Sales training represents an important investment of time and resources, and every biotech company wants to maximize the return on this investment. The 44th Annual Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network (LTEN) Conference in early June included an executive panel discussion about maximizing sales training ROI titled “The 4 C’s of Successfully Linking Sales Training to Business Results.”The 4 C’s are Content, Coaching, Confidence, and Correlation to Performance, and when sales training strategies encompass these qualities, sales teams are more qualified and motivated to deliver increased revenues and boost their company’s market share. Here’s a little more about the 4 C’s.
Providing substandard training content fo sales reps is like buying a thoroughbred racehorse and feeding it nothing but low-quality hay. Your sales reps require variety in their content and in how it is presented, because different people learn in different ways. One sales rep may excel with workbook-style training, yet flounder when presented with a “gamified” training session. Another may do precisely the opposite. Content should be relevant, up-to-date, contained in “digestible” chunks of learning, and presented through more than one medium. Presentation and reinforcement of content help training “stick” so it’s more likely to be put to use in the field.
Anyone can watch a YouTube video on how to swing a baseball bat and then practice on their own. But that person won’t develop true finesse without the help of a coach who can evaluate what he or she is doing right and wrong and offer personalized attention to facilitate improvement. For a skill to be put to work successfully, a person must not only learn it in concept but practice it until it comes naturally. In sales, this may involve role-playing exercises, or perhaps one-on-one coaching after evaluating scores on training modules. Personal attention and coaching are often the extra steps that separate a merely “satisfactory” sales team from an exceptional one.
Confidence is at the heart of a sales rep’s ability to meet or exceed goals. It helps when your sales professionals work and train in an environment where they can see others executing sales practices well. Investing in high-quality training materials and sharing best practices for your particular products help build confidence. Some companies make an effort to pair up new trainees, or those who are working on building confidence with top performers in the actual sales environment. Furthermore, trainers themselves should model confidence and understand the differences between confidence and ego. People learn from examples, and the sales trainer should set a positive example of confidence in his own skills, in the products sold, and in the company.
Correlation to Performance in Sales Training
Your sales team needs to see how their practices in the field affect revenues and opportunities. You probably have extensive sales metrics that you monitor regularly to learn how well your training programs translate into real world results. Knowing that new training, new sales techniques, and new technologies produce a measurable improvement in sales helps individual sales team members build confidence and helps ensure sales team morale remains positive. Nobody wants to feel as if they are putting in the effort without knowing whether those efforts pay off, so it’s important for reps to know, for example, that their hard work helped increase revenues by a certain percentage during the last quarter.
CLD understands the special needs of those in the biotech industry. We help trainers develop sales teams that are equipped with the skills they need to meet or exceed goals.