The business world has changed exponentially in the last 12 months. Remote, dispersed teams are the ‘new normal’ as employees continue to work from home. And because of this, L&D professionals are scratching their heads wondering how they can effectively train remote workers.
This challenge is amplified when it comes to sales professionals. Salespeople thrive in competitive, collaborative environments, which are difficult to emulate digitally. No matter the level of interaction in your elearning course, or how many Q&A session are in your video conference — your people are not going to feel the same level of engagement and connection as they would in a face-to-face setting. So how can we create this collaborative, engaging environment, virtually? With real-time learning experiences, of course.
Real-time learning experiences are immersive and allow interaction once only seen in a classroom. Providing learners with a safe space absorb and practice business-critical skills, supercharging your sales teams’ success. There are many reasons why these virtual experiences are the single best way to train your salespeople right now, but here’s just a few:
1. Easy, borderless, soft skills training
Two of the top five skills all salespeople need to succeed are empathy and relationship building. Both of which are soft skills, which are notoriously difficult to train — not least digitally. Effective soft skills training requires a blended approach. Taking traditional training and interweaving it with a 1 to 1 approach, such as mentoring. But in remote global organizations, this is much harder to implement.
Real-time learning experiences emulate the benefits of tradition, face-to-face training. But in the comfort and safety of a virtual environment. Not only does this allow you to apply the blended approach needed to train soft skills. It also means each member of your sales team receives the same, engaging, collaborative training — regardless of their location.
2. Improves learning outcomes
Almost every digital sales training will report to include gamification, or some other form of competitive angle to the program. And for good reason, salespeople thrive in competitive environments. But, in most digital learning, this competition isn’t enough. In many instances, your learners are competing against a computer or a bot, or simply collecting badges and claiming a space on a virtual leader board. Although these engagement tactics work, there are better ways to increase competition virtually.
Real-time learning experiences allow learners to interact with one another as they would in a face-to-face setting. Competing against each other in real-time and pushing one another to go the extra mile to succeed. This level of competition in learning not only leads to a more engaged learners, but positively impacts learning success.
As well as going head-to-head with their peers, these virtual experiences also enable collaboration. Which is also proven to boost learning effectiveness. By working with one another, your learners leverage a ‘collective working memory’. By distributing the information amongst themselves your learners reduce the cognitive load usually experienced in training. A benefit is entirely unique to real-time learning, when comparing it with all other forms of online training.
3. Reduces costs
When you enable your sales team with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed, it has a huge impact on your entire organization. In fact, it can boost win rates by over 10%. And for this reason, many do not think twice about the cost of sales team training, knowing they’ll get a significant return on their investment.
Until recently, residential sales training days were common. Organizations would fly their people from all over the world to spend a couple of days together in one room. And although the Covid-19 pandemic has momentarily stopped these residential training days, are they the most cost-effective way to train your team?
Although face-to-face training days have similar benefits to real-time learning experiences, residential retreats come at a huge cost.
But modern technology cuts this spend, whilst still harnessing the goodness of face-to-face training (and much more).
4. Make better training decisions
Do you know the skills your team has? Or do you just assume the skills you think they have? The real benefit for organizations when it comes to real-time learning experiences is that they provide heaps of data about your team.
The most efficient sales leaders use data to understand what works and what doesn’t in their team, and develop training based on this data to improve performance. By using data from real-time learning experiences, sales leaders can identify skills gaps in their team, and devise training to plug these gaps. Meaning your team is more effective, faster than ever before.
Now more than ever, we cannot overlook the importance of effective sales training. Regardless of where your team are working from. Whether it’s from home or from offices around the world, you must prioritize the continuous development of your team.