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4 KILLER SALES TRAINING MISTAKES ~ REVEALED

These 4 mistakes are costing you time and money. So, I wanted to add some clarity as you move towards planning next year’s trade strategy, and make it easier for you improve your engagement result.

IS YOUR SALES TRAINING PLATFORM MAKING THESE MISTAKES?

CHANCES ARE — THE ANSWER IS YES!

I think we can all agree…

the more your selling agent knows/recalls about your product the better off he or she will be at generating demand, influencing and closing a sale.

But getting the right information in front of agents is something organizations constantly struggle with.

Most travel organizations spend a lot of time and money producing training materials and never get the full return from their investment.

Why?

Because many are making some classic mistakes.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

In this post, I’m going to identify 4 of the biggest mistakes being made today in the area of online sales training for agents.

Let’s get started with mistake number 1.

Mistake Number 1: It’s 2017, So Quit Acting Like It’s 2001

By far the biggest mistake organizations make when it comes to providing training materials is this:

They simply don’t acknowledge the different ways people prefer to consume digital information in today’s world.

We live in a digital age. Look at us — we are glued to our smartphones and laptops and every screen in between. And yet… many providers still don’t get it.

They continue to push information online like they are publishing a brochure or a newspaper.

Let me ask you something.

Have you ever come to a web page that is filled with copy, the classic ‘wall of words’? Something along these lines…

ARCHAIC INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN

Of course you have…we all have.

And when you get to that page; what’s your reaction?

Do you hit the back button and bounce, never to return? Or do you plod forward and prepare to forget most of it immediately?

It’s that simple.

So, what do you think when an agent gets to your training page crammed with 1,000 words of information about your product? They tune out.

Here’s the bottom line:

People don’t read online. Even when their livelihood depends on it.

They skim. They click. They bounce around.

But they are not going to read long, dense blocks of copy as a habit!

So, if you are looking to get agents to engage with your story… design and deliver your content in ways people want to interact with it.

Break up copy blocks.

Highlight key words.

And, most importantly…

Focus on your key story and balance it with various media. Add video, iconic imagery, infographics, sharable collateral, and unique insights to ensure your Specialist can add value and influence bookings when in front of clients.

Which brings us to mistake number 2.

Mistake Number 2: Stop Making Agents Drink From A Firehose Of Information

There’s only so much information someone can absorb and take in.

That’s just the way it is.

But travel providers have strived to stuff 10 pounds of product information in a 5lb bag, thinking more is always better, all the while charging for content. Convenient, isn’t it?

It doesn’t work.

Especially in the beginning when you are trying to onboard an agent. In these critical early stages focus your information on your top 3–4 selling points or ‘sales pillars’. Over time, you can elaborate on your storytelling and work in secondary messages.

But in the beginning, exhibit some respect for your seller’s time constraints and chaotic days. You’ll see that smaller amounts of information will equal greater results and provide a foundation to build upon with more scale.

Let’s keep moving to the next mistake:

Mistake Number 3: Using Mostly Written Word To Educate and Transfer Sales Intelligence.

Consider this stat:

15 years ago, the NUMBER ONE way people preferred to learn anything was by reading. In fact, over 80% indicated this was their preferred method.

Guess what that percentage is now?

13%

That’s right, only THIRTEEN percent of people today prefer reading as their number one way to receive knowledge and information. What’s being missed by most B2B solution provider’s today is the obvious…that individuals differ on how they prefer to learn.

Unfortunately, most of the proposals hitting your desk are from providers producing and distributing content for only this one group, which is small and getting smaller. In fact, there are now FOUR major types of learners. Producing for readers is certainly cheaper and easier for sure, but it’s also lazy and transparent to the sellers who invest their time and are left empty-handed.

V.A.R.K METHODOLOGY

In today’s connected world, people want to learn and consume content in a variety of ways.

· Through video

· Audio/podcasts

· Interacting with the material or tactile (mobile apps excel here)

In our platform, we combine all of these to better tell YOUR story. And by doing this we keep agents engaged, improve retention, drive confidence and ultimately increase sales activity.

Mistake Number 4: Not Mobile Friendly

Here’s the thing:

If you’re like me, I’m never without my smartphone. It’s a necessary part of my life.

I use it to connect, to stay informed, for entertainment and, of course, for my business.

Consider this interesting fact:

According to Google, 77% of adults in the U.S. now own smartphones. And the amount of mobile web traffic has now surpassed desktop traffic.

Let me ask you something:

Do you think that people are going to be using their phones more, or less, in the future? I’m betting it’s going to continue to increase.

So why aren’t more B2B platforms truly enabled for mobile? (We can save the ‘Responsive Web Training is a Joke’ blog for later)

Look, in today’s world organizations need to think mobile first. Agents need to be able to train on any device — laptop, tablet or phone.

More importantly they need the ability to have sales materials available to them 24/7. Why?

Because not having access could mean missing out on more business.

We provide mobile access as full-featured, downloadable apps for IOS and Android, which means the content is downloaded to the personal device of your seller to train OFFLINE now, or better yet — sell more effectively for years to come after the training is complete!

If your training platform, isn’t embracing mobile…why are you still using it?

BONUS Insight : Why Make Registering So Brutal?

Look:

In order to train agents and get them to understand what your product is all about they first have to register for your course before they even see a piece of media.

No way around it in B2B.

But here’s the thing that no one talks about:

Many agents are abandoning training before they even get in.

Why?

Because the onboarding and registration process takes too damn long.

Here’s a stat that might surprise you:

B2B registration forms with more than 10 questions suffer from abandonment rates between 55–70%, meaning up to 7 of 10 professionals who click to join a training program drop out because there are too many fields to fill out. Abandonment is real and you rarely get a second chance with that individual seller.

Here is another stat. The average travel trade registration form is over 30 questions, most required, before the advisor ever see’s what they came for. There are smarter ways, we can share a few.

Travel providers, if you do nothing else, try to do this:

Make it easy for agents to sign up and get to the sales content they want.

To see how our expedited registration works take a look here.

Wait there’s more:

So now you have it. The 5 key mistakes most travel training platforms are making. Fix these and you’ll improve your training and sales performance considerably. That’s the punchline, a low bar.

But keep in mind this very important point:

Training will only take you so far.

You see, training is only half of the story. In order to maximize your investment, you also need to pair training (engagement) with sales enablement. This combination is a powerful one-two punch that is required to stand out in our industry.

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and please check out some of my other posts here.

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