February 8, 2017

Empower Sales Teams With Personalized eLearning

Written by Stephanie Hadley

Personalized eLearning.png

Amazon remembers your purchase history and style preferences to recommend the best products for you, giving you a truly personalized online shopping experience. Netflix recommends shows for you to watch based on your personal viewing history, making it easier for you to find the movies and shows you like. Today everything on the Web is personalized, and so it is no surprise that personalized eLearning is the biggest trend in sales training in 2017.

Big data makes it easy and transparent to understand a sales rep’s strengths, weaknesses, motivations and challenges better than ever before. All that big data can be used in sales training to deliver a hyper personalized eLearning experience to each rep in the field. Personalized eLearning can result in increased knowledge retention, and improved performance across the sales team.

Sales managers and sales trainers are often stifled by the limitations of tired sales training conferences, where sales reps consume large amounts of generalized information only to forget most of it on the plane ride back. In fact, according to one study, 84 percent of sales training content is lost after 90 days.

Personalized eLearning solves two problems right off the bat for sales managers.

  1. With personalized eLearning, sales training is specific and relevant to each sales employee.
  1. Personalized eLearning delivers knowledge when and where the sales reps need it. When sales reps can put knowledge into practice immediately, they are far more likely to remember it, and use it over and over again.

Four trends in eLearning are especially applicable to delivering a personalized sales training program:


Microlearning.jpgSales reps need to know a lot of detailed information, but they do not need to learn it all at once. In fact, trying to learn large amounts of information at once can result in information overload, and lower overall effectiveness of training.

Micro-eLearning has emerged as a valuable component of successful eLearning programs because it places a priority on both specific knowledge and time management. Micro-eLearning breaks large complex subjects into small, easily digestible pods which sales reps can consume via podcast or secure enterprise YouTube, when they have 15-20 minutes between sales calls.

Mobile, Situational eLearning

Mobile.jpgMobile eLearning will be a 70 billion dollar industry by 2020, and we can expect sales training to be a big part of that spend, due to sales teams’ reputations as road warriors. Sales teams spend the vast majority of their time on the road, so a big part of delivering personalized eLearning is simply making it mobile accessible.

A strong mobile eLearningenvironment will support offline content, and provide easily digestible content, like that available in microlearning programs. It also needs to be accessible, and easily discoverable. But to make mobile eLearning truly personalized for the sales rep, it must be highly relevant to each reps’ specific needs. Use cases and scenario-based eLearning help sales reps find the specific information they need to be successful in the day-to-day sales grind.

Achievement-Based eLearning Paths and Gamification 

Gamification1.jpgSales reps are highly motivated by competition and incentives, that is how they end up in commission-based fields in the first place. Therefore gamification and achievement-based eLearning paths are most successful in sales training programs.

Some gamification programs pit sales reps against each other to see who can complete the most coursework. However, personalized eLearning paths use badges and awards to encourage sales reps to advance quickly through their own unique sales journey, acquiring knowledge, as well as recognition .

Self-Control in eLearning

Control.jpgImportantly, one of the biggest benefits of personalized eLearning is that it puts the sales reps in control of what, how and when they learn. Sales reps know best what information they need to be successful in a deal, and personalized eLearning leverages advanced search and user analytics to deliver the right content to a specific rep exactly when that rep needs it.

As stated above, personalized eLearning programs leverage big data to understand the sales reps' unique behaviors and challenges better than ever before. With personalized eLearning sales trainers are still able to provide reps with all the information they need, just in a better format that encourages knowledge retention and discourages wasted time.

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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