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Flip Sales Training and Convert 13% More Leads

Posted by Gavin Matthews on 9/24/14 10:24 AM

In the same way that our traditional education system often prevents students from reaching their full potential, standard sales training can hinder the growth of your reps, leaving them unable to learn and adapt and ultimately holding you back from hitting the number. The problem, it seems, is that reps, like students, do the bulk of trial and error learning on their own, missing out on valuable collaboration, coaching, and peer feedback.

One emerging concept breaks this mold, focusing on individual growth and coaching rather than standard lessons and busy work. Called the “flipped classroom,” the concept stresses that teachers do what they do best in their time with students: teach. Students take the “lesson” home with them, reviewing video and text casually in a comfortable environment, and come to class to work through problems and scenarios with live teacher feedback. The “flip” reverses the normal routine of hard work alone and guided reading or lectures in class, dramatically increasing interaction and learning retention. Flipped classrooms, tapping social learning theory, are the highlight of “MOOCs,” Massively Open Online Courses, like Khan Academy, and are gaining popularity in real classrooms.


The Flipped Classroom The Flipped Classroom, via The University of Washington

The results from the flipped classroom are short of miraculous. In the first classroom that used the method, overall student failure rate for the entire school dropped from 30% to under 10%! Students were not only performing better in class, but were actually learning and engaging with lessons.

How does this relate to sales training? The scenario is exactly the same: 70% of sales reps forget all lessons within one week of training, wasting billions of dollars a year. Like the struggling classrooms, the problem is not with the reps or teachers, but with the methodology itself. For Sales Kickoff, most companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to fly their sales team to a central location, just to spend 2-4 days sitting quietly side-by-side and watching presentations. Assuming, optimistically, that these reps retain 10-20% of what they heard in the presentations, the return on investment of this sort of event is wildly punishing.

What if we were to flip the Sales Kickoff event? What if you were to have sales associates watch and digest the presentation material in advance of the kickoff and then use the precious, and costly, time spent at the kickoff event doing critical thinking, message alignment, and collaborative skill development?

Flipping the sales training process is exactly what CommercialTribe succeeds in doing as a social learning platform. Using video, content, and asynchronous feedback, reps take the tribal knowledge lessons home with them, training and practicing in a safe, comfortable environment. Later, working with managers and peers, reps are able to gain valuable feedback from the experts, your sales enablement “teachers,” giving them the opportunity to master sales tribal knowledge. Reps ultimately “train before the training,” absorbing knowledge and constructs before testing and adapting them with one another.



The numbers tell the story: for Xactly, implementing the CommercialTribe solution boosted overall lead conversion rates by 13%. Why can't you?


Learn How to Boost Your Conversion Rates!



About the Author

Gavin Matthews

Gavin Matthews is a CommercialTribe Product Owner and Director of Enterprise Integration. Previously, he worked in sales and marketing across leading startups, including Tidal Labs and Genius. Gavin is an avid fan of Colorado and can most often be found in the mountains.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding, Upskilling

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