At a recently concluded sales conference, I overheard one of the sales associates commenting that he never attends product training sessions. According to him, they are too technical, boring and are in no way helpful in selling. He’d rather spend the time sourcing more leads! It is not the first time that I heard such opinions. I have heard sales people lament that product specialists, who train sales people, fail to respond to the needs of the sales guys.
Similarly, one of our clients had shared that they have made several eLearning modules available for their employees online, but very few have bothered to take the courses. Some who have attempted failed to complete it. What could be the possible reasons?
It is not enough to inform learners about the training programs or eLearning courses that are scheduled or are available online. The most important aspect is to educate them of its immediate relevance and how it would help them become better at their work. For example, a sales person might be interested in developing negotiation skills for tackling difficult customers. They may also be interested in knowing how to handle objections to certain specific product features, vis-à-vis features of products by competition.
This is one of the important principles of adult learning that if grown-ups see a definite benefit in terms of improving performance, or acquiring new skills, which result in quantifiable benefits, they are more amenable to training. Therefore, it is important that you provide information about quantifiable benefits to learners before inviting them to take up learning.