5 Ways Top L&D Managers Can Benefit From A Corporate Sales Training LMS
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How To Benefit From A Corporate Sales Training LMS

The Learning and Development (L&D) manager is tasked with training all of a company’s employees, but training a sales team may seem particularly challenging.

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.

As a revenue generator, sales is a crucial department for any organization, but it can also be tricky. Sales teams are often staffed by a lot of new salespeople, for example. L&D managers may also come up against sales reps who worry that if they take time off selling they won’t make their quota or they might run into issues with a sales star who doesn’t think they need to be training—spoiler: all salespeople need sales training.

Fortunately, a corporate sales training LMS (Learning Management System) can solve many of these issues, keeping the sales department working and learning at the same time.

1. An LMS Provides Accountability In Sales Training

As prevalent as online sales training is, some organizations do still use in-person training. According to Training Magazine’s Training Industry Report [1], about 36% of training hours are delivered in person, and 43% of organizations use in-person instruction for all or some of their sales training programs. But there’s a problem with in-person sales training; it can be hard to enforce and harder to track.

Salespeople are notoriously stubborn. They have to be. Their jobs depend on the ability to sell to tough, sometimes unreceptive leads. That’s great when they’re making sales, but not so great when they decide not to take training. If a salesperson decides they don’t want to attend an in-person training session, even a mandatory one, you may not have proof that they didn’t go, and there’s also not much you can do about it.

It can also be hard to know how salespeople performed in an in-person training program. With one instructor and several sales reps, there can be very little accountability. There might be exercises, but they’re unlikely to be graded, and if your trainer is spread thin over several groups of employees, they might not remember who performed well and who needs help.

An LMS gives a training manager a window into the performance of a sales team. The data generated by the exercises in a training module allows you to see which reps are doing well, where reps are struggling, and who hasn’t been taking training at all.

2. Gamification Makes Your Reps Want To Take Training

If a salesperson won’t take sales training, how can you make them? The fact is, you probably can’t, but you can make the training enticing so that they will want to take it.

How? Gamification

Gamification is the introduction of game mechanics into non-game situations like work, shopping or training. The game elements most often used by LMSs are points, badges or leaderboards:

  • Points
    Your sales reps might earn points for completing different learning activities, like taking a module or even just logging in every day.
  • Badges
    Badges are used to show mastery. If a salesperson takes all the training associated with good customer service, they might get a customer service badge to be displayed in their LMS or in your sales CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software.
  • Leaderboards
    A leaderboard lists the top point-getters in your sales team, showing who has the most points. Publicly visible leaderboards may spark competition among team members.

There are several ways to gamify sales training. You can use points and public leaderboards—displayed on your LMS or CRM—to encourage your reps to compete with one another in an intra-team competition, encourage reps to compete against their own best scores by earning as many badges as they can or set up an inter-team learning competition with another department.

However you set it up, gamification will help overcome reps’ resistance to training.

3. An LMS Lets Your Reps Learn On The Job

If you’re interrupted, how long does it take you to get back to work?

We’re willing to bet that it takes a lot longer than you think. If someone interrupts you while you’re reading this article, for example, you might check your email, get a cup of coffee or use the restroom before coming back to read the rest. After all, you were already interrupted, right?

Studies show that after any interruption of any length it can take a worker an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to work [2]. This means that if your reps are pulled off the floor for an hour training, they’re giving up an hour and a half of productive sales time.

It’s not their fault, human brains aren’t designed to task-switch like that. People tend to lose time when they’re constantly switching from one task to another, and when your sales team loses time, it’s likely to cost you money. Interruptions are responsible for 28 billion wasted hours a year [3], a loss of almost $1 trillion to the U.S. economy.

A corporate sales training LMS can help you train your employees while they work, using microlearning, small intense bursts of learning delivered to employees exactly when they need it.

What Is Microlearning?

Have you ever caught an employee searching YouTube for a video that explains how to do something? That’s microlearning at its most basic. It’s a short, focused training that explains how to do something. It gets information to learners right when they need it, and because they’re learning right before they complete a task, it boosts their retention.

You, of course, don’t want your sales team searching through millions of online videos for the information they need to do their jobs. Instead, you should be serving that microlearning to them in your LMS, so they can quickly find relevant information.

By using an LMS that offers an integration with your CRM software, you can deliver small bursts of learning to your sales team right within the software they use every day. Thισ way, they won’t even be interrupted by logging into an LMS or learning a new platform.

4. Online Sales Training Means Your Onboarding Is Always Available

Sales is a high-turnover job. According to a report from CSO Insights [4], the annual attrition rate for salespeople is 16%. Your company likely has a steady influx of new salespeople that need training. Often thεse salespeople are fairly new to the industry as, thanks to low unemployment and high turnover, more companies are hiring salespeople with little or no sales background.

The Bridge Group’s Sales Development Metrics and Compensation Research Report found that the percentage of companies accepting two or fewer years of experience has doubled since 2010 [5]. The percentage of companies accepting experience of less than a single year has quadrupled.

L&D managers are tasked with bringing those new salespeople up to speed quickly, training them quickly and effectively so they can start hitting their targets as soon as possible. Rather than wait for a company-wide instructor-led onboarding, an LMS allows L&D trainers to direct new reps to an onboarding program that’s always available so that they can start taking training as soon as they finish filling out their hiring paperwork.

5. An LMS Lets You Customize Learning Paths

The best sales training programs recognize that not all learners need the same content. Some of the representatives in your sales teams might be struggling, others might be excellent at product information but lack people skills, and many may be new and in need of basic sales courses.

The data generated by a corporate sales training LMS allows you to see what content each group of salespeople needs. Then you can assign the necessary module to each group of reps.

This allows you to tailor the online learning experience for each rep, prescribing a learning path that suits each one, something you would not be able to do outside an LMS.

A Corporate Sales LMS Is An L&D Manager’s Secret Weapon

If your company is a car, your sales team is the engine; their work brings in the revenue that keeps your organization running. Because their work keeps the company humming, you don’t want to pull them off the job for training too often. You want them at work, selling as much as possible so they can hit their revenue targets.

However, they need training. Because sales is such a crucial department, it’s important to make sure salespeople do their job as well as possible. An LMS lets you get your reps skilled up, while keeping them on the sales floor, doing what they do best: closing. 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] 2018 Training Industry Report

[2] The Cost of Interrupted Work: More Speed and Stress

[3] Work interruptions can cost you 6 hours a day. An efficiency expert explains how to avoid them.

[4] 2018 Sales Talent Study

[5] The 2018 SDR Metrics Report is Here

eBook Release: SAP Litmos
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