Challenges Unique to Sales Training
The Sales function is always under organization microscope as they lead the chase to achieving business goals and targets. Sales personnel are expected to be multi-faceted with expert knowledge of product and services, and sales processes and methodologies. They should be able to map customer journey, demonstrate skills like social selling, articulate their value proposition, and demonstrate negotiation skills. This calls for mastering some complex business and behavioural skills – making effective training key to success.
However, Sales training is a challenging task for the L&D because it is difficult to convince Sales people to make time for long trainings and program. In fact, the L&D function is often questioned on the ROI of Sales Training. Interestingly, the CSO Insights Sales Studies of last couple of years do highlight a strong connect between the win ratios and effective sales programs!
- Well designed and effective sales process/methodology training increase the chances of achieving targets by about 17.7%
- Effective onboarding programs can push the quota achievement percentage up to 70% – much beyond the average of 57.7%
- Establishing a formal on-the-job training framework with formal sales coaching, improves win rates by 28%
Therefore, it does makes sense to design the sales programs using an approach that enable to meet the business goals.
Why Microlearning Works for Sales Training
Sales executives are rarely tied to their desks. You would mostly find them in the field, meeting clients – personally or virtually, or on calls, travelling extensively, and in a rush to meet proposal deadlines. These are people who thrive on multi-tasking, need to grasp details quickly and respond even faster.
If you were to map their learner profile – they want their learning to be to-the-point, in small, quickly digestible and scannable chunks, available when they need it, preferably on-the-go!
Microlearning is a tailor-made approach for such learners, as it can meet most of their learning needs.
- It works for audience with short attention span
- Is focused on specific 1-2 learning takeaways
- Can be completed in less than 15 mins
- Is accessible on multi-devices
- Can cater to different points of learning need
Comparing Microlearning with Traditional Design Approach
The possibility of using different training strategies for different points of learning is a big advantage of Microlearning approach. For example, if you were designing a two-hour course on Products and Services, you would follow a consistent and cohesive ID strategies throughout the course. The entire course would have a similar structure, treatment, and look n feel.
However, if you were to use a microlearning approach, you would split the course into 4-5 independent microlearning nuggets each focused on different objective. You are also suddenly free to use different approach and strategy for each learning nugget, best suited to the complexity of content and level of learning.
Using Microlearning Approach for Sales Training
Let’s take an example of a 1-2 hours of Products and Services eLearning. If you were to design it using microlearning approach, you might use a video to introduce the organization vision and goals, then create an eLearning capsule to explain the various products and services, followed by a business simulation on how to articulate the value proposition for them, finally closing with a gamified post assessment. Additionally, you could create an interactive PDF or infographic that gives quick facts and figures on the products and services that acts not only as reinforcement but also long-term performance support. Suddenly, a traditional but monotonous, long eLearning WBT is transformed into a series of engaging and rich training nuggets that motivate, engage, and challenge the learner.
The different training modes enable you to address each point for learning need.
- Introductory Video
- eLearning Capsule
- Business Simulation
- Gamified Post Assessment
- Interactive PDF and Infographics
- Performance Support Apps
Helps capture learner attention and uses message from leadership to explain the big picture and how the individual efforts map to it. The objective is to capture attention and motivate learner to go through the other modules.
Explain the information using simple but effective content presentation strategies. Focus here is to aid comprehension of the core content.
The simulation engages the learner in a real-life scenario and encourages them to apply decision making and persuasion skills to establish the value proposition. The focus of this module is to build skills on the topic.
The gamified approach makes learning assessment challenging as well as fun for the learners. It appeals to sales mindset of achieving targets and winning deals. It also helps achieve the overall objective of building confidence of the learners.
Structured reference documents as well as visual snapshot of the process, services, and methodologies as Infographic act as effective Job Aids to boosts performance in the field.
Learning reinforcement and performance support mobile apps may be used to provide a platform to collaborate with peers, interact with coaching experts, and review learning nuggets for reinforcement. This platform may be used to push different kinds of microlearning opportunities to the users.
Thus, by using a blend of microlearning modules, like videos, business simulations, interactive PDFs, gamified assessments, and infographics you can cater to every point of learning, providing a just-in-time, just-what-they need solution. Going a step further, design these using a responsive framework, such as Adapt or by pushing them using a mobile app, ensures that these learning components can be accessed from multiple devices, providing a just-in-time learning. This not only helps in building learner engagement but also moves appropriate learning to the point of use.
So, next time you are designing a Sales Training, think microlearning and create engaging learning experience for your learners that helps you achieve the training goals.