This was originally posted on eLearning Industry August 28, 2019
Your company has a dedicated salesforce regularly meeting with clients. They’re likely traveling to give presentations for new leads or deepen relationships with their current accounts. But you’ve discovered a gap in a critical skill or knowledge base, and now you need to deliver a new training program. What do you do? Gather them all back to headquarters for an Instructor-Led Training (ILT) session? Is that the best use of the team’s time? Beyond that, what’s the effect of pulling your salesforce from their engagements?
In this case, ILT probably isn’t the answer. Finding the right balance in training that meets corporate, sales, and client needs is difficult. However, the best sales enablement training aligns information, tools, collateral, and people to produce effective and efficient sales operations.
In a world connected through mobile devices, training traveling sales teams can be much more manageable. The tech is already available, so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Mobile learning is the perfect fit for sales enablement training.
Know Your Learners
Sales enablement training has the benefit of serving a specific subset of employees: your sales team. It becomes much easier to design your training strategy when the audience is this homogenous. The first step is understanding the current state of sales training and employee performance. What are your sales objectives, challenges, and successes?
You also have to consider how your audience will use this new training content. If you’re using a mobile training platform, then you may have to give up total control of their content consumption. Instead, you can enable your learners to pull content that’s most relevant to their individual challenges. Designing an effective User Interface that makes content easily accessible also helps. Beyond that, there’s a degree to which you will just have to trust your learners to take initiative.
Knowing your learners means understanding their areas for improvement, which vary across industries and sales styles. By addressing the challenges specific to their sales methods and processes, your training will become an essential part of performance improvement.
Sales Enablement Case Study: Wellpoint
WellPoint needed to train its sales team to speak confidently about a large range of technical tools, medical services, and healthcare offerings. However, their team’s background was a variety of non-scientific fields. In an ever-changing medical device industry, their team needed to stay informed on frequent product and service updates.
The solution AllenComm’s design team proposed consisted of an on-demand and web-based training with Performance Support assets like the “Sales Took Kit.” The tool kit allowed individual salespeople to select the information most relevant to them and made the related assets accessible online or offline. Moreover, the assets could be updated on the back-end to reflect any changes. The training wasn’t a burden or a checklist to complete. Instead, it became a tool that the sales team embraced. The sales team felt empowered to better meet clients’ needs by having consistent messaging from an interactive and responsive tool—all from their own mobile device.
Technology For Training
As you better understand your learners, you’ll be more equipped to offer productive training that meets their needs. For instance, if your sales team travels often, it means their tech resources might be more limited than if they were in the office. Embrace the tools they most likely have: mobile phones and tablets. Travel also means there’s an opportunity for downtime in the air or on public transit. This is the perfect time to encourage learners to pull out a cell phone and prepare for an upcoming sales pitch or spend a few minutes on training resources.
Mobile devices are how most employees in the workforce are already learning. It’s how we access content like videos, books, and podcasts. Because of that, take the opportunity to combine training with those same tools. How can videos, gamification, or microlearning—all training types geared toward on-demand, mobile-based learning—improve your sales enablement training? Incorporating these training innovations will incentivize learning by respecting your busy sales team’s time and engaging them through content tailor-made for their mobile devices.
Trust Learners And Keep Improving
Mobile training empowers employees to be in charge of their learning. This can seem daunting, but it may be better for your employee’s performance. If you get to know your learners, address their needs, and assess their technology, then you should have an idea of an effective direction for your training strategy. For sales enablement, mobile training may be your answer. At the very least, by stepping out of your formal training comfort zone, your company will be able to adapt when new technology comes along.