Nearly 62% of people in America in the 18-29 age group use wireless internet, and about 48% in the 30-45 age group access internet through mobile devices (Source: Pew Research Center). In this context, for any B2B organization, it is just not enough to develop innovative products, they also need to ensure that sales associates of their channel partners/distributors have good product knowledge and are trained to pitch product benefits effectually to customers. Here are some of the ways mLearning can be used to reach out to channel partners as well as their sales staff.
Just-in-time learning on pricing – educate channel partners on price structure, discounts and incentives: The price structure, discounts and incentives offered to channel partners are revised periodically and it is not always possible to have a face-to-face interaction to keep them updated. mLearning can be effectively used as a quick and viable option for this purpose.
Learning bytes on product knowledge – provide easy product and industry updates: Normally, company sales people are informed of product updates first, and they then pass on the information to their channel partners. The delay in this information reaching the sales staff could prove costly in a highly competitive environment. Providing access to such information directly to the sales staff of channel partners will ensure that they are brought up to speed with current information and can service customers better.
Reinforce product training with product selling tips: While product training (either through classroom training or eLearning) provides comprehensive product knowledge, it is not always easy to remember all the tips that were shared during a long training session. Simple selling tips and checklists can be good content for mLearning modules that act as a supplementary knowledge base for sales staff.
Inform about best practices: Multinational organizations would like all their channel partners to adhere to the best practices envisioned by the parent company. Mobile technology can be used to educate channel partners about best practices and the importance of adhering to them for mutual benefit. It provides a quick option to demonstrate solutions to a problem, process or procedure in a visual form using mobile devices.
Make podcasts of motivational sales talk: Companies such as Amway provide motivational and inspiring talks for their sales staff to help them sell better. Podcasts can be created even for essential information, to be accessed by sales people before facing customers. Since it is readily available to them through their mobile devices, they have access to information just when they need it.
Many organizations have successfully adopted mobile technologies to address the challenges faced by their channel partners and their indirect sales force. Mobile devices such as laptops, Smart Phones or tablet devices are ideal for reaching retail sales force, direct sales force of channel partners, or distributors spread across different geographical regions.
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