Effective elearning for sales staff

Posted on Sep 01, 2015

Elearning

Sales people face many challenges, thankfully some of the biggest can be overcome with elearning.

Find out which elearning strategies and techniques will help the most with your sales training.

We've looked at some recent reports and listened to feedback from companies we've worked with to give you this breakdown of the most effective ways you can use elearning for sales staff.

Induction or onboarding

Sales people traditionally take a long time to get up to speed, between 6 and 7 months on average, but 16% of organisations say onboarding takes too long.

How can you make your induction more efficient? Using elearning allows you to deliver a consistent message to everyone joining the company. You can deploy it quickly and easily regardless of how spread out your staff are geographically.

Often your sales staff will not have access to a computer in the workplace, in this case it’s possible to create a course which can be accessed on any device with an internet connection. Some of our recent induction training has been taken on devices from Xbox consoles to Kindle tablets.

  • Pre-induction

Pre-induction, or pre-boarding is becoming more popular and could help in the sales sector particularly, as employees can familiarise themselves with the underlying basics of the sector.

You can start building the company ethos and giving your employees a grounding in the values of the company and how you work before they even start.

By giving future employees access to induction training materials you allow some of the basic elements of the training to sink in and avoid overwhelming them once they arrive.

A good employee will already have looked into their new role and how they will fit in, so giving them the opportunity to use your training in their preparation is a natural progression.

  • Use elearning in a blended solution

Some induction will be better handled in person, so a blended strategy can be the best way to make sure your new employees get off to a strong start and can continue to learn as they progress.

It’s important to target the right areas with induction, much of your sales training will be more effective when it’s done in context. If a new starter is equipped with the basic knowledge from pre-boarding it speeds up the essential face to face part of the training.

Customised elearning

Qvidian 2015 Sales Trends Report
“Organizations surveyed report selling content not personalized to buyers (27%), and sales unable to effectively communicate value (41%) are top reasons for not achieving quota. Both display a healthy increase from 2014 at 10% and 11% increases respectively” -

Personalising your content for the buyer is important, and so is having bespoke content for your staff, it’s much harder to target their selling efforts if they’re using generic training themselves.

Give them a customised training package to work from and they can better tailor that to the prospective buyer.

  • Localisation

Creating content from scratch allows you to include elements that are specific to a localised area. 71% of North American businesses operating internationally expect better sales with localised content, so the ability to efficiently translate words and images in elearning is a big benefit.

  • Up-to-date

Keep the information current and make sure your staff have the best chance of making an impression on buyers. Elearning is more easily updated than printed or face-to-face training materials.

Once the basis of a course is in place it can be built upon with a consistent look and feel to extend training, perfect for new product launches.

  • Social learning

Incorporating collaborative tools to allow your staff to communicate with each other can accelerate the creation of up to date elearning resources. With the right moderation and support you can use your team to help build up a bank of knowledge which is already being used in context.

Case study: Lexus

Lexus elearning screenshot

Speed was critical in getting this training ready for the launch of the new Lexus IS. The module was delivered in 6 weeks to give staff the best chance of familiarising themselves with the vehicle before it arrived on the forecourt.

It was also important to ensure the content could be translated easily for sales people around Europe. Localisation is one of elearning’s key benefits and can be critical in delivering a consistent message to all sales staff.

Just-in-time learning

Qvidian 2015 Sales Trends Report
“Of organizations surveyed, 55% have difficulty finding tailored selling content at the time they need them.” -

Information is more readily available than ever before, and consumers use this to their advantage. Your sales staff need to be able to compete with instant access to the latest trends and news in their field.

Just-in-time elearning features only the information that’s needed and makes it easy to access and absorb. Short, highly targeted bursts are becoming one of the standard ways we consume information, and elearning can take advantage of this trend.

  • Speed

Elearning allows you to deliver training content quickly and widely at a lower cost than traditional methods. Getting the course to all your staff quickly is a key benefit of using elearning.

Create a campaign around a new product within an elearning module and it can be being absorbed by your staff as quickly as you can send an e-mail.

  • Access

Modern elearning can be built for deployment on any LMS to any device. A responsive course, built once to be compatible with many devices, gives your learners the opportunity to access the training anywhere, any time.

Many sales staff, especially in retail, are part of a new generation who are comfortable using their mobile devices to access the internet. If you can provide training on the platform that your staff are already using you’re one step closer to them completing the course.

Sponge create bespoke elearning that’s tailored to your organisation’s needs. If you’d like to talk to us about your next sales training course get in touch below.

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