6 Mistakes You Can Avoid With AI Pharma Sales Training Simulations

While not all organizations operate the same way, there are some all-too-familiar statistics that arise in the sales industry. Consider the following common occurrences. Workplaces that don’t provide employee training suffer. There’s a lot of turnover from employees who go elsewhere to grow their careers. Employees who stay suffer from burnout, and productivity grows lower over time.

Organizations that provide training can correct these problems by investing in employees, giving them the resources to do their jobs successfully, and helping them deepen their skills for internal promotions or specializations. 

However, providing good training matters even more, as 40% of new hires will leave your organization within the first year if they receive poor training. AI sales training simulations are a vital tool in elevating your sales training program from merely existing to providing a lot of value.

The Solution Lies in AI Sales Training Simulations for Employees

AI-powered platforms can immediately correct some of the biggest flaws endemic in sales training programs, such as overly generic lessons, unhelpful feedback, and sporadic engagement. Organizations that already have sales training programs in place may recognize some of the following mistakes from firsthand exposure. By incorporating AI sales training simulations into the process, you can easily correct them and benefit from more highly trained, confident salespeople.

Mistake 1: Starting Training Without a Baseline Assessment

Baseline assessments are an invaluable tool in any kind of learning program. Training managers can use them to understand the starting levels of incoming learners and develop training modules accordingly. The learners can also see objective evidence regarding their strengths and weaknesses (and compare them to their growth over time).

Without that insight, training happens in the dark. Instructors or program managers don’t know which aspects of sales to focus on. New hires don’t know which information is actually valuable for them. This means that when those new hires hit the market and start selling, they may lack the training that they need the most.

With an AI-powered training system, taking a baseline assessment is both easy and important. Sales reps can complete introductory AI sales training simulations to gain an overview. With that single exercise, robust AI tools can:

  • Objectively assess performance according to hundreds of metrics.
  • Curate (or even generate) lessons that target the most important skills for the salesperson to prioritize.
  • Start tracking improvements over time.
  • Compile data across the entire sales department so managers and stakeholders know what knowledge or skills groups of salespeople are most likely to need at different stages of their careers.

Mistake 2: Not Having Individualized Training and Learning Tracks

Generic learning is ineffective, but it’s often the only solution companies can turn to without having AI tools available. Traditionally, sales training would take the form of seminars, training from managers or team leads, online content, and programs from third-party companies. Each salesperson would hear the same content or undergo the same training, regardless of their starting skill levels. At best, organizations could create “buckets” of different skill and experience levels to provide slightly more tailored exercises.

However, generic training has several drawbacks. Some of the content will be far too advanced for entry-level salespeople, and other portions of the training will be far too basic for experienced reps. The result is wasted time and the ongoing resentment of having to waste energy on training.

Related: 5 Features Your Sales Reps Need in AI Sales Training Software

AI-powered training eliminates this obstacle. When you start with AI sales training simulations to form a baseline profile of each rep, the AI can create individualized learning tracks. Every module and lesson is based on what the salesperson needs according to the initial assessment. Even better, the AI can continually refine the course based on each new assessment, so the learning experience becomes more tightly configured for their individual needs and goals.

Mistake 3: Creating Vague or Subjective Ideas of “Good” Sales Performance

What makes a sales performance good? While the results are the best measure—a product was sold, a new client was won over, and so on—training relies on a series of models and metrics that are indications of good performance. For example, specific messaging correlates with positive brand impressions, and fewer pauses or misspoken words translate to confidence. There are hundreds of different metrics that can objectively indicate whether a sales performance was good or bad.

Unfortunately, human trainers can’t measure them all. They might not even consider them, instead relying on a subjective sense of what they would do or what they find convincing and correct. The result is subjective, biased performance assessments that may not be effective. Scores and feedback will vary from person to person or even from day to day.

AI doesn’t do this. Instead, it quantifies performance across those hundreds of metrics and supports its feedback with data. Everyone starts the exercise with the same understanding of what “good” is, and the AI faithfully measures performance during AI sales training simulations based on that shared understanding.

Mistake 4: Using Old and Outdated Role-Play Scenarios

Role-play training scenarios have been an option for sales training for decades. Your organization may even have a set of scripts that training managers can use to teach staff different types of interactions and touchpoints. However, these scenarios become outdated almost as soon as you purchase or write them. Technologies change, customer expectations evolve, and new techniques become standard practices. 

Also, premade scenarios are unlikely to be a good fit for your business. Pharmaceutical sales require compliance with regulations, and the products themselves change frequently. Every organization needs a specific brand voice, and generic training materials can’t provide messaging training.

If you use generative AI to create scenarios, the AI can pull from your sales enablement data and training resources to create scenarios that make the most sense for each sales rep’s needs.

Mistake 5: Rare or Intermittent Training Sessions

The importance of continuous learning and frequent training cannot be overstated. However, it’s something that sales organizations of every industry struggle with. Here’s why:

  • Time Commitment: Long training sessions take time away from reaching out to prospects and clients, so it’s often pushed aside as a lower priority.
  • ROI: Many organizations can’t easily measure the benefits of their training programs. Because there’s no clear ROI for the time and resources, companies further devalue it.
  • One-on-One Coaching: It’s incredibly resource-intensive to do sales training sessions, as it requires one-on-one time for the exercise itself, followed by feedback and coaching. Training managers find it hard to manage even infrequent one-on-one sessions, so frequent training is out of the question.

Related: Simulator-Driven SKO Prep: Boosting Readiness and Confidence

These problems are impossible to resolve as long as your training is highly manual and relies on a manager to handle each session. But AI sales training simulations can resolve all of them:

  • Time Commitment: Instead of long seminars or coaching windows, salespeople can complete quick lessons and training simulations at their convenience. Because salespeople can conduct them on their computer or mobile device, there’s little delay or time wasted.
  • ROI: AI training tools collect hundreds of data points throughout every exercise. This data can easily be reformatted into progress reports that show the value of different sessions, an individual rep’s progress over time, and even growth across the whole team. As a result, stakeholders can easily evaluate the success of the program.
  • One-on-One Coaching: AI trainers provide one-on-one attention through AI coach avatars, and dozens or even hundreds of coaches can train individual reps simultaneously. This frees up L&D professionals to focus on more holistic training goals, creative projects, and strategic work without letting coaching fall by the wayside.

Mistake 6: Not Adding Practical Training Exercises to Every Course

Sales training content is highly actionable in nature. It’s all about what to do, how to plan, what to say, and how to say it. Theoretical knowledge certainly helps to a small degree, as reading about case studies and hearing anecdotes from successful salespeople provides value. But it’s no substitute for the real application of knowledge and skills. Salespeople need practice, and good sales training must include ways to practice.

To work around traditional time constraints and limited manpower, many training processes try to cut out those practice sessions. Instead, they rely on quizzes, short answers, and completion to measure understanding and allow salespeople to push through the learning program. But this approach leads to poor performance. At best, salespeople could only practice as a group, and those sessions were rare. 

AI training solves this by allowing salespeople to practice the skills at any time and receive immediate feedback. Dedicated salespeople can even complete multiple lessons and training scenarios in a single day.

Avoid These Mistakes and Improve Your Training Programs With AI Sales Training Simulations

Refining your sales training programs to make them relevant, engaging, and data-powered is the right step forward in a world where training makes an incredible impact on revenue. Quantified’s sales simulator and coaching platform is designed to give your team access to better training scenarios that empower real sales skills development. Request a demo to see the difference between conventional training and AI sales training simulations.