How To Improve Your Sales Staff Performance With eLearning
According to the Education Resources Information Center, “For companies to stay competitive, they must continually bring new products and services to the marketplace. One strategy organizations can use to support this requirement is to provide their sales force with training that enables revenue generation”. As you’ll discover, eLearning is the perfect solution for delivering training to improve your sales staff performance.
eLearning: The Basics
The most basic definition of eLearning is “electronic learning”. However, it’s about more than just attending a school or college online, taking a few courses, and getting a certificate. Today, with all of their new technological advances companies can use eLearning to help their staff learn how to improve their sales skills.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, “Online learning opportunities and the use of open educational resources and other technologies can increase educational productivity by accelerating the rate of learning; reducing costs associated with instructional materials or programs”.
Some of the benefits of eLearning vs. traditional learning include:
- Tailored to specific needs.
With eLearning, a company can actually tailor the curriculum to its needs. For example, if the company wants to focus on marketing for one group of employees and sales etiquette for another, it can be done.
Unlike traditional schools where students may need to wait a semester or longer for a particular class to become available, there are now software programs available to create particular classes and curriculum.
- Ability to track progress.
Instead of waiting for the “report card” to come out, you will be able to track the progress of the employees enrolled in the eLearning courses. Managers can also monitor the success, strengths, and weaknesses of each student to better address their needs.
- Smaller bits of information.
Instead of trying to cram a week’s worth of instructions and lessons into a three-hour training video, companies can break down the information into bite-sized classes or programs that will likely be better absorbed than longer classes.
3 Ways eLearning Creates Better Sales Staff Performance
1. Product Training In An Instant.
To be able to sell a product, the salesperson must know about it; how it works, its benefits, prices, availability and so forth. Because products can change, it’s important for employees to have the ability to keep up to date on the information. In sales, a lot of the personnel are out of the office working with their customers and they don’t always have time to research the products to see if anything has changed. A short product update online seminar could be very beneficial in this instance. Alerts could be sent to cell phones and emails could be sent with the information.
Once a week sales meetings tend to be dull for many employees. Many times the information is not retained or is forgotten shortly after the meeting. Plus, not all employees will always be able to attend the meetings and will therefore miss out on any updates or important information. With eLearning, employees can get the current information and updates sent directly to their digital devices. This allows them the ability to download and study the information at a time that may be more convenient. This is especially helpful for sales personnel who are oftentimes out of the office and working with clients or prospects.
3. Healthy Competition.
The sales world is already competitive, and sales employees are generally competitive as well. However, a friendly competition via eLearning can help to motivate internal staff while also providing the important information and training they need. Gamification is the process of eLearning through games and introducing fun and competitive games that are educationally related to your company is a great way to encourage competition.
5 Types Of Microlearning That Help Improve Your Sales Staff Performance
A report by the Sales Performance International warns that sales training can be too much of a good thing. Approximately 50 percent of learning content from multi-day sales training is forgotten within five weeks! The truth is that people tend to learn better when the learning materials they receive are in smaller doses or chunks.
According to the eLearning Industry, “In essence, micro-eLearning offers students and employees the opportunity to more easily absorb and retain the information that is being offered, by making lessons and course activities more manageable and ‘digestible’”.
Here are a few types of microlearning that can help improve your sales staff performance.
1. Online games.
These would be games designed by the company that are in some way educational for the employee. They can be lesson-driven so that each level in the game passed is another level in lesson achievement.
The human brain tends to retain visuals more than the written word which is why slideshows are so successful. These provide valuable information in a short amount of time.
Again, instead of reading materials and perhaps zoning away from the information, people tend to find videos more entertaining. Instructional and informational short videos can be developed with an engaging tone that will capture the attention and help ensure the information is retained.
4. Interactive Simulations.
Hands-on learning is essential for some people. It also reinforces the information and lessons they are learning. For example: A sales team could be shown how to work a transaction from beginning to end, then the simulation would have the employees do the same transaction on their own.
5. Podcasts And Blog Posts.
These are other types of microlearning tools where the employees can watch and read at their own convenience.
The importance of eLearning is growing among businesses and corporations as they discover not only the benefits of the flexibility of eLearning, but also the invaluable ways employees can learn and grow their skills. Staying up to date with the products and/or services of the company, the newest technology and newest trends will help your sales staff performance in a big way.