The Benefits Of Microlearning For Sales Training
stefanolunardi/Shutterstock.com

The Benefits Of Microlearning: How To Make Sales Training Effective

The sales function is always under an organization's microscope as they lead the chase to achieve business goals and targets. Sales personnel are expected to be multi-faceted with expert knowledge of product and services, as well as sales processes and methodologies. They should be able to map customer journey, demonstrate skills like social selling, articulate their value proposition, and demonstrate negotiation skills. This calls for mastering some complex business and behavioral skills – making effective training key to success.

However, sales training is a challenging task for L&D because it is difficult to convince Salespeople to make time for long training programs. In fact, the L&D department is often questioned on the ROI of sales training. Interestingly, the CSO Insights Sales Studies of the last couple of years do highlight a strong connection between the win ratios and effective sales programs:

  • Well designed and effective sales process/methodology training increase the chances of achieving targets by about 17.7%
  • Effective onboarding programs can push the quota achievement percentage up to 70% - much beyond the average of 57.7%
  • Establishing a formal on-the-job training framework with formal sales coaching improves win rates by 28%

Therefore, it does make sense to design the sales programs using an approach that enables to meet the business goals.

Why Microlearning Works For Sales Training

Sales executives are rarely tied to their desks. You would mostly find them in the field, meeting clients—personally, virtually, or on calls—traveling extensively, and in a rush to meet proposal deadlines. These are people who thrive on multitasking, need to grasp details quickly and respond even faster.

If you were to map their learner profile, they want their learning to be to-the-point, presented in small, quickly digestible, and scannable chunks; available when they need it, preferably on-the-go!

Microlearning is a tailor-made approach for such learners, as it can meet most of their learning needs:

  • It works for an audience with a short attention span.
  • It is focused on a few, specific learning takeaways.
  • It can be completed in less than 10 mins or so.
  • It is accessible on multi-devices.
  • It can cater to different learning needs.

Comparing Microlearning With Traditional Design Approaches

The option of using different training strategies for different points of learning is a big advantage of the microlearning approach. For example, if you were designing a two-hour course on Products and Services, you would follow consistent and cohesive Instructional Design strategies throughout the course. The entire course would have a similar structure, treatment, and look and feel, even though the content types might vary.

However, if you were to use a microlearning approach, you can split the course into 4-5 independent microlearning nuggets, each focused on a different learning objective. You are free to use a different approach and strategy for each learning nugget, best suited to the type of content and complexity of learning.

Using The Microlearning Approach For Sales Training

Let’s take the example of the 1-2 hours of Products and Services eLearning. If you were to design it using the microlearning approach, you might:

  • Use a video to introduce the organization vision and goals,  
  • then create an eLearning capsule to explain the various products and services,
  • followed by a business simulation on how to articulate the value proposition for them,
  • and finally closing with a gamified post-assessment.

Additionally, you could create an interactive PDF or infographic that gives quick facts and figures on the products and services that acts not only as reinforcement, but also long-term performance support. Suddenly, a traditional, but monotonous, long eLearning web-based training is transformed into a series of engaging and rich training nuggets that motivate, engage, and challenge learners.

The different training modes enable you to address each point for learning needs:

  • Introductory Video
    Helps capture learner attention and uses a message from leadership to explain the big picture and how the individual efforts map to it. The objective is to capture attention and motivate the learner to go through the other modules.
  • eLearning Capsule
    Explains the information using simple but effective content presentation strategies. The focus here is to aid comprehension of the core content.
  • Business Simulation
    The simulation engages the learner in a real-life scenario and encourages them to apply decision making and persuasion skills to establish the value proposition. The focus of this module is to build skills on the topic.
  • Gamified Post-Assessment
    The gamified approach makes learning assessment challenging as well as fun for the learners. It appeals to the sales mindset of achieving targets and winning deals. It also helps achieve the overall objective of building the confidence of the learners.
  • Interactive PDFs & Infographics
    Structured reference documents as well as visual snapshots of the process, services, and methodologies, as infographics act as effective job aids to boosts performance in the field.
  • Performance Support Apps
    Learning reinforcement and performance support mobile apps may be used to provide a platform to collaborate with peers, interact with coaching experts, and review learning nuggets for reinforcement. These platforms may be used to push different kinds of microlearning opportunities to the users.

Conclusion

Thus, by using a blend of microlearning modules, like videos, business simulations, interactive PDFs, gamified assessments, and infographics you can cater to every point of learning, providing a just-in-time, just-what-they need solution.

Going a step further, design these using a responsive framework or a mobile app to make learning components accessible from multiple devices. This not only helps in building learner engagement, but also moves appropriate learning to the point of use.

So, next time you are designing sales training programs, think microlearning and create engaging learning experiences for your learners that help you achieve the training goals.

Close