Why An LMS Is Critical To Creating Impactful Online Sales Training
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Creating Impactful Online Sales Training With An LMS

Learning is a crucial part of success for any organization. The more your company can learn, the more you can accelerate performance to gain an edge over your competition. As Jack Welch famously said, "An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage."

eBook Release: Why You Need An LMS To Power Corporate Sales Training In The Experience Economy
eBook Release
Why You Need An LMS To Power Corporate Sales Training In The Experience Economy
Discover the importance of training your sales teams with the help of an LMS.

Also, since the benefits of learning compound exponentially, tools that give your organization an advantage in learning can lead to continual improvements that build over time.

For sales teams, these advantages are multiplied because of their direct impact on revenue. The more your sales teams know about products, services, company mission and messaging, competitive intel, and more, the better they can sell. Plain and simple, a more informed sales team is a higher-performing sales team. This has clear implications for your company’s financial success.

Sales Training Isn’t What It Used To Be

While all of the above is true, you’ll notice that it makes no mention of in-person learning versus online. Companies have offered training since the dawn of time. Perhaps it was scribbled on the cave walls with chalk, but still, organizations have always had to distribute information in order to function as a singular unit. This is true for companies of ten or ten thousand.

The big difference today isn’t that human learning has fundamentally changed. The difference is that technology has changed how and how frequently we learn. This is why companies are shifting to an online sales training model versus the old method of in-person sales training delivered quarterly or, in some cases, even less often. The fact is that the old method simply doesn’t work anymore as the primary form of delivering sales training. It may be effective as supplemental training, but it’s just not frequent enough to prepare salespeople to optimally perform, given the pace of change today.

Technology has increased the speed of how we do everything—especially in business. From instant communications across multiple platforms to products being manufactured, sold, and shipped globally 24/7 at a breakneck pace, we’re forced to process more information faster than ever before. Technology has increased not only the pace, but also the sheer volume of information we need to digest daily in order to survive in our jobs.

According to FastCompany [1], "In 2011, Americans took in 5 times as much information every day as they did in 1986—the equivalent of 174 newspapers."

It’s a daily challenge to keep up with the information influx and this is particularly true for salespeople because they’re tasked with being experts on the products they sell, which presumably are changing all the time.

Plus, they’re on the frontlines of interacting with history’s most informed customers. Technology has enabled those customers to learn perhaps more about the products than the salesperson knows. They’ve got a smartphone in their hands during sales interactions and they’re verifying everything the salesperson says.

This all makes it seem like it’s a tough time to be in sales, doesn’t it? Well, it is. But only if you don’t have access to continuous learning.

An LMS Alleviates The Challenges Of Delivering Continuous Learning

Smart companies today utilize an LMS to centralize and distribute the latest, critical information to salespeople to keep them ahead of customers and confident in their ability to provide guidance, service, and ultimately, to sell.

Even for companies with great sales content and engaged salespeople, why is the LMS a critical component to success, rather than the old model of hosting in-person sales training periodically?

Here are the top reasons:

1. It’s Continuous, Mobile Learning

As mentioned above, the pace of change in business means that salespeople need access to learning 24/7. Whether brushing up on product info prior to an important meeting with a prospect or refining key skills such as negotiation or solution selling, learning is now a continuous activity happening every week, not an isolated event that happens off-site for a few days and then stops until the next training. Those days are over. Plus, training is now inextricably tied to mobile devices because of how they support the continuous model. If the learning is ongoing, it also needs to be accessible from anywhere, on any device.

2. It’s Cost-Effective Learning

Even the most prestigious universities now offer online courses for their students because remote learning is far more cost-effective than conventional classroom learning. The same applies to the corporate world. When you can teach employees online, you avoid having to rent pricey conference rooms, pay for travel and related expenses, deal with the logistical nightmare of getting everyone to the right location, and compensate for "lost time" in making people leave their day jobs to do training. Instead, employees can simply switch over to courses in their browser without leaving their desk or from their mobile device on-the-go. Since LMS software is notably less expensive than the total costs associated with in-person learning, your organization can save a significant amount of money by making use of a cloud-based software solution.

3. It’s More Convenient Training

In addition to saving your organization's money, LMS software is also personally convenient for members of your workforce. Even if education takes place in the same facility where employees work, relocating to a conference room is generally seen as a burden. Worse, when employees have to travel to receive training, they can become dissatisfied as their personal lives are disrupted. Today, most workers don’t want to travel to participate in something they can do online and frankly, companies shouldn’t waste money on that. Most importantly, online learning is easily distributed to workers anywhere in the world in multiple languages—a feature that should be built into your LMS—so that language choice is as simple as a few clicks and barriers of time and/or location are completely dissolved. To further increase convenience, the LMS should be integrated with the CRM system so that salespeople don’t even need to log into a separate learning platform and rather, can engage in training within the familiar environment of the CRM.

4. It Drives Better Employee Performance

The ultimate purpose of employee learning is to enhance performance. LMS technology helps distribute the right information to the right people to boost output in the right places. By increasing the availability of information within your organization and matching it to the right individuals, LMS systems can greatly increase employee performance. Learning paths can be built to develop specific skills and reinforce important processes. This can only be done with an online learning platform. To do it with live training would be time and cost-prohibitive.

As important subcategories of performance, here are some of the main areas where an LMS can help salespeople do their jobs better:

  • Faster onboarding
    Given that sales is a notoriously high turnover role, consistent, effective onboarding is critical to meeting sales targets. Even if you lose high performers, the LMS enables you to quickly bring new hires onboard and have them closing deals much more quickly than if they had to wait to complete an in-person training that may not align with their start date. The LMS completely eliminates challenges of timing hires around scheduled onboarding training.
  • Better quality
    By facilitating learning throughout your organization, the quality of your services will naturally improve. You can use an LMS to share feedback provided by customers to drive better Customer Experience and take advantage of features such as video assessments to improve how salespeople deliver pitches, demos, etc.
  • Fewer errors
    LMS systems can reduce mistakes significantly by helping employees perfect the details of instituted processes. With regular training on topics such as forecasting, contracting, and order processing, you’ll see fewer errors occur. As a result, you’ll reduce risk, ensure compliance, and deliver better Customer Experience.
  • Better task execution
    Instead of relying on outdated, printed manuals and other traditional media, you can use the LMS to share the very latest documents, videos, and other information created by your organization or its vendors. Management can also watch over what employees are learning to ensure that everyone is up-to-speed on current product info and processes, and focused on the tasks that matter most.
  • Rapid adaptation
    When your organization leverages the LMS to deliver continuous learning, salespeople will be able to adapt faster when products, processes or market conditions change. It makes it much easier to get everyone moving in the same direction when changes occur since the information is centralized and can be instantly pushed to learners for rapid completion.

Download the eBook Why You Need An LMS To Power Corporate Sales Training In The Experience Economy and keep your sales team up to speed on product and process changes as they happen. Also, join the webinar to find out more about how to have them selling at their best.

References:

[1] Why It’s So Hard To Pay Attention, Explained By Science

eBook Release: SAP Litmos
SAP Litmos
The SAP Litmos learning platform enables thousands of global companies to deliver training in the now. More at www.litmos.com.
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