IT staffing firms depend on their sales team to grow revenue and maintain gross profit margins. To support them in this responsibility, they invest in designing, supporting and sustaining their overall sales enablement discipline including sales onboarding, training, content, coaching and reinforcement to ensure their people have the knowledge and skills to win. However, most organizations are far less effective at sustaining the impact of sales training then they are with delivering the training. For that reason, leaders need to develop a sales training user adoption plan to protect their training investment and ensure they see lasting results.
In this post I'm going to share with you Sales Training User Adoption Plan, The What & Why.
What is a Training User Adoption Plan?
A sales training user adoption plan highlights the specific sales training reinforcement activities, exercises and events that occur during and after the completion of a sales training initiative. The purpose of a sales training user adoption plan is to provide leaders and learners with a formal plan for practicing the skills and behaviors taught in training until they become fully adopted and part of how your your organization sells.
Each event, activity or exercise within your sales training user adoption plan should detail the sales training topic to be covered including the specific skills, behaviors and knowledge. Your plan should clearly state what the activity or exercise is for learners and leaders to participate in for skill development. Finally, your sales training user adoption plan should also specify the frequency of each exercise, event or activity and dictate the leader responsible for facilitating, and the role the leader will play in the activity, event or exercise.
Below is a sample sales training user adoption plan for a sales rep who just completed sales objection handling training.
Your sales training user adoption plan should involve the entire organization including all leaders and your top performers, and it should include a variety of activities and exercises.
Why Do I Need a Sales Training User Adoption Plan?
Whether you’re implementing a new sales methodology and putting your entire sales force through sales training or simply making a small tweak to your messaging, enrolling your team in a sales training user adoption plan is critical. Xerox conducted a study that found that 87% of what they taught in their sales training was forgotten within 30 days. The forgetting curve indicates that 60% of information is lost within one hour when no attempt is made to reinforce what was learned. To be blunt, don't bother investing in sales training if you can't commit to implementing and executing a sales training user adoption plan because you will never see the desired results or ROI.
Sales Training is a Change Initiative
Executing on a sales training user adoption plan is often viewed as extra work by sales managers and typically slips through the cracks. But when done correctly your sales training user adoption plan puts a sustained focus on the reinforcement of the desired change in behavior. Depending on the complexity of the change, the tasks and activities contained in the plan should last for several days to several months to ensure the change permeates the entire organization. People learn differently and at difference paces which means some learners will require skill reinforcement to last for one or two weeks while others may require months.
Keep in mind that as a general rule, most people don't like change and therefore are slow to adopt. The illustration below represents the stages a learner goes through when asked to adopt a new idea, skill, behavior, piece of knowledge or technology or process. The illustration depicts employees migrating from the current state of unconsciously incompetent in which users know nothing about the new skill, to the desired future state of unconsciously competent in which users apply the new skill without even thinking about it.
When rolling out sales training sales leaders need to have a keen understanding of where their team members are within this context and build their sales training user adoption plan accordingly.
Do your sales enablement programs include change management and user adoption plans to ensure lasting change? To learn more about sales enablement, download The Staffing Leaders Guide to Sales Enablement.