Green Berets are known around the world as high performers, but when I was able to study them on the battlefield, I was surprised to learn they nnever judged themselves on how well they could shoot.
They understood their value wasn’t in how effective they were – rather, it was how effective they could make everyone else around them.
There’s a lesson there for every sales leader around the planet as so many of them spend countless hours individually coaching and training their salespeople to be better. That’s not time wasted, but it definitely doesn’t make them as effective as they could be.
To learn what Green Berets and other high performers in the military understand about scaling training, we sat down with Zach Selch, a former Israeli paratrooper who leads international sales teams to success. He shared with us a simple system any sales leader can use to up-level the skills of their sales team no matter how far apart they are.
Since we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it, and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T – Trigger: To leverage video training as a force multiplier in our sales teams, Zach recommends we first revisit our sales process before we ever get in front of a camera. Unless we understand where this training fits within the larger process of how we source prospects, conduct outreach, engage in conversations and sell, then we won’t be able to put the video into the larger context of what we’re asking our salespeople to do.
Once we understand where this training fits into the overall sales process, we can then map out where it would appear in the context of a larger training program. Eventually, we’ll want each part of our sales process captured on video so we can focus on solving new problems instead of retraining the same areas that should have been captured on video long ago.
If you understand where the video fits in the larger sales process, then it’s time to create it. This means scheduling the time to film the video, get it loaded or linked into your e-learning platform (a simple solution for that in a minute), and releasing it to your team.
R – Repeatable: To ensure you are training your team in a consistent way no matter how separated they are or where in the sales process you’re training, Zach recommends following these simple steps to conduct your training.
Zach says the first step is to explain what you’re training on video the same way you would if addressing the salespeople in person, but don’t end the system there. Get the video archived into a learning database whether it’s on the company SharePoint drive or in a google sheet. That way, there’s a central place your team can go to to access all the resources you’ve built for them.
As a final step in the training video system, Zach says it’s critical to spend time assessing whether your training was understood. That can look like a written assessment or a dry-run conversation virtually or in person.
I – Improvable: To improve your training videos, Zach believes it’s more important to improve the way you assess how well the training is being used than it is to improve the quality of the video. This means assessing your salespeople for where they’re strong and identifying areas for improvement. As a leader, this clearly shows you where you can build training to fill in the gaps. That might be around how to sell another product or service that’s being undersold, how to communicate value to drive better conversations, or wherever you’re finding salespeople need assistance.
Again, create this improvement training on video so that you don’t have to deliver it more than once and so that future salespeople can benefit from it as well.
M – Measurable: To measure the effectiveness of your video training, don’t just focus on whether you’re seeing an uptick in sales. Great training should produce that, but if you’re measuring yourself on whether everyone on your team can execute at your level, you’ll be let down every time.
Instead, Zach says to measure how more effective your team is from where they were before you created training. For instance, if you as a leader can set 100 meetings a year and your team averages 50, don’t hold them to your high standard. Instead, ask if your training raised the team average from 50 meetings to 75, for instance. That will give you a more realistic way to measure whether the time you’re investing in training is producing dividends.