Sales Training: 7 Strategies in Knowledge Retention

Nov 02, 2021 7 Min Read
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Enhance knowledge retention!

The sales team is the heartbeat of any business, and most companies invest a lot of money and time in training their teams.

Unfortunately, the human brain tends to forget, meaning much of what is learned in training gets forgotten with time. That is why the goal of every business owner and manager should be to ensure that their teams retain as much information as possible.

According to experts, traditional training approaches may not be ideal for your team because they do not enhance information retention. Luckily there are a few tried and tested strategies that can help improve information retention among learners.

Read more: How Trusted Leaders Retain Key Employees

Seven tips to improve your team's knowledge retention

1.     Invest in a good sales coaching tool

The sales scene is rapidly changing, and you want your team to be on top of their game. One of the most effective ways of ensuring that your team operates at its optimum is by investing in a reliable sales coaching tool. Sales coaching tools help managers and team leaders track individual sales reps' performance, highlighting their weaknesses and strengths. Once the weaknesses are identified, the team leader can coach team members on ways to improve, ultimately improving their performance.

Read more: Why Even Bother To Take Up Coaching?

However, when investing in a sales coaching tool, you have to remember that different scenarios call for different tools. This means that what may work in one business may not work for another. If you are unsure of the sales coaching tool to invest in for your business, this guide on some of the best coaching tools for sales reps is a good read for you.

This may interest you: To Grow And Learn Effectively, Give Coaching A Chance!

2.     Stay relevant

Aligning your training content with your team's needs is an excellent way of ensuring that they retain much of the information they receive. The learners need to feel that what you are offering is relevant and valuable to them.

For example, if you intend to train your workers on implementing a particular strategy, don't talk about its history; instead, stick to what's important to them. The more you stay focused on what matters, the more information your team will retain.

Additionally, staying focused on the topic ensures that much of the time spent in training is dedicated to what adds value to your team and yields results in their output.

3.     Repeat to retain

One of the simplest ways of enhancing knowledge retention is through repetition. This doesn't mean you have to repeat everything many times over. Instead, repeat core information strategically throughout the course. If a team member didn't get it the first time, repeating it several times will ensure they get it better.

Continuous quizzes, group discussion sessions, or tests are also a great way of encouraging repetition and active participation, all of which enhance information retention. You may also give your team complimentary material reinforcing the same points, followed by a simple test to check how much information is retained.

Simulations of real-life scenarios are also a great way of encouraging repetition and help embed previously taught skills onto the long-term. This is because simulations allow team members to get a feel of how learned information can be used to address real-life situations they experience on a day-to-day basis.

4.     Make it playful

Learners take in more when they are more engaged. To boost engagement, ensure that your presentation has an aspect of fun in it. You don't have to be out-rightly comical, but a light joke here and there won't hurt.

According to studies, humour activates the human brain's dopamine reward system, which is critical in embedding information in long-term memory. A poll conducted by Pew Research showed that individuals who consumed news content from humorous news shows like The Daily Show showed higher content retention rates than those who consumed content from conventional news.

You may also throw in some form of competition among individuals or groups to make it fun. According to Leiden University's Center for Innovation, playful learning motivates learners to engage with learning activities. This kind of engagement leads to personal exploration, discovery, and experimentation, which are critical in boosting information retention.

5.     Tell a story

Humans remember things better when they have an emotional connection to what they are learning. One of the easiest ways of achieving emotional connection is incorporating storytelling in your training.

Read more: Can’t Get Your Message To Stick? Try Telling A Story.

According to experts, storytelling creates a sense of connection and builds familiarity, allowing the audience to relate to the story emotionally. Whenever possible, you can combine storytelling with visuals such as pictures, graphics, and infographics to ensure that your audience retains much of the facts and figures taught.

6.     Encourage drawing

Studies show that drawing is a better way of enhancing knowledge retention than note-taking. This is because drawing involves a combination of vision and motor skills critical in enhancing information retention.

Besides enhancing memory retention, drawing has been proved to help boost creativity and relieve stress, which can also benefit your team. Individuals in your team need not be experts at drawing. Irrespective of the skill level, hearing ideas and associating them with their ideas through sketching can help your audience get more attuned to the information and more likely to remember it.

7.     Set goals

Without goals or expectations, your team may not be motivated to retain the information acquired during training. Therefore, it is essential to set specific and measurable goals or expectations for your team regarding what they acquire from the training.

This may interest you: Where Is The Heart Of Your SMART Goals?

One way of measuring whether individual team members meet the set goals and expectation is through tests. With the knowledge that there will be tests at the end of the training, individual members will be proactive in finding effective ways of helping them retain the information learned.

Final words

The key to ensuring the information learned by your team is retained is by understanding how the adult human brain works then leveraging it to get the most out of your sales team training.

Investing in a reliable sales coaching tool is also an excellent idea that you may want to consider. It is an excellent way of keeping track of individual team members' performance which helps you as the team leader to guide them towards being better.

Supplementary reading: Retention: Is It Always Good?

Extra info that can tickle your inquisitive threshold: Let me introduce you to → Happily (or Budaya for those from Indonesia) is an amazing engagement app built for organisations to drive engagement amongst employees. It has amazing analytics and also provides activities for employees to be fully immersed in the organisation's culture and values. To find out more, click here or email info@leaderonomics.com

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