Is Face to Face Sales Training Back to Normal?

by | Oct 22, 2021 | Modern Sales Training, Plan.Grow.Do., Thought Leadership

Is Face to Face Sales Training Back to Normal?

It’s certainly a most viable consideration now as you’ll see in this article.

This last month has seen us reconnecting back to f2f training with real gusto and momentum.

It was a big, but I think important, decision to take for us as trainers and obviously a well considered step for the companies we were employed by.

With online training taking the place of classroom learning for almost 2 years I wanted to reflect on this last month and share some insights.

If you are a Sales Director or a Sales Manager and considering f2f sales training for your sales teams I hope my thoughts will help your decision.

If you are a trainer, then perhaps you might take something from my insights.

  💡People may still be apprehensive about being in rooms .

This last 19 month has presented people with differing scenarios that we have to be compassionate about. Many they may not have shared.

Validated by mental health challenges and by people who were shielded still being higher risk than others (or have family members who were shielded).

We have been “trained” to be cautious to the virus (correctly) and working to accommodate people shouldn’t be underestimated.

Bringing these aspects into our conscious minds will make it easier to help those that just want to feel safe when in a room.

From a training perspective as we came back into a room with FUCHS UK it was evident that people were working to help each other feel as comfortable as they could.

3 things that we did collectively to create the right environment:

1. Hand sanitiser was available in the room.

2. Tables had a maximum of 4 people on each.

3. The Patio doors were opened often to allow air circulation.

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 💡F2F brings tangible differences to online learning.

In my opinion, this is not only from a delivery perspective but also from a learner’s perspective.

Online trainers are not going to agree here but having delivered online training to around 750 people in the last 19 months, I have my perspective.

Rapport between the learner and trainer is achieved quicker and is also meaningful quicker. You have the opportunity to make small talk and share stories.

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You can pick up on points that are or are not hitting home or sticking as you have hope because you can see not only the individual, but the whole room and hear the conversations.

Feedback, plenary and table exercises create a superior dynamic of competition, quality sharing and encourage team work. Leaners see vulnerability and strengths…they help each other because they are sat next to colleagues.

Oh, and one more thing you get the opportunity to stage a photo with a sales team holding your book.

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Back in the room and reconnecting to the right behaviour.

A number of tangible benefits from exercising unused skills and behaviours have been brought back to the front of my mind as we’re now fully back in the room with our sales training.

1. It’s a great learning environment.

Not only the attendees but the trainers. I like those moments when as trainers we are joining the groups and really considering how to assist the discussion with the most impact. Learning about the specific opportunities and challenges as we go.

This was very evident with our Western Tilia Homes Team.

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2. Active listening is a skill.

Ensuring that people are heard adds significant value. You’ll notice my active listening pose

This is something that in-room training allows way more than online learning. With active listening, we can ensure we bring in views and perspectives that would have been lost online. This results in a very inclusive environment.

3. Encouraging contributions and adapting to where time needs to be spent.

Although our PLAN.GROW.DO. Core sales training methodology is constructed of chapters of content, the need to adapt and invest where the biggest value will be experienced is something that being in the room allows us to judge.

We can choose to allow more discussion as required or spend less on some chapters if appropriate.

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4. Feedback is instant and 100% visible.

We see how we needed to manoeuvre some elements of our training to create greater benefit for the team better.

If we moved on without responding to the feedback we will add less value because we miss the real-time feedback and would not adapted accordingly.

5. It’s actually very tiring.

For the learning for sure and landing the right mix of explaining, exercises, plenary discussion and breaks really matter.

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For us as trainers, well we hit “the wall” after as the adrenaline and excitement keep us going.

In room vs Online

Online training certainly has its place and is the best solution for some training products and scenarios.

but… you CAN’T beat live in room training. You’re probably picking up the theme now!

Here are a few more concrete benefits that we experience.

As trainers we are able to observe, clarify, challenge, support and laugh with our learners in a way we just don’t achieve online.

There is a tangible level of energy and team spirit (banter) that the business leaders can build on.

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Trusted relationships are built faster in the room vs online between learner, colleagues and trainers. This creates a safer space for people to explore thoughts and ideas.

And Conferences are Back in Full Swing

We just love that we are able to join business conferences once more and share some of our thoughts and ideas about selling.

We were delighted to join the Pink Spaghetti PA Services national conference and do just that.

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You’ll see in the photos that we like to talk about what we do but also get people involved and experience what we share.

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At this conference, we had some fun playing the SPANCOP Scenario Game.

The weather was kind to us ☀️ and the team were in great spirits to be back together.

The feedback from people just like you

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Next Steps

I hope this article has helped you feel comfortable that getting your team back in a room is achievable and sales training can act as a great way to reconnect to the direction of your company.

We are ready to start that discussion with you and that is just a conversation away.

Additional Reading

Sales culture and building sales behaviour across your sales team.

Face to Face Selling is Dead!

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