In a business environment characterized by intense competition, efficiency of the sales personnel plays a critical role in the success of a company because they are able to generate the required revenue for the company. Due to globalization and product proliferation sales personnel need to be trained on the sales process.
Although the traditional training method is an effective way to train them it doesn’t provide any reinforcement of knowledge after the session is complete. So people prefer online training, which provides information effectively through online courses, but it has a drawback that it cannot teach any behavioral skills, which is useful for the sales people in their practical approach.
So, which kind of learning method helps to train the sales force?
In this regard, several companies have considered blended learning more effective than either only online or only classroom methods. According to a European Survey, 76% of companies found blended learning as an effective medium of delivering learning.
Let us explore how blended learning is effective:
Imparts effective training at low cost – As we look at the MNCs, they possess a plurality of employees across various countries. Pooling them together in one place and providing training is not only time consuming but also an expensive affair.
With the help of blended learning, only soft kills and behavioral aspects can be taught in a classroom and reference materials and job aids and videos can be made available in the online learning for supporting so that cost of conducting training is low when compared to the costs involved in ILT.
Keeps learners updated on the latest market offerings – Classroom training can be effective if the concepts taught are reinforced periodically. And sales people need the knowledge about what they learned in the classroom and also they need the knowledge of latest updates with the current market trends frequently changing. In this regard, blended learning is the only solution because it provides reinforcement of knowledge through online learning courses and interactive video’s, etc. And it also provides the latest information regarding new product updates and their features through mobile alerts.
Keeps on track with the training – With an LMS, integrated blended learning approach provides the learners who are geographically dispersed with access to courses without any time limitations. And the instructor can track the details about the learners and provide other learning materials if needed.
Carlsberg Case study:
Overview: J. C. Jacobsen founded the company called Carlsberg in 1847. Carlsberg produced beer and soft drinks at 95 sites in fifty countries. In Denmark, beer was the favorite drink from the twenty five years as wine became the preferred beverage. Due to this the market share of the Carlsberg was decreased and rankings were bad for morale.
Solution: Part of the change management was placed in training. Traditional classroom-based training was ruled out because Carlsberg could not allow Telesales staff to be away from the phones for two days. That would have directly affected sales. Carlsberg liked the flexibility of a classroom, audio CD’s and internet-based training. They changed over to blended learning.
Result: Finally, Carlsberg announced that the average customer order value has increased. Blended learning approach is really desirable for their staff, as it is very effective while training in a short span of time. They lead off with pre-course reading and the one-day introduction provides plenty of motivation with an overview of course content and examination patterns. People listen to CDs as they drive and the web-based training involves multiple-choice tests, which are timed to simulate the pressure of actual sales situations.
Both online as well as classroom training have their own unique strengths. A correct blend of both these methodologies could offer new opportunities towards meeting new challenges of the training sales personnel. So what do you feel about the implementation of blending learning across companies for sales training?
Please do share your views, we would really appreciate to hear from you.