Monthly Archives: December 2017
The Importance of Pretesting in Sales Training
For most learners, the goal is to “ace” the test. Recent research, however, shows that the goal should be to just take the test.
Traditionally, tests serve as a tool for measuring what we know. For most of us, this kind of assessment instills anxiety, but a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology may finally lay that anxiety to rest. Researchers from the University of California, Irvine have uncovered what they call the “pretesting effect.”
The researchers examined if failing a test can improve future learning. To do so, they evaluated the benefit of testing content before learning. This “pretesting” meant that participants were likely to answer the questions incorrectly given that they had not yet learned the material. After taking this pretest, the participants were given the opportunity to read a selected passage, which covered the pertinent material. Then, they were tested again, with both the pretest questions seen earlier and new questions.
The results were striking. “Although participants largely failed on the initial test (answering 95% of the questions incorrectly), the effect of those failures was to increase retention of studied content.” Failure set the stage for success.
Moreover, the success of the pretest group outpaced a second group that did not receive a pretest. Instead, they were given 10 minutes to study the passage before the first test. This group underperformed the pretest group on the final test. » Continue Reading.
Many companies cobble together programs to onboard new sellers from existing company materials. The result looks like a hodgepodge because it is one. A company history. Compliance training. Technical reviews. Digital devices. A two-day sales program. There’s little consistency, and these companies are challenged to keep their curriculum up-to-date and to understand how everything should link together in order to create a greater impact.
The result: new hires fail to live up to their potential, and the longer it takes them to learn the ropes, the more opportunities are delayed or lost to competitors. Meeting your revenue goals likely means you are frequently tasked with replacing or adding new salespeople to your team, so a faster, more effective onboarding solution is necessary for success.
What Does it Take to Onboard New Sellers Fast?
One critical element of sales onboarding programs is the ability to ramp quickly. Time to proficiency is critical for new sellers because long-term success often depends on the confidence that comes with early wins. New hires must start learning on day one.
Not only is it important for sellers to start learning, they must also start learning quickly. The key to getting new sellers to start learning quickly is to employ a variety of learning techniques to reduce the cognitive load on learners and make concepts easier to absorb and recall.
Finally, a successful onboarding program for sellers is supported by a learning sustainment plan and ongoing sales coaching. Selecting a » Continue Reading.
As part of our ongoing effort to bring you the latest thinking in the sales performance improvement space, we are issuing Richardson’s Annual Selling Challenges Research Study. As a thank you for your participation in this brief, 13-question survey, you will receive a free copy of the final report – including our insight and analysis of how to address the top selling challenges in 2018.
If you’re a Sales or Learning leader and would like to send your team a personalized survey link so that we can provide you with a specialized report of your team’s results, please click here to email us.