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But how to you actually go creating most effective training experience? Here’s how.
The 4 MOST IMPORTANT Factors in a Successful Training Experience
1. You must enable trainee buy-in.
Psychiatrists have been telling us for years (er…or they’ve been telling a good friend of ours…yeah…a friend…) that a patient has to want help before help can be provided. Fair enough. The same axiom holds true in training world. You must provide your trainees with right training framework. And what is right training framework? Easy: they must want to be trained.
If it’s going to help them increase sales, convince them of how wonderful this will be. If it’s going to increase their capacity to earn more commission, tell them. Work with your outsourced trainer before actual training event and promote these benefits.
Remember, please: negative expectations from trainees will pollute even most well designed training, just as world’s best psychiatrist can’t help our… friend…overcome his fear of circus clowns.
2. You must know what problem is, and what solution will be.
This one sounds too simple to be true. But you’d be amazed to see how often this factor is overlooked. Do you know what needs to be fixed? Is it deal-closing, or relationship building? Do you want to improve ROI? Motivate? Cut down on process redundancy? Align communication from different units, functions; heck, even cubicles and floors? If you don’t know what’s wrong, you won’t know how to solve it.
Or worse (and yes, there is a worse here), you might actually create problems by trying to solve wrong thing. Scary, yes, but it happens. If you’re trying to solve a team-building problem by promoting individual accomplishment in your training, then you’re actually making things worse. And on top of that: you’re paying for it! AHHHHH!
3. Measure and monitor your sales metrics. All of training in our solar system is regrettably not going to improve your sales metrics if you don’t know what those metrics are, what they should be, and whether or not you’re moving in right direction. You want to measure before and after training to gauge effectiveness.
4. Who’ll own post-training?
One of greatest advancements in language of business is that people are now told that they own certain tasks. So who in your company will own essential task of post-training?
Post-training. You may have successfully taken care of #1, #2, and #3 above, but what happens a week, a month, or a year after training ends? Who will ensure that its legacy lives beyond actual training experience? Memories fade, and enthusiasm wanes. You must elect someone capable of this ownership task, and empower her/him to do what is necessary to ensure that post-training gains are achieved over long-term.
Training is not a 4-Letter Word
Please remember: as a decision-maker and training change agent, problems that we’re solving here aren’t your fault. The perception of training has changed dramatically in last decade; and it’s something that more and more people – especially skilled/knowledge workers – are disliking; even resenting.
Yet what hasn’t changed, and what will never change regardless of how dramatic things get, is that training is an essential part of a successful enterprise. The strategy is therefore not to fly white flag of human resource surrender, but to approach training with total success in mind. Implementing four steps noted above will firmly put you on right track, and head you in right long-term direction.
Adrian Miller is the President of Adrian Miller Sales Training, a training and consulting firm that she founded in 1989. Adrian Miller provides practical, hand-on, customized skills training programs, based on real-world selling situations and specific client needs.