A Mini Guide to Explore the Role of Microlearning in Sales Training
Microlearning works on the principle of presenting information in topical, bite-sized chunks. It is a perfect training partner for sales teams who are on customer locations or traveling and often away from regular workstations. Explore how different microlearning assets can improve and enhance your sales training program.
A strong sales team is essential for any company to generate new opportunities and go to the next level. And how does a sales team become strong enough to do that? Through effective sales training! What format of training works best to train your perpetually on-the-move sales team? That’s a no brainer – Microlearning, of course.
Microlearning is a focused and skill-based approach to learning that delivers small learning units. Each short, succinct microlearning module deals with a single learning objective, giving learners clear direction and performance goals.
Why is Microlearning Essential for Sales Training?
Sales executives are the busiest of all in any organization. They are the ones who need to be up to date with everything going on in the market. They need to focus effectively and react/respond quickly. Microlearning fulfills all these requirements by delivering engaging, interactive, and essential chunks of knowledge/information in very short time.
Keeping customers happy is the top priority of organizations, more so with customer facing sales personnel. So, they need to be equipped with the latest in technology, skills, and knowledge, and have the current updates or changes to products or services at the tips of their fingers. To deliver a positive customer experience, your sales executives must have:
- Thorough knowledge of the product/s
- Problem-solving abilities
- Negotiation and selling skills
That is where microlearning comes into the picture. Incorporating microlearning into your sales training program will help learners master all these requirements, and enable them to apply whatever they learned on their job.
Read on for some challenges that are unique to sales training.
Challenges of Training Sales Personnel
Access to Training
Sales primarily involves a lot of traveling and it isn’t possible for sales executives to always have their laptops with them. They need quick access to information, be it about new products, the customer, updates to products and services, and so on. This is only possible on their smartphones where they can access the learning material anywhere, anytime, before meeting their customers.
Top Strategies to use Microlearning for Sales Training
- Interactive Video Modules
- Scenarios & Simulations
- Gamified Modules
- Constant Performance Support
Time Constraints and Diminished Attention Spans
Learners today can spare very little time for training and development. And that is the biggest challenge for training managers – delivering effective training in that small window of time. And since the sales team is almost always in a high stress situation with a lot of traveling, dealing with different types of customers, and trying to reach their sales targets, they really don’t have the time to focus on long-winded training programs. And that’s where microlearning is a real boon.
Benefits of Microlearning for Sales Training
Unlike in-person classroom training that’s usually conducted only once for a particular topic, microlearning allows learners to have access to the learning whenever they need, making it just right for the ever busy and on-the-go salesperson. It benefits both the employees and organization equally.
- Takes less time and cost to create
- Is easy to update
- Takes less time for the learner to gain mastery
- Covers focused objectives
- Is widely accessible
Four Top Strategies of Microlearning for Sales Training
1. Interactive Video Modules
Video tends to capture learners’ attention quickly. The more interesting the module, the more engaged the learner. As mentioned earlier, sales executives are always on-the-go, and might not have time for conventional training on product or process updates. But video modules that are accessible anytime anywhere are a totally different ball game altogether. Learners can easily go through these modules while traveling or in airports, or while waiting to meet with customers.
Interactive video modules allow the learner to interact with the content, creating a fun and engaging experience and helping them retain and apply whatever they learned. A few of types of video modules include:
- Explainer videos
- Introductory videos
- Demonstration videos
Videos can be made interactive by using (among others):
- Hotspots (clickable areas within a video) – navigation buttons that take the learner to a specific page or reveal content within the video.
- 360 views – enable the learner to drag the screen within a video frame in any direction.
- Branching – offers each learner a specific customized path for learning
- Data inputs – simple forms where a learner can fill in details such as name, age, etc.
Different people learn and absorb information differently. Some learn better by listening, while others by watching. Interactive video modules accommodate both these types of learners.
2. Simulations & Scenarios
Scenarios are designed to help learners understand and relate to the information better. A real-life scenario where learners are asked to make a sale is a great way to train them on negotiation and communication skills, where learners get to experience the consequences of their decisions in a risk-free environment. As part of the sales training program, you can create various scenarios based on real-life situations that help achieve the learning objective.
Simulation-based learning provides learners hands-on experience of working on a software application or a product. The learner will have to demonstrate proficiency in a given task by applying the knowledge they have. It equips them and builds their confidence for future responsibilities. Wondering how to create scenario-based eLearning courses? Click here!
3. Gamified Modules
Getting sales executives interested and invested in training is hard. Sometimes, they are so preoccupied and under pressure that training might feel like a chore. But they are more receptive to microlearning, as it is easy to learn and doesn’t take a lot of time. And when you add gaming elements to the mix, learning becomes more interactive, engaging, and practical; both sales professionals and gamified activities are all about reaching goals and achieving milestones.
Some game mechanics used in gamification:
- Goals – can be learning goals a learner has to reach to gain points
- Status – leaderboards that show ‘who is winning’ and inspire competition
- Rewards – points or badges learners receive on completing a module/activity
4. Constant Performance Support
There are various tools that can be used to offer performance support for employees on-the-job at the precise moment of need. Here are some microlearning formats that can be used to offer performance support:
- eBooks, PDFs
- How-to videos
To Sum Up
The enormous growth of smartphones and the rise of millennials in the workplace make microlearning the perfect way for learning and development of any skilled workforce. And that is why I said it’s a match made in heaven! If your organization is looking for a versatile and effective tool for sales or for that matter, any training, microlearning is your solution. Want to know more about Microlearning for Sales Training? Check this free eBook!
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.