Blended learning for product training is usually a mix of face-to-face classroom training and online training. Many organizations have adopted the blended learning approach to product training because they realize either classroom training or online training in isolation alone will not bring the desired results.
Many organizations, according to a report by Technavio on the global product-based sales training market from 2017-2021 are adopting a mix of the two along with resources and online materials adding elements such as games, simulations, scenarios and videos. Microlearning is an important addition to this list. The report by Technavio says bite-sized modules available on mobile devices help sales professionals reinforce their product knowledge and owing to the increasing usage of smartphones and tablets, it has become a popular learning method.
Microlearning, the short nuggets of learning helps sales professionals with information on the field, because they can access it on their mobile devices. This is likely to become a more prevalent method for product training in the future as well.
Awareness on new product launch
Microlearning is useful especially when your organization has a wide range of products and frequently launches new products or updates existing ones. Sales personnel must be aware of these new products or know about these updates even before they come to the market to better explain about them to customers. It would be impractical and expensive to organize a classroom session or create an online course every time a product is launched. Short modules on these products can be created and can be accessed when required.
Replacement for heavy product modules: Learning about a company’s products or services is not easy, especially when you have a lot of products. Product manuals tend to be dry, dull and boring and employees will not be motivated to go through them. It is too much to expect employees to read about the products in one go, remember them and communicate it to clients. The limitations of human memory will be a barrier and even if some of your employees can remember it, they will forget this information over time.
Microlearning is the ideal solution because here the topic is broken down into small, bite-size pieces which will suit the human brain’s ability to learn short nuggets rather than learn large chunks of information at one time.
Microlearning at different stages of product training
Each microlearning module contains one performance objective and one learning activity and is usually a part of a larger learning strategy. This flexibility makes it easier to fit it anywhere in the learning cycle. For product training, microlearning can be used before the training session to introduce a product or during the training session to focus on the need- to- know information and after the training as a reinforcement tool.
Before the training session, to create awareness about the products, short, engaging videos, infographics or interactive quizzes to assess knowledge can be delivered as microlearning to learners. For instance, an engaging video about the product which creates curiosity or focuses on its exciting new features will motivate the sales persons to learn more.
During the training session, a lot of knowledge that is imparted is both need-to-know and nice-to-know information. Learners primarily have to know the need-to-know content while the nice-to-know only provides additional information. Microlearning can focus on such content and more importantly focus on a single point, for instance if a product has three features, each feature can be made into a separate microlearning module.
This need-to-know information can be delivered in many formats including scenarios, videos, infographics or audio narrations. Charts and visuals can be used to improve comprehension.
As for post-training help, microlearning modules are ideal to act as reference tools and job-aids. Pop quizzes can test the employee’s knowledge. Their small size and availability on mobile devices makes them accessible anywhere and anytime and where it is required, making them valuable reinforcement tools.
Leverage on microlearning
Sales reps benefit when product training includes microlearning. Their length and accessibility make it easy for the reps to access them between sales calls, look them up for quick information before meeting a client and lets them stay up-to–date on the products. A short, quick video can help them know about a new product or service even before it is launched.
Your reps can access these training modules when they need to and when it is most relevant to them. It aids better retention of information because of their small size and they can provide information at the point of need. These modules help in refresher training; the reps can always go back and access these modules when they want to refresh their knowledge.
Apart from this, microlearning modules are easy to create and update while saving you time and money and above all, it yields impressive results.