Without a constant flow of sales, your business is likely to wither. In today’s highly complex and changing business landscape you need to constantly, skill, reskill and upskill your sales workforce. With the power of online learning, geographical boundaries are no longer an issue. You want your distributed sales force to be skill-sharp at all times to successfully close deals and turn customers into repeat business. With online training solutions, your entire sales team can access training materials at any time and anywhere, on the device of their choice. From product knowledge to negotiation skills, online training solutions can equip your staff with instance performance support and a wealth of knowledge while on the job or on the go.
Why are online training solutions a must for your sales team?
It is highly likely that your sales team is on the field or in an office attending to clients, identifying new leads, or converting them into loyal customers. Therefore, it is very difficult to get them all in a classroom soaking up new information, while their mind is focused on a potential sale. The problem is further compounded if your sales team is constantly traveling. This is where online training solutions can help. Your sales team can take training at their convenience, educate themselves using the device of their choice- laptop, PC, tablet or mobile phone, and wherever they are- at home, office, or in a coffee shop. With online training solutions, your sales team can achieve the same results, if not more, as they would in classrooms.
Strategies such as blended solutions, simulations, gamification and microlearning help to make online sales training real-time, immersive and engaging, while also providing instant on-the-job performance support to take a sales action to a successful conclusion. What’s more, online training solutions also allow you to track the training outcomes in real-time, ensuring that everyone has taken the training within the defined timelines and your training initiatives are as effective as possible.
How to Create an Online Training Program for Employees
Here, in this article, we discuss tips to help you develop online training solutions for your sales force that are worth your investment.
Define Your Learning Objectives: Every sales activity has its objectives – it may be that your employees are trying to match products to customer needs at the right price, or they have to introduce new products to prospective clients. Sales training is very goal-oriented and so your online training solutions should also have very clearly defined purpose and objectives. In other words, you must include milestones along the learning journey. Evaluate your sales performance and reports, and analyze customer feedback and ratings. Then use this data to pinpoint gaps. Next, design your course content to fill these gaps and develop actionable online training solutions for your sales force.
Focus on Soft Skills: Since sales is a frontline job, your sales people should have excellent communication and other soft skills. The way they showcase a product or service, the way they present themselves to the customers, their body language, how they negotiate, their listening skills are just some of the soft skills that are required to get the job done. Knowing both the basics and specifics will give your employees the confidence to perform well in real-world situations. A confident sales person will also inspire confidence in the customer, resulting in better customer experience.
Impart Appropriate Knowledge of Product/Service: The very objective of your sales team is to sell or promote a product or service. Therefore, it goes without saying that they need to be well-versed with all aspects of your offerings. In your online training solutions, be sure to highlight all features of your product or service, and also the benefits they will accrue to the customers. This will empower your sales reps with the information they need to address all customer queries and help them make an informed decision. Ultimately it is timely, practical, genuine and personalized knowledge that helps to effectively close a deal.
Offer On-the-job Experience: These days, you can leverage various types of digital technologies to provide on-the-job experience to your sales team, albeit in virtual or simulated environments. Using VR and AR in online training solutions enables your sales team to hone their skills with realistic scenarios. Adding games and branching scenarios allow learners to trace their own learning paths and learn by trial and error. Games and branching scenarios include rewards and recognitions that challenge the learners and motivate them to meet the learning objectives. For instance, game mechanics such as badges, leaderboards, and certifications will motivate your sales reps to race to the top by completing modules, clearing assessments and outperforming their peers. Digital media makes learning engaging and immersive, boosts employee interest and participation, thus, helping them unlock the full benefits of your online training solutions.
Offer On-the-job Support: Online training solutions are a great means to provide instant on-the-job performance support. Your sales rep could require some crucial data on an immediate basis to close a deal; microlearning and mobile-ready actionable online solutions can come in handy at the time. Microlearning consists of small bites of very concise information, usually within a 3 to 5 minutes window, which provide your employees with the crucial information they need on the sales floor.
Incorporate Case Studies: While simulations and gamification may steal the limelight, case studies too have their role to play in any successful online training solution for the modern workforce. The case studies highlight key facts related to the subject matter and help drive the point home to your employees. Besides, they also show your sales people how their action and performance can translate into profits.
One aspect of sales training, and in fact, any training is that it should be ongoing. Even though your team knows all the essentials, it is important to provide them refreshers from time to time. And this is exactly what online training solutions provide – they allow the learners to learn at their own pace, and revisit concepts through aids such as simulations, online tutorials, videos, and step-by-step walkthroughs. Mobile microlearning resources also help to make online sales training convenient and effective. Your online training solutions for your sales force also have to be flexible, versatile and scalable.
We recently developed training videos for one of our clients who wanted to train their sales personnel. Hurix’s instructional designers collaborated with the client and created highly impactful training videos that depicted the ideal way to respond to different customer service situations. Originally planned only in English, the course went on to be translated into over 20 languages for a global audience.
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