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How to Bridge the Sales Training Retention Gap

The truth is, forgetting corporate training — at least to some extent — might appear to be inevitable. Is there a way to mitigate the retention loss?

Research shows that trainees tend to forget a significant portion of what they had learned within the first few days and weeks after the training has ended. 

This won’t surprise anyone who has spent time in training sessions. We find ourselves having to refer back to notes or source out information that was originally gained in training. It’s not an immediate recall… and often, we can’t recall the specific information at all.

How quickly do we forget corporate training?

The speed at which corporate training is forgotten depends on factors such as the nature of the training and if the person is engaged with the training. Then, how much the training is reinforced after the training has taken place.

Hermann Egginhaus, one of the few experimental psychologists of the 19th century, studied learning and memory. One such study by Ebbinghaus showed that people forget 50% of newly learned information within 24 hours and — YIKES!— up to 70% within the first week. 

This unfortunate phenomenon came to be known as the “forgetting curve.” The curve suggests that without reinforcement or application, humans forget a significant portion of what we have learned.

However, the forgetting curve can be mitigated with four tactics in training. 

Reinforcement 

It sounds basic, but regular reinforcement of training content helps. This can be achieved through regular practice or review of the training material.

Application

Anyone else out there consider themselves a ‘hands-on’ learner? When we apply what we have learned, it is more likely to stick. Providing opportunities for employees to apply their new knowledge or skills reinforces the training and gives them a chance to demonstrate what they have learned. 

‘Learning on the job’, for many, is what solidifies the knowledge and skills they have gained in training.

Interactivity

No one likes to learn in a vacuum.

Training that is interactive and engages learners can help to increase retention of information. 

When training begins to feel monotonous, give team members more opportunities to actively participate.

Disengagement results in a loss of retention, so make it engaging! 

Follow up

Everyone appreciates a thoughtful follow up after a productive meeting, and training should be no different. 

Following up with learners after the training has ended helps to reinforce the material and increase the likelihood that they will remember it. 

There are many ways to make follow up engaging. Have fun with it!

The Takeaway

The truth is, forgetting corporate training — at least to some extent — might appear to be inevitable. 

Using the tactics above will help ensure that employees retain and utilize the skills they have been taught. 

And it certainly doesn’t mean we throw up our hands, and do away with training. Of course, not. 

A Next Level Solution for Corporate Sales Training

While all of the above tips are tried and true, there is another tool available to bridge the information gap in the time after training while information is being forgotten.

Information at your sales team’s fingertips.

Featurewave is the fast and easy solution in Salesforce to ‘the forgetting’! 

With features like Dynamic Content Delivery, Content Search, and Intelligent Search, retention rates from training are no longer a worry. 

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