E-learning is used extensively to impart product sales training. The facility to develop courses at low cost and deliver them to global sales forces in quick time has made the online training medium the preferred choice of companies worldwide. Furthermore, e-learning courses are highly flexible and can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on any device, enabling sales people to learn on the move.
One of the popular tools used to develop online product sales courses is Adobe Captivate. A survey conducted by the E-learning Guild revealed that Captivate is the most widely used rapid authoring tool in the world. What makes this e-learning development software ideal for developing online product sales training courses? To find out, I talked to Mohd. Sohail of CommLab India, a firm that has been in the business of providing online training solutions for the last 16 years. Sohail is a veteran e-learning developer and has created hundreds of e-learning courses using Adobe Captivate. This is what he had to say about the capabilities of the tool to develop online product sales training materials.
I see you are involved in various product sales training development initiatives. How many of these use Adobe Captivate?
Sohail: I use various authoring software such as Flash, Articulate Storyline, Lectora Inspire, and Articulate Studio, besides Adobe Captivate. About 70% of theprojects that I am involved in use Adobe Captivate.
Why are companies going in for Adobe Captivate to develop product sales courses, in a big way?
Sohail:It is easy to build courses out of PowerPoint presentations, using this software. Most of the classroom training materials for sales teams come in theform of PPT files, and it is very easy to convert them into good online courses using this tool. All I need to do is import the presentation into the tool, make changes to suit the online learning environment, and publish it.
And how long does it take?
Sohail: I can develop a course of one hour from PowerPoint presentations in about 20 days.
Most sales people travel extensively as part of their jobs. How can Captivate help build courses for learners on the move?
Sohail: Captivate has an amazing array of mobile learning development capabilities. It enables me to publish courses to iOS as well as Android platforms. But, the main strength of this tool is its ability to create responsive e-learning materials, which can be accessed on any device seamlessly.
Could you tell me more about the responsive e-learning capabilities of this tool?
Sohail: Captivate 9 comes with in-built responsive themes which render content very effectively on various kinds of devices. The course becomes “aware” of the object on which it is being delivered and provides the best learning experience. The responsive e-learning development powers of this software make it the right tool for companies which follow the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. Sales persons can access training materials on their devices, irrespective of their screen-size and platform.
Videos are very useful to provide just-in-time (JIT) learning support and play a key role in enhancing the performance of sales people. What kind of support does Captivate provide to videos?
Sohail: You can harness the full potential of these learning tools using Captivate. The tool facilitates in-course streaming of YouTube videos, and you can create high definition video demonstrations of products. You can import videos in various formats such as AVI, MOV, FLV, and MPEG into a course. The tool allows you to publish courses to MP4 format, which is compatible with most devices.
Many firms use simulations and animations to explain the working of their products. How much does Captivate score with respect to these instructional elements?
Sohail: Captivate can be used to create simulations of software products of high quality. You can create good watch-try-do simulations which enable learners to have a good idea of their working. Coming to animations, you can import animations into your online courses and publish them to the HTML5 format. This enables learners to access the animations on the device of their choice.
Good customer interactions are necessary to sell effectively. Can this tool be used to develop courses that enhance the customer-facing skills of sales staff?
Sohail: Captivate 9 helps build scenario-based courses which are very useful to train salespersons on customer interaction skills. You can also develop branching-aware assessments to evaluate how learners respond in different situations.
The corporate world is chanting the gamification mantra. Does Captivate 9 provide good support to gamified product sales training?
Sohail: Captivate 9 has an in-built library of 25,000+ learning assets, which include a wide variety of gamified elements. You can customize these elements according to your needs and develop good product sales courses. You can make courses compliant with xAPI, a learning standard which provides good support to gamified learning.
Companies need to roll-out product training courses to their sales people across the world. How well does Captivate do in terms of simplifying e-learning translations?
Sohail: You can export the online course as an MS-Word document. This makes the localization of online courses a cakewalk. You can hand over the document to the translator, and after it is translated, you can import the translated version into the tool, and the course in the target language is ready. Captivate 9 provides good support to languages which use double byte character sets (DBCS) such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. It also supports languages written in “right-to-left” scripts such as Arabic and Hebrew.
How does Adobe Captivate 9 compare with Articulate Storyline 2 and Lectora Inspire 12?
Sohail: I feel Storyline 2 is the best tool as far as ease of use is concerned. And, Lectora Inspire scores high on developing multi-lingual courses. But, when it comes to the creation of responsive e-learning, Captivate 9 fares much better.
This is what Sohail thinks about developing online product sales training courses using Adobe Captivate. Hope you’ve enjoyed the interview.