Why invest in sales force training and training for the franchisee network? How do you create and implement effective e-learning based training?
The purposes served by sales force training
Sales force training (both internal and external) provides a way of quickly improving your company’s sales performance and sustaining that improvement over the long term.
You need to be confident that those involved in this aspect of the extended enterprise’s business know your products and services well. But it doesn’t end there! E-learning training must enable trainees to:
- master the art of communicating the advantages of the product/service, fully understand the competitors’ products and the latest laws and regulations, and know how to deal with and respond to any doubts expressed by customers
- perfect their sales techniques, fully develop their market knowledge, and develop a deep understanding of the customer
- improve their prospecting and closing techniques
Additionally, you need to know how to be completely sure that sales staff are recommending your products to customers first, ahead of those of your competitors. You also need to be able to successfully use e-learning to generate strong enthusiasm amongst the sales force for your products and services! You have to do better than just providing sporadic seminars and impersonal emails about the latest product updates!
10 tips to help you train your sales force more effectively
Here are the golden rules to follow in order to use e-learning to make your sales force more responsive, autonomous and committed.
- Invest in ongoing training: the sales force must be kept up-to-date with the latest products, changes in procedures, seasonal promotions, etc.
- Only provide that which is actually useful: create a sales force training programme based on the essential knowledge sales staff need to know to carry out their work. Everything else can be made available via support tools designed to aid performance.
- Make updates simple and easy: use formats that are quick and easy to produce and modify (and low cost), i.e. text, Powerpoint presentations and podcasts.
- Think of smartphones and tablets as tools that can be used for learning in between dealing with customers or during quiet periods. Sales staff and those involved in the distribution chain do not spend the whole day sitting in front of their computers!
- Make use of microlearning to increase motivation: with sales staff often having little time available, it is better to make training modules short wherever possible. An example of good practice in this respect would be to make modules no more than 10 minutes long and videos no more than one minute, etc.
- Don’t be content to simply say it. Demonstrate the kinds of interactions that should take place between the salesperson and the customer from the moment the latter comes through the door right up till the conclusion of the sale.
- Teaching about failed approaches leads to improvements. Introduce cases of both successful and unsuccessful sales as examples. Explain what to do when products are out of stock, and how to deal with sceptical customers.
- Allow user-generated content. Sales staff inspire confidence in other sales staff! Give them permission to film and share their own presentations.
- Involve trainees in fun role-playing scenarios and keep assessment and evaluation to a minimum each quarter. Serious games enable you to gauge your sales force’s approach to the tasks of progressing through the sales funnel and building the customer relationship.
- Collect feedback via anonymous questionnaires or forums. Compare training feedback results with sales performance. Implement corrective strategies. Get managers involved and give them access to analytics via reporting tools.
Dokeos works alongside you and supports you in developing and implementing sales force training. We provide you with advice about the best pedagogical and organisational approaches to adopt. Get in touch with us today!