In this article, we’re going to look at how you can use online sales training to boost sales skills in you team. One of the most effective routes to a better business is to make sure you have the best employees. This is as true for sales as it is for any other field.
If you want to get the most out of your salespeople, you need to make sure they have the training they need. Sales techniques and negotiation skills, for instance, are vital to successful sales and they can give a real boost to your ROI.
However, it can be a major challenge to provide appropriate, cost effective, individually tailored learning and development especially with an international sales team.
Any training is disruptive in some way, and it can be a challenge to train your salespeople with minimal impact on their daily activity and within spending constraints. Your first step may be to identify who needs what training and at what level, but there’s so much more to planning your training plan than this.
Managing the process using traditional sales training solutions involves booking rooms, trainers and hotels, juggling diaries and taking the sales force off the road (or the phone) for a day or week. Add to all this effort the statistic that 87% of knowledge imparted in traditional training is lost in the following 30 days and the headaches go on and on!
How can Online Sales Training help?
Online sales training does more than provide the training your sales team needs. Our online sales training solution, the Sales Academy, ensures each individual is engaged in the learning process. To boost engagement, the Sales Academy uses a blended learning solution including:
Engagement is secured with gamification and social elements throughout the platform. With this functionality your salespeople can:
- gain badges and awards
- feature on leaderboards
- share their knowledge in discussion groups
- earn Expert status
- exchange virtual rewards for real-world perks
As they compete with their peers, they consume challenging module assignments (graded by independent assessors) and earn internationally recognised qualifications. New content can be uploaded quickly letting you push new product knowledge or legislation. A comprehensive suite of reporting tools lets managers see who is using the Academy and utilising the knowledge and skills gained.
Secure intellectual capital
While the gamification features help secure engagement and drive completion, the social features are pivotal in capturing informal learning within your organisation. In any business, only 10% of work-based learning comes from a formal learning structure (training manuals, eLearning units, etc.) The rest, informal learning, is gained by hands-on experience and interaction with colleagues. Companies without a means to capture this intellectual capital risk losing it forever.
A key feature in our Sales Academies is the Insight Group. Here, your employees can join topic-specific discussion areas, share their knowledge and ask questions. As they engage with the group, they earn contributor points – those with the most points rise higher in each group. This gives you a simple and effective way of identifying the experts in your team.
Once you know who your experts are, you can assign expert status. This lets other employees see who the go-to person is for any particular topic. The platform is backed up with chat and FAQ functionality which means that all questions answered by the experts are logged in one area, providing an organic training resource that’s tailored specifically to your business.
Online sales training is cheaper
Training your sales team online has plenty of advantages compared with face-to-face training or other traditional methods. Aside from boosting employee engagement and improving sales skills throughout the organisation, online sales training has a much better potential for a return on investment.
Online sales training is much faster. On average, learners on our Sales Academies have saved 80 hours each.
Assuming their salary runs at £20 per hour, the total savings for 300 learners would amount to £480,000. If we add an estimated £270,000 in travel costs, that’s a saving of £750,000. In this scenario, we’re not even counting the peripheral costs (venue hire, lunch, training fees) that are associated with classroom training.
Aside from saving time for the individual employees, a Sales Academy significantly reduces the diagnostic, design and deployment phase of any sales effectiveness project. Our clients are reporting shortened project timescales of up to 75% compared to traditional methods of identifying development needs and addressing them. In addition, they are cutting induction training programme times, and increasing retention rates.
Want to discover more ways that a sales academy can drive a return on your investment? Our 70:20:10 tip sheet is packed full of practical tips to help you squeeze out every ounce of knowledge your learners have. Download it today and begin driving your intellectual capital