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Technology Enabled Learning for Next Gen Sales Force

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Technology Enabled Learning for Next Gen Sales Force

More and more products are being developed by organizations due to fluctuating customer preferences and needs. As a result, extensive training of the workforce, especially the sales people, on the products becomes mandatory. Globalization and the fierce competition prevalent in the market are also forcing organizations to adopt new strategies to train their employees in order to increase their sales. Also, technological advancements such as mobile technologies have changed the training approach.

It’s a well-known fact that sales people are the key to make business to the company. Perhaps the training needs of these sales people are different, requiring a different approach towards training. Some employees might require training on communication skills; some might need to revive their knowledge on existing products; some others might want to get updated on new products. For a few, bite-sized motivational modules would work wonders. Others might need guidance from higher officials – a little bit of hand holding and guidance by a mentor might just be the thing to let them give their best.

So, providing hands-on training to sales personnel on the product or tips on handling customer objections can greatly help them to reach their targets. Courses can be developed in 1-2 weeks through rapid e-learning. Let’s now go through some tips that will help you create a cost effective and quick training solution that makes learning accessible anywhere anytime. Note that these tips are also applicable for a broader range of target groups.

  1. Convert currently available training material into e-learning modules using the authoring tools (Articulate Storyline, iSpring, etc.). To make your e-learning interactive and engaging, you have to:
  1. Develop small learning nuggets (micro learning/mini-modules), as the retaining power of sales people is not more than 10 minutes. These mini-modules can range from one to five minutes, and in any case, not exceeding 10 minutes. For example, if you want to develop an e-learning course for a pharmaceutical company on a product relating to a disease of bones, you can divide the material into 3 separate mini modules: normal bone as module 1, the disease relating to bones as module 2, and the product and its benefits as module 3.
    • These micro-learning pieces act as Reusable Learning Objects which address different employee needs. For example, a senior sales representative can directly go to the advanced modules as he has basic knowledge on the subject.
  2. Upload well categorized training modules on to the LMS (Learning Management System). Also, include additional resources such as selling tips, latest marketing updates, competitor information and other relevant information to make the content more meaningful and relevant. The LMS should be a reference place for sales people where they can go through all information needed, before going into the field.
  3. Create podcasts, collaborative tools, discussion forums, chat rooms This enables learning and sharing of knowledge about a product and its features. This is where sales people can discuss and debate real-time issues, share their experiences, and inspire each other. This method focuses more on social learning rather than theoretical learning.

Setting up such a system initially requires investment, time and effort. But once the system is up and running, it becomes easy for employees to access up-to-date knowledge. To begin with, organizations can start with one course, and depending upon the learners’ response, include other courses.

Hope you found this blog useful. Please share your views and thoughts on the same.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2013 and has appeared in Learning Technology Category whereas now it is updated in Training Solutions Category.

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