Your latest online product training has been launched, and you are ready to watch your employees’ progress levels. Excited, right? But what happens if the participation is not as expected. Your employees are least interested in taking the eLearning and probably running away. ‘What could have gone wrong?’ will be your first question. In this blog, I will discuss 6 drawbacks that can become barriers to your online sales training participation rates and solutions for the same.
1. Irrelevant content: Many courses include irrelevant content, that’s very important to the learner. It is important to make the product knowledge training relevant to the learner to ensure involvement.
You need to figure out what your sales reps need and provide relevant content in the course. For example, if you want to educate your sales reps on the updated features of a product, include only those in a micro module. Do not include the benefits, price, and other technical jargon that is unchanged and the team already aware of. So the key is to make your product e-learning relevant.
2. Lengthy duration: The human brain can retain no more that 7 to 8 pieces of information at a time in the working memory. Lengthy courses are one of the major reason learners do not want to take them. To overcome this issue, you can go in for small chunks of product knowledge that can be consumed easily and make sales reps receptive towards the course.
Creating short product e-learning with the relevant content helps learners manage their time and take the courses at their convenience for just-in-time support. It is a good idea to develop micro-learning modules for sales teams that last not more than 5-10 minutes, focus on, and assess one learning point at a time.
3. Boring features and benefits: Sales training generally includes information about products, their features and benefits.
Imagine you are provided a 200-page guide about the product and asked to learn its features, functions, benefits, operational steps, etc. Most of us would ignore it, right? But imagine you are given a model/sample of the product and asked to learn by experimenting on your own. This is very interesting and all of us would jump in and start exploring the product!
Similarly, your online product training with erase boredom and immerse learners when its gives them a chance to explore the product. This can be done by providing simulation-based product training where learners get to explore the product and practice using it in a safe environment, without any fear of damaging it.
4. Traditional interactivities: Most online product training courses include traditional click-on interactivities which make the course predictable and thus give it a boring tint.
Switch try adding a pinch of gamification to spice up your courses. Gamification is adding some game elements and mechanics to a non-game content to make it interactive and immersive. Gamification has shown results such as the active engagement learners in the course and better retention of information delivered.
In same way, incorporating scenarios in the course will present a real-world environment to the learners, thereby motivating them to get involved, take decisions, and eliciting emotional responses. The use of real-world scenarios will present even the driest content in a very lively way. For example, in a customized online sales training, a scenario where the learner has to decide how to answer a customer’s query will make him think and improve his decisions making skills. And then, adding a little drama won’t hurt anything of course!
5. No motivation: We tend to seek motivation for all we need to do. Whether intrinsic or extrinsic, motivation drives us and we strive to achieve the ultimate goal. Sales people, being competitive by nature, crave motivation and recognition. So adding a motivational factor in your course will make learners take the course seriously and most importantly, accomplish it. Offering rewards such as badges, medals will make learners more involved in the online courses. You can offer real incentives too!
For example, you can reward the employee who either achieves the highest score in assessments or crosses a certain level first with a bonus.
6. Isolated working environment: One of the biggest drawbacks of online courses is that they create an isolated environment, where employees take the course on their preferred device, at the time and place of their choice. They lack the flexibility of discussing with their peers or managers when they face a doubt. This is a very boring perspective for learners.
Collaboration is the key to avoid this. Online product training courses can include chat facilities where learners can share their concerns with peers/supervisors who are online. Discussion forums can also be provided through the LMS. Such opportunities for interaction lead to more intense participation and eliminate isolation.
Hope you find these pointers useful. There are other small but effective things that will help you increase the participation rates for your online product training courses. I will discuss them in my next blog. See you soon!