The Art of Online Training, with Sales Geek
On the 27th March 2020, accessplanit took part in their first online training session with Sales Geek©.
Sales Geek are an ISM accredited Training Centre- a mark of the quality of their sales training. They are one of only 20 such training centres worldwide. As such they are able to issue CPD credits for you and your sales teams. SalesGeek’s goal is to empower your sales team and help you grow your business, through effective training and consultancy.
accessplanit have been working closely with Sales Geek for the last 6 months to improve not only their sales process, but also to improve the way we work with our existing clients. Our sales and customer success teams have previously undertaken all of their training face-to-face with Sales Geek, but due to current circumstances, Sales Geek have acted fast and implemented some great online alternatives for their clients.
Our most recent session was hosted online by Erik, our personal ‘Sales Trainer’. The course consisted of a look at the current climate in relation to closing deals and bringing new clients on board. It also included a step-by-step guide on how to successfully negotiate.
To make the learning more digestible online, Sales Geek chose to break the class into four 1-hour sessions. This bitesize learning approach is something that many online training providers suggest, and is touched upon in our most recent Webinar covering Coronavirus and the training industry, and how to successfully offer online training during this time.
Invites to this session were sent to our email calendars, with the Zoom details included. It’s also worth noting that they added a 30 minute break in-between each session, to allow for some light stretching; brews, and bathroom breaks; something that Andy from London School Online also suggested, when he spoke in our recent Webinar.
As is popular with a vast number of online trainers right now, Sales Geek are choosing to utilise the video conferencing tool Zoom, to run their online sessions. There are lots of tools to choose from for online training, which we have compared in one of our recent blog posts about the best software for online training delivery.
The clever thing about Zoom is that, as the host, you can utilise breakout rooms to encourage group socialisation and participation. We found that the method Sales Geek devised for using breakout rooms was extremely effective. During each of the 4 sessions, our team were put into groups to participate in different activities. Sales Geek were able to assign different individuals to certain breakout rooms, so they could be used as activity rooms for each group. We were then able to discuss different ideas and suggestions, then after the allotted time we were automatically pulled back into the main session. We thought this was a truly brilliant way of using the Zoom’s breakout rooms, to create individual learning sessions. Once back in the main room we were able to openly discuss our suggestions and thoughts on the topic of conversation. Keeping learners engaged by introducing teamwork into sessions, is a great way to keep your learners engaged.
In our second session onward, we were again allocated breakout rooms, but this time Erik popped in from time to time to check on our progress. We found this particularly useful, as he was constantly checking on our progress and making suggestions about what we were discussing. This kind of student-teacher interaction is great for building a rapport with your learners; something that is harder to do in online-learning, but just as important to successful training. You can find out more about how to engage your learners during online sessions in our recent blog post, giving you practical advice for online training delivery.
The course that Sales Geek held for us felt very well structured and planned. Erik shared his screen (utilising PowerPoint) with us throughout; we would then be set specific activities; sent through to the breakout rooms to participate, then pulled back to the main room to talk through what was discussed. This structure helped Sales Geek to hold participant engagement well for all 4 sessions, and we were eager to continue learning with Erik.
Our session with Sales Geek was a lesson in how quickly and efficiently training companies can adapt to this fast-changing environment. If a training company is committed to evolve, diversify and really put some time and thought into their online programs, then moving training online could really be a life-line in these trying times.
The key components to effective online training that we took from the session, are as follows:
- Bite-size sessions will keep your participants attention for longer.
- Allow for time between each session – this will help your participants keep engaged and energised.
- Create activities within each session – utilising breakout rooms helps you create a sense of participation.
- Encourage discussion during the session – The social aspect of learning is just as important with online learning.
- Be honest about where the session is held – Erik was at home (in the background was a cross trainer!). We’re all in this together, and your students will feel more comfortable knowing that you’re new to this too.
- Enjoy it – if you (the trainer) enjoy your sessions, your delegates will pick-up on your enthusiasm too.
Keep positive, and happy training!