by Steve Gielda, Ignite Selling CEO

If you plan to deliver sales training at your national sales meeting, it’s critically important to not try to do too much.

Over the past 20 years, we’ve participated in hundreds of our clients’ national sales meetings as trainers, coaches and observers. When it comes to training at such events, we’ve seen firsthand what works and what doesn’t. We recently pulled our collective learnings into the following “7 Unbreakable Rules for Delivering Effective Training at Your National Sales Meeting”.

This guide drills into these rules a bit deeper to give you some practical guidance to get the most impact from your efforts.

Rule 7. Don’t try to do too much

Finally, when it comes to delivering effective training at your national sales meeting, less is usually more. Sales training effectiveness unravels when you try to cram too much into too short a session. Furthermore, national sales meetings are notorious for running long and cutting into your already scarce training time.

If you were hoping to cram six hours of training into a four-hour afternoon, and then those four hours get cut to two hours because the event ahead of training ran long, yikes! This happens a lot, so what can you do?

First, be honest about your corporate culture and your tendency to stay on schedule. If you have a jam-packed agenda and historically have difficulty sticking to your schedule, accept that and plan accordingly.

Second, resist the urge to overwhelm people, either by over-scheduling or by overloading them with information and “stuff” that is nice to have but not a must-have. At most national sales meetings, every hour of the day is heavily scripted and there’s barely time to breathe. Then we load everyone up with backpacks full of papers “just in case” they have the urge to read them on the plane ride home.

Use the training time to apply the big new things the keynoters presented, instead of piling on all sorts of stuff. Make the training fun, interactive and competitive. If you have a four-hour block for training, schedule three hours for guided learning and an hour for informal best practice sharing. Lose the PowerPoint, the handouts and the manuals and have people roll up their sleeves and work on a real-life problem they will need to overcome once the meeting is over and they’re back in the trenches. We’ve perfected this approach through our two-hour interactive simulated learning modules. The modules drive critical thinking around real issues, and energize participants to put their learning into action.

Finally, have a call to action with timing. Be realistic about how much people will absorb on-site, with all the distractions of a national sales event. The call to action drives participants to digest the learnings and demonstrate how they can apply what they need to know. If they can’t and they follow through poorly, then your sales managers can take note and help their reps course correct as soon as possible.


Using Sales Simulations to Deliver High-impact Training at Your National Sales Meeting

We believe that sales simulations are the most effective approach for delivering high-impact training at national sales meetings. Sales simulations create a high-energy, competitive, active learning experience that helps salespeople and managers overcome the common obstacles they encounter in the market every day.

For more information on how we can help you, please call us at (703) 234-5275 or email [email protected].