According to AA-ISP‘s Inside Sales Top Challenges report, sales leaders ranked training as the number one issue facing inside sales forces today.
Today’s sales force are more distracted and hard pressed for time than ever. They are motivated to learn, but don’t appreciate wasting time attending full day training sessions. But with continuous product innovations, increasing complexity of products, and new age customers on board, the job of a sales person is becoming much more complicated/harder.
So how can we support today’s sales force to meet the challenges posed by the dynamic business environment? Well, online training medium is a great way to train your sales force. Let’s see how eLearning can help sales training managers overcome the training challenges.
1. Complex Products and Boring Content
Sales Reps are usually hard pressed for time and aren’t interested in attending trainings. On the other hand, due to constant innovations, products are becoming more and more complex. So the best way to capture their attention is to make learning simple, relevant and engaging.
Sales reps must be told why the training matters to them, what is the desired outcome and stimulate their actions with the right activities.
E-learning provides enough opportunities to make the content most impactful and engaging. We can use product videos, interactive exercises, simulations, gamification and scenarios customized to the sales rep’s job role to make learning fun and relevant.
2. Huge Content and No Scope for Practice
Majority of the organizations usually conduct training sessions once or twice a year or when a new product is launched. And since it is a one-time session, the trainers try to include as many topics as possible in the agenda.
The team undergoes rigorous training for 1 or 2 weeks, learning about the product features, industry trends, and selling skills. The output – too much information and too little time to practice, resulting in poor knowledge transfer. Continuous learning and practice is what your sales team needs to face the new age customers.
The ideal solution to this challenge is developing a comprehensive online product training curriculum. The training topics can be divided into small modules, giving the learners a chance to easily absorb content, practice and integrate the knowledge into their jobs.
3. Information Retention
The other main area of concern is the team’s knowledge retention. Organizations arrange training when the product is launched and then the team is left to sell the product. No matter how hard you train or put your efforts to enhance your team’s capabilities, we still see them complaining that they don’t remember anything from last month’s training.
According to Training Industry, approximately 50% of the learning content is forgotten within five weeks, and within 90 days, 84% of what was initially learned is lost. This sort of one-time training will produce limited results if the training is not complemented with post-training reinforcement programs.
To maximize results, you need to think of a persistent virtual learning approach. The team must be able to easily revisit the information when they need a refresher. They must have access to on-demand online training courses, just-in-time knowledge bites and job aids.
4. Content Development and Updation Time
Another challenge faced by sales training managers is the ability to update product related content. Due to constant innovations, companies keep launching different versions of a single product. The content is to be updated accordingly which can be daunting.
According to a survey by Brainshark, nearly one-third (32%) of training professionals reported that their sales training content is too hard to update and 15% of them agree that the content gets obsolete by/before delivery time.
Among the advantages of eLearning, is the ease of updating courses, so that the information offered is always current. You can quickly and easily update your product training courses using the Rapid Authoring Tools like Articualte Storyline as needed. The pre-built templates and default interfaces of these tools enable you to do it efficiently, in less time and with less effort.
Product sales training is no longer a one-time event. Engaging and timely product sales information that can be accessed when needed is what your sales team needs. What are the challenges that you are facing currently in training your sales team? We would love to learn from your experiences.