December 14, 2016

5 Ways E-Learning Enables Effective Sales Training

Written by Stephanie Hadley

5 Ways E-Learning Enables Effective Sales Training

Sales trainers are smart people. They know when something is broken, and if The Bridge Group is correct and sales reps are only meeting their quota half of the time, then something is very broken.  It is clear that sales kick off events, in-room presentations, and mandated day-long training sessions are not working for the 50 percent of today’s sales learners who are failing to meet quota. E-learning programs can fix many of the problems with sales training.

Sales reps are human, and we know that humans only retain about a quarter of what they see or hear, and lose 80 percent of information if they do not use it within two weeks of learning it. As a result, sales training executives are looking to replace costly and limiting classroom, instructor-led training with newer, more effective e-learning programs that deliver knowledge to reps exactly when they need it.

Successful sales reps must establish a diverse knowledge set. They must know their product line in depth, but also must know successful selling strategies, their customers' unique challenges, competitive differentiators, industry-specific requirements, budgets and forecasts. To expect a sales rep to learn and retain all of this information in quarterly or even monthly training sessions is unfair to the sales rep and the trainer. Instead, sales reps need up-to-date, in-the-moment access to critical knowledge. That’s why e-learning solutions get the best results for sales trainers.

The best e-learning programs for sales trainers include the following five elements:

1) Just in Time Situational Learning 

Sales reps need easy access to specific information related to their current deal or challenge, and they need that access anywhere and anytime. Just-in-time situational learning makes e-learning tools such as short pieces of content, case studies, testimonials, and best practices easily available to reps via mobile devices with offline access. 

2) Learning at the Speed of Search 

The immediacy of a sales reps need for specific e-learning content cannot be overstated. Learners today are learning at the speed of searchSales reps need to be able to access relevant, up-to-date content with a quick search. By configuring e-learning systems via advanced search taxonomies and leveraging content categories, sales trainers make it easier for reps to find the content they need, even when they do not know exactly what they need. 

3) End User Content Curation 

Good sales training teams know that sometimes the best instructors are other sales reps. By empowering reps to catalog and share useful content with each other, sales trainers make sales reps a part of the e-learning process. 

4) Secure, Private Enterprise YouTube

With high speed broadband connections a universal given for most sales reps working in the U.S. and Europe, secure, private enterprise YouTube has become an efficient and effective e-learning tool. Now reps can record quick videos of successful case studies and share with colleagues, without the risk of sensitive information falling into a competitor’s hands.

5) Gamification 

We all know that the typical sales reps loves a competitive challenge and gamification is a great way to bring competition into e-learning. Badges, notifications and leaderboards inspire sales reps to compete against others on the sales team to complete e-learning programs first, or exemplify mastery of important sales skills.

It is clear that the sales training team is responsible for increasing the percentage of quota-meeting reps. With e-learning programs that deliver sales tools and information exactly when and where the rep needs it, sales training teams can move the needle on their sales team’s quota achievement.

 

Stephanie Hadley

Stephanie Hadley is a professional writer and marketer with more than 20 years experience in learning and development and customer success. Her work has appeared on behalf of clients in national business magazines and training industry journals. Stephanie holds a Bachelors of Science in Public Relations from the SI Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University.

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