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26 Mar 2018

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Double knowledge retention in sales training? Easy with games!

On average, we forget 70% of what we’ve learnt within a day. Read how Alejandro Cabral, training consultant, doubles knowledge retention in sales training using Kahoot! for businesses.

FastFacts Cabral

Brain research shows that we forget around 70% of what we learn within just 24 hours. The most traditional way of dealing with that is repetition, but it only brings a marginal improvement.

Knowledge retention is a crucial topic for me as a business trainer. Over years, I tried different ways of making more knowledge stick, and it looks like I found the optimal approach. As a result, my trainees retain up to 70-75% of what they learnt. The secret is that in addition to repetition, I challenge them to recall and apply info after the session. Kahoot! for businesses has been instrumental in putting this method into practice!

Why gamification and sales training are a perfect match

I run my own consultancy firm in Argentina, training sales teams to transition into the digital era. They work in a fast-paced environment, need to consume new content fast and apply it efficiently in the field.

For each of my clients, I tailor the training program so that it best matches where they stand in their digital journey and addresses their specific challenges. Each of the clients is unique, but there’s something they all have in common: salespeople are all very competitive. And this is why gamification fits so naturally into sales training!

I think gamification works great to foster adoption of a new technology or a specific sales method. I tried different games to activate the audience and assess learning. For example, a quick round of board games or some party ice breakers that would get people to stand up and mingle a bit. Now, the main game I use is Kahoot! and the use cases are countless: warm up, engage, initiate discussion, remember content, revise, assess learning.

Real-time knowledge assessment with Kahoot!

Assessment is a critical part of any training. You need to know if the content sticks or if you need to spend more time on certain topics. Back in the day, you would hand participants a paper questionnaire, then check it and assess. It was all non-interactive, too manual and thus not very accurate. But the worst part is that you’d only get the results after the session – that feedback would’ve been so much more helpful if I could get it in real time instead!

Today, when I’m training sales teams, I use Kahoot! to assess knowledge retained at the end of every chapter or level. I start with an initial assessment as a poll and then go back to assessment over and over, comparing the scores. Game reports give me an instant snapshot of where we stand and I can immediately action on those insights. With Kahoot! for businesses and its advanced reporting it became even easier and more visual!

Data is your best friend: make the most out of reports in Kahoot! for businesses

As I mentioned above, my method is built around tracking and comparing results and assessing learning on different stages of training. Efficient follow up with your trainees starts with the right tools to capture information before, during and after a training. So, when I upgraded to Kahoot! for businesses, it made a big difference for me and the way I work with data.

Advanced, visual reports give me an easy way to track progress, assess knowledge retained by each trainee and identify topics that need some more attention. I also show some of the data to my trainees to demonstrate their progress – it makes a huge impact on them!


Kahoot! for businesses made a big difference for the way I work with data. Advanced reports give me an easy way to assess retained knowledge and identify topics that need more attention.

Retain twice as much knowledge in training sessions

As I mentioned earlier, we typically forget about 70% of what we’ve learned in just 24 hours (according to research discussed on Learning Solutions). Repetition is a common, yet not the most efficient way to deal with this. However, if you combine repetition with challenging a learner to recall and apply that new info, then they can retain up to 70-75% of what they learnt.

To overcome this curve of forgetting, Art Kohn from AKLearning suggests using “booster events” – practical challenges – very close to the actual moment of training. I use kahoots as my “booster events”, and I run them through the training sessions and after them. It helped so significantly with knowledge retention – I don’t think I’ll be using any other tool to achieve this in the near future but Kahoot!

What’s an ideal kahoot for a “booster event”?

Here’s how I build my main classroom kahoots to maximize learning:

  • I typically create 10 questions, it feels like the optimal length of the game
  • Questions are grouped into three levels, separated by bonus questions not directly connected to class content. These separator questions give trainees who are a bit behind a chance to get back into competition. At the same time, it’s a breather for me – I stop and reflect with them, or spend some time explaining a topic.
  • The game starts with basic warm up questions with just 10 seconds for responding
  • The next portion includes more advanced questions with a bit more time for answering
  • I wrap up with advanced questions, giving players at least 20 seconds to think.

Kahoots I create for follow-up and assessment are much shorter, around 5 questions, no separator questions. However, I use more humor in the answers and fun imagery. These quizzes help me quickly assess trainees’ state of mind and how much knowledge they retained in short-term memory.

To sum it up – a more engaged audience leads to higher knowledge retention. The content I teach is similar to what I had before, but Kahoot! made my sessions more interesting and agile. People want to play and compete and this interactive format helps them retain knowledge.

If you want to make your training sessions more fun and impactful – Kahoot! for businesses is your go-to solution to make it happen!