With the increasing complexity of products, constant product innovations and new age customers on board, it has become imperative for organizations to think about providing comprehensive and constant training to their sales teams.
But salespeople have targets and are always hard pressed for time. So it may be difficult for a company to gather the complete team at one place and conduct classroom sessions. Though organized, it may not be sufficient to transfer knowledge and help them retain information.
So how do we support today’s sales force to meet these challenges posed by the dynamic business environment? Well, Online training medium is a great way to introduce products, even if they are too complex.
When I say Online, it doesn’t just mean e-learning, there are many other means of transferring knowledge in a timely and efficient manner. Here are a few of them.
1. Use E-Learning to Educate
Product training involves a complete understanding of the product, its application, features, benefits, and handling procedure requirements. To sell better, the sales team should know the different products in the product line and how your company’s products are different from those of your competitors. So it is much more than the exchange of product information. E-learning medium provides ample opportunities to make learning comprehensive and engaging. These are a few approaches that are used.
Simulations and Animations: The product features and benefits can be presented with rich visual animations and simulations gaining the learners’ attention.
Case study and Scenario based approach: This helps learners analyze the practical situations and know how to handle them. This approach reinforces the product value and ensures customer satisfaction.
2. Use Micro-learning for reinforcement
Research state that approximately 50% of the learning content is forgotten within 5 weeks, so reinforcement plays a vital role in sales training.
Byte-sized learning nuggets of 10-15 minutes can be used as quick job aids to equip your sales teams on the move. For instance, a Pharma medical representative who needs to meet a physician, can quickly brush-up his knowledge of the drugs by accessing a byte-sized module while travelling to the doctor’s clinic.
With advancements in mobile devices such as Smartphones, iPads and Tablets, delivering byte-sized learning chunks has become easier.
3. Use Online Videos to Share Success Stories
The success stories of one sales rep will provide valuable insights to others as they contain real life experiences. Video is a great format for sharing these stories. For instance, how one sales executive has won the deal of the IT sector (an overview of the client challenges, objections) and how he could offer him a solution will help a fellow sales person who is also targeting the IT sector.
These stories can be captured and converted to videos and shared with teams. Sharing mutual successes instills a sense of unity in the team and motivates them to work harder and smarter.
4. Create an online library for reference
You can create an online library of training assets, which can be accessed whenever learners wish to learn or need information the most. These assets will serve as just-in-time knowledge aids. You can include webinars or podcasts conducted by product specialists, handouts of product specifications or competitor information, 3D and 2D product videos which illustrate the features, and so on.
You can also include white papers on target markets, product lines and best-selling practices.
5. Use LMS to complete the learning cycle
For effective training to take place the learning cycle must be completed, so timely evaluation and feedback is a must. One big gap in the traditional training medium is the inability to track training. With Learning Management Systems, you can track course completion details. These details include who has completed the training, when and how much they have learnt based on the assessments or quizzes.
Supervisors can emphasize where the employees need to focus based on these reports and give feedback for improvement, thus completing the learning.
Product training must help employees close deals and not simply educate. Constant training support can help boost your sales teams’ performance and contribute to reaching your sales goals. What do you say? Do share your thoughts on the same.