sales rep who seems like they could do with or without your help.  The last thing you want to see is a glazed over look followed by a head bob when you’re asking them if the suggestions your putting out there make sense to them. Yeah sure, they can tell you they’re putting your ideas to practice but you can never really know.

    The problem is it’s not like you have endless amounts of time in your day to monitor every dial or email they’re sending out. The point is we need to find a way to make sure they’re internalizing your suggestions and THEN putting them into action.

    I’m a realist. I don’t expect that every idea I come up with to be considered pure gold, but as a trainer, your employees owe you more than the “promise” that they’ll be following through with at least a few of your suggestions.  So how can we be reassured that the points your trying to drive home are actually sinking in?

    What my training team has been finding lately is that you need to put them on the spot. After each session they need to demonstrate to us that they get it. They need to reassure us in some way that they are following up on our suggestions and are putting them to action. The common problem I’ve seen for most trainers is that it can be difficult to measure.

    Here are 3 tips we feel help us to make sure our hard work is being driven home:

    Make them write up their post training feedback: They may be expecting us to do the work of summing it all up in writing after you’ve spent an hour of training with them. Why not put it on them to articulate what they’ve learned. Ideally this will help to reassure you that everyone’s on the same page. To make it simple, have them come up with 3 areas of improvement discussed during the session and then what their action plan is to improve on each of them.

    Role-play: Ahh yes….the dreaded role-play. Whether you’re the person running it (unless you’re evil) or the participant, no one really likes them.  Bottom line is this should be a core part of our process, but it seems as trainers we don’t follow through on it as regularly as we should. Sure we do it with the newbies, but what about the folks that have been around for a while? Even senior reps shouldn’t be exempt from an occasional role play. For the newbies it can help us to make sure it’s sinking in and with the seasoned folks we can be reassured they still have their fast ball.

    Listen in to their calls without providing input: Set the table that you have no intention of interrupting with your suggestions. The goal would be to get a feel for what the average hour of calling would look like. Save the input for after. Typically we’ll do this once we’ve been through a few other recent training sessions. Again, this can be a great way to get a feel for whether or not they’re actually doing what you tell them.

    We all reach the point with every inside sales rep where we should feel comfortable enough to fully release them into the wild. Coddling or micromanaging never seemed to work for me.  At some point they need to stand on their own two feet. Sales isn’t a pom-pom party (I don’t really know what that means). The point is there should come a stage (sooner rather than later) where it clicks or it doesn’t.

    Try incorporating the tips I’ve recommended above. It should give you a sense of what you’re truly working with.

    What are you doing to push your inside sales reps that are struggling to hit their numbers?

    Craig Ferrara is Director, Client Operations at AG Salesworks.  He is responsible for nurturing and maintaining client relationships, as well as leading his team in attaining established goals.  To view all company blogs go to  AG Salesworks blog site.

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    Are ISRs Internalizing Your Training?, 4.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
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