Sales training definitely can be a major challenge for HR and Training Managers. Companies are selling new and different products each day and new employees or dealers come on board constantly. Therefore firms are always looking for the best way to train sales staff quickly and effectively. But, furthermore, they are looking for a faster time-to-market delivery.
It’s a fact that about 48% of sales people learn by trial and error to a high o very high degree (ASTD Research). Moreover, most sale teams are geographically dispersed, what tends to be very time-consuming in matters of training… and, above all these their training takes place in the agent’s office, and consists of some boring PPT (which they are expected to retain some of it and apply it).
We have to be realistic: salespeople are often the go, so it's hard for a company to gather them in one place at one time for a traditional training session. After all, clients can't be made to wait. However, this doesn't mean that training should be ignored altogether. In a competitive field such as sales, it takes a knowledgeable salesperson to close a deal.
To work around the all the constant challenges, the best solution a company has for its sales training needs is eLearning. It's not only the easiest answer, but it also offers the following benefits, which also count as eLearning success factors.
Six Benefits of eLearning for Sales Training:
With the right authoring tools, employees can access the latest lessons and modules online at their own pace in their own free time. The company can still set deadlines, but employees have the option to work on their lessons whenever they want within that before the expected completion date. This way, productivity increases because employees aren’t traveling to training sessions, or missing work to complete it.
Salespeople are often low in motivation. Big pressures and part-time schedules often mean weak commitment to learning. Contrary to their common belief, eLearning is not boring. It's not just about reading something on the computer and being done with it after. There are quizzes and tests at the end of training sessions to assess knowledge retention. Scores are recorded as well, making it easy for companies to check whom among their employees are faring well, and who are not.
As well, by using interactive resources like scenarios, they help improve decision-making. Sales teams can improve their ability to make their own decisions when in their daily tasks and situations with clients. They are able to make better choices about opportunities and threats in the uncertain future they actually encounter. Scenarios are a great alternative for training salespeople: they help them do trial and error until they find the right answers, they reflect on the choices provided and their engagement increases.
3. Easy access to information:
eLearning delivers information to employees faster, and even in real time if necessary. This is especially useful for salespeople at the forefront -- those who present to audiences, talk to clients, follow up on deals, etc. When companies make updates to their products or services, it's important that these people have the latest news at their fingertips so that they can readily answer questions from clients. Through eLearning training companies can deliver just-in-time product and pricing updates or success tactics easily. This way, keeping salespeople up to date with product and market updates.
It's easy to miss something in a lecture done in a traditional classroom setting. But with eLearning, all resources are saved in files as podcasts, documents, presentations, etc. Employees can go back to the same resources again and again if they want to review something. Quick podcast or video session from a product champion can help with positioning statements or common objections for example.
5. Content Consistency and Quality:
Consistency of content also makes a difference when applying training electronically. This way, companies are ensuring they are giving a consistent message globally to improve sales readiness. In sales, knowledge is quickly outdated; product and merchandising information are especially quick to change. Especially in the sales department, different promotions, discounts, offers or arrangements are made every day. For achieving high quality content, content needs to be updated constantly in order for it to be aligned with all these constant changes. Therefore, by using eLearning development tools, updating information is easy and guarantees high quality, current and relevant content.
Employees can log on to their accounts using desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones -- gadgets that most salespeople have. There's no excuse for any employee to miss out on a training session, especially not when all necessary resources are readily available, just waiting to be accessed. By training sales force with eLearning companies are maximizing training attendance and training people in multiple locations inexpensively. Since employees are able to complete training from their homes or desks, rather than travel to another location, more employees are able to attend, and at a much lower cost to the employer.
It’s a fact: your sales team is on the front lines everyday representing your product to your clients. Therefore, it’s quite important that they are trained and always on top of their game.
As can be seen in the list above, eLearning works perfectly for sales trainings. Of course, eLearning success factors heavily depend on the right authoring tool used. For a high success rate, an e-learning platform should be powerful, fast, interactive, user-friendly, and web-based. SHIFT, an e-learning development tool, meets these criteria and more. Ultimately, though, the greatest e-learning success factors are its users. Receptive people who are open to new experiences and technologies will benefit most from e-learning.