Daniel is a Sales Training Manager and has been training his sales managers spread across the country for over 5 years now. Sometimes, the sales team is called upon to a central location for training. Other times, Daniel hops from one city to another providing the required training to sales personnel in their regions. However, on this occasion neither is possible. The company has come up with an upgraded version of their latest product and their sales personnel need to be trained about the new features and how it matches up to the competition very quickly.
So, Daniel has the challenge to train about 50 Sales Managers, around 100 Senior Sales Executives and a sizable number of field sales officers on the new product in less than a month. How can he possibly achieve this?
A face-to-face instruction program at such a short notice matching every one’s timelines and commitments is next to impossible! Written manuals or instructions is one option but what is the guarantee that the sales personnel would understand and interpret the product features accurately to be able to convince the customer against a stiff competition? It is during these circumstances that eLearning would be a great solution.
How does one begin, particularly if the company has never done any online courses before and is not sure if it can be developed in such a short span of time? Difficult as it may sound, it is very much possible if you have a reliable eLearning vendor who can understand your needs and deliver just the product you need. Here are the options open to Daniel:
1. Collate raw training content or resources (product literature, handouts, manuals).
2. Identify your purpose and intent of the course (get sales team to make the right pitch for the product).
3. Outsource the development of a 45-minute eLearning course to a vendor (share the purpose and supporting resources with the vendor).
4. Get the vendor to host it on their LMS with access link to your sales personnel. In this manner, you can get to track those who have completed the course. If you wish, you can choose to have a small assessment at the end of the course.
If your eLearning vendor is proficient and has the instructional design and production capability, your course should be ready within a month to be dispatched to your sales team.
Very often organizations think that eLearning implementation involves lot of investment – LMS, authoring tools, resources, etc. Yes, they are all required but when you are introducing eLearning for the first time and are not sure how your employees are going to take it, it is best to start small with minimal investment on infrastructure and fixed assets. The ideal way is to test the waters by using an external vendor to develop course(s) for you and administer it to your employees. If it succeeds you can scale it up for a wider group of employees and for other departments as well.
If you have adopted eLearning, how did it all begin in your organization? If you have not started eLearning in your organization, what are the factors that prevent you to take the plunge? Do share your experiences.