Training Reinforcement: The Next Frontier in Field Training
Direct selling companies are highly invested in the effective training of its sales force. After all, the more knowledgeable and capable your sales field, the more successful you’ll be as a company.
Yet, the investment in training the field can feel all too frustrating for executives. Too often it seems like training doesn’t actually work. Also perplexing is that the content you are trying to train doesn’t seem terribly difficult to learn. So why then is it so challenging to get the results you need?
An oversimplification of the learning process might look like this:
Many companies have no problem with implementing the first two steps, you prepare well thought-out, well written, nice looking training material. Next, you find an audience with your target learners through events or via a sponsor to present the material.
But as we have all experienced personally when really learning something, the transference of the content from concept to capability and real knowledge is solely up to the learner. They have to decide to think an do in order for training to turn into successful habits and behaviors. This dynamic is why “training reinforcement” is a burgeoning market. This is the case within corporate training departments across the world and it’s high time that direct selling companies follow suit. Here are some guiding principles of effective training reinforcement:
- Make sure the learner feels the value. Too often the value proposition of training programs can feel one-sided. You might have a distributor think, “I can see how this training helps you (the company), but how does it help me?” Your training program is competing with many alternative activities the distributor can choose to engage with. If there isn’t a clear pay-off, don’t expect them to play along.
- Make it easy. How many clicks does it take for the distributor to access review materials or watch training videos? With each click, swipe and search bar you require, the less of an audience you are going to have. Make accessing training as simple as possible (try a chatbot with Mobile Coach!).
- A little motivation helps. Gamification and recognition are both ways to motivate distributors. They put greater effort in learning required skills and practicing something new.
- Personalization. Your distributors have a wide range of skills and competences and one is not like the other. The more you can personalize the content to the skill and knowledge level of the distributor, the greater the training payoff you’ll enjoy.
In conclusion, an effective reinforcement strategy will help you feel a lot better about the investment you are making in training. You may even find that it’s been the missing piece in your training puzzle.