Product training for your sales team is a continual process that requires a long-term investment of time, money, and resources. However, all these factors aren’t enough to deliver a successful product training program. There are many challenges such as place, access, and current knowledge gaps that sales directors and other decision makers must consider before starting a product training program.
Another big factor that you need to consider is that the world today is going mobile and sales representatives are people who are always on the move and making your sales team sit in a classroom everyday can affect your annual sales target. So how can you effectively have a product training program where your learner can take the classroom with him when he is on the go?
Well the answer is quite simple! Give blended learning a try. Now you might already know that blended learning is a dynamic mixture of face-to-face classroom interaction and online learning methods such as e-learning or mobile learning which takes places usually on a laptop, tablet, or an android mobile device. This very aspect of online learning can be a great asset to your product training. Want to know how? Keep reading.
Integrate ILTs with E-learning: You may already have an existing classroom training sessions with loads of teaching materials and information that can easily be transferred or converted into e-learning courses. Not every aspect of your product can be taught online or in class, this is where blending learning serves your training the best. For example, if you need to show a demo of your product, you can use the classroom when:
- There is a complex hardware that needs a team-based learning or practice.
- Information can be shared or delivered in less than 15 to 30 minutes.
You can consider using online learning when:
- The product is expensive and a real demo can damage the product.
- The product is yet to be launched and there are a very few products to practice on.
You can also classify your product training into two different segments, one for the classroom and the other for online training keeping these parameters in mind.
A blend of both these factors will help you plan blended training.
Planning a Blended Approach: Before you jump in with your training, you need plan it perfectly. There are many factors you need to consider when you’re making a training plan that involves blended training. Let me break it down for you as four questions that you need to answer when planning for a blended approach.
Q1. What is your learning goal?
- Is it just to create awareness about your product?
- Is it to provide real-world practice opportunities?
- Is it to test your sales team on the existing product line?
Q2. What is your content type?
- Is it based on procedures or facts or statistics?
- Is it face-to-face learning?
- Is it hands-on practice or videos and simulations?
Q3. What is your learner type?
- Are they in the classroom or on the go?
- Are they beginners or experts in their fields?
- Are they exposed to e-learning?
Q4. What is your delivery platform?
- Are the learners up-to-date with the working of the latest android/mobile devices?
- Does the content have a low shelf life and will it be constantly updated?
- Are you converting existing content into rapid e-learning?
Practices for the Perfect Blend: Here’s how you can create the perfect blend:
Keeping these three criteria in mind, you can successfully have a blended training solution for your product training program. How did you blend ILT and e-learning for your training program? We’d love to know.