Online training programs are very well-suited to impart training for sales reps. The fact that these courses can be accessed anywhere and anytime makes them ideal to train sales reps who spend most of their time travelling and can hardly take out time to attend a regular classroom training session.
As an instructional designer, it is vital that your online training course is perfect! Meaning NO mistakes or blunders of any kind in the course. However, to err is human, and it’s possible that a few simple things may be overlooked while creating a course. Instructional designers create online training courses, believing that they will be loved by sales reps and produce amazing results, merely because of the time, money, and effort spent in designing them. Sometimes the end result is often far from what we want – the courses are unappreciated and do not yield the desired results. But, what does it take to make a good online training course for your sales reps? Well, you need to focus on a few important aspects.
In this blog, I would like to share some possible reasons we fail in creating good online training courses.
1. Disorganized content
Poorly organized content distracts the learner and may also force your learners to drop out. When developing your online training course, the first thing you need to do is to create a proper content outline. This outline will act as a roadmap that learners can follow, and help them complete the assigned course without dropping out mid-way. Usually, content and activities are divided into modules. This enables the learner to get a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment on completion of each.
For instance, when we are creating a course on drugs, the content can be divided into the composition and dosage, mechanism of action, features and benefits, indications and contraindications, or adverse effects of a particular drug. It’s also important to include only specific information about a particular drug instead of including information about all the drugs in a module. Sales reps who spend most of their time travelling can quickly go through the required module of a particular drug suitable for a particular disease. Such short and accurate information will allow sales reps retain and remember the information for a longer time.
2. Locked navigation
Adult learners don’t like restrictions and would like to be self-directed. It’s human instinct that they want freedom and have control over one’s life. Freedom within boundaries can make a big difference to sales reps. But sometimes we are constrained by design restrictions in online training courses which learners don’t always appreciate. Here are a few disadvantages of these design restrictions.
- They can frustrate the learner.
- Forcing the learner is NOT a good idea.
- If the learner is bored their attention wanders and they DO NOT CONCENTRATE on the course. Ultimately the objective of online training is not achieved.
Sales reps are always on the move and need quick access to information. So they must be allowed to:
- Choose course content
- Decide their starting point in the course
- Navigate hassle-free through the course and explore the content
- Access learning on a device of their choice
To help sales reps complete an online training course successfully, it is very essential for instructional designers to understand how they learn and what motivates them so that learners don’t hate the online course.
3. Not enough engagement
Sales reps hate dull, boring, and monotonous courses. One of the advantages of online learning is that, unlike textual learning, instructional designers have the freedom to use their imagination to make a course as colorful, interactive, and adventurous as they wish. Creating a text-heavy course will lead to disengagement, frustration, and hatred for online learning. Videos, games, scenarios, or simulations can be used to make online training more engaging.
For instance, a sales rep who has missed a training session can watch a recorded version of it and make up for the loss. In sales training, a video of a role-play showing a conversation between a client and a sales rep can help them learn the nuances of sales. Since videos have a long-term impact on the brain, they easily strike the right chord with sales reps. It is an effective way to explain the sales process as videos are engaging and keep the sales rep hooked throughout the course.
These mistakes may not seem critical, but when these issues are taken care of, you can make your online course a smashing success! A good course gets the learners’ interest and an engrossed learner is the biggest compliment an online training course can get. Do you have some more reasons to add to the list above? Please do share with us!