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Good salesmanship is less guesswork and more science. The right methods, knowledge, and skills yield better results consistently as opposed to guesswork. This would explain why sales personnel spend 17% of their time prospecting and researching leads. The more equipped you are to deal with a customer, the higher the likelihood of closing a deal. With this in mind, let us go over some of the most important challenges of a sales training strategy:
Learning experience platforms are specially equipped to complement a sales enablement strategy. Let us delve into how these specific sales training challenges can be solved through the use of an LXP.
Sales training encompasses much more than soft skills training. One study by HubSpot indicates that 60% of potential customers are in the consideration stage when they want to connect with sales. This means customers that sales engage with have already researched their options and possess product knowledge.
Customers expect sales personnel to possess exceptional product knowledge and help in the decision-making process. Product knowledge training is critical to the success of your sales staff in achieving their quotas. Assigning appropriate and relevant training as per skill/knowledge/competency is the most effective way to train sales personnel. Within an LXP, this can be accomplished by leveraging learning paths and the recommendation engine that offers modules based on individual activity.
Training delivery, through a custom learning path, ensures that knowledge gaps are filled. Because the learning path is personalized to the individual learner, there is a lesser likelihood of irrelevance in the training modules. This directly contributes to improving engagement with the training.
Learning paths let training managers deliver a variety of distinct learning objectives that go beyond product knowledge training. Sales personnel have a larger role in the organization than just closing sales. For example, here are three ways sales can add value to the organization:
Learning paths enable training managers to establish clear and distinct learning objectives, an effective method to address or enhance focused capabilities.
Customers today have access to knowledge at their disposal and want to avoid pushy sales personnel that cannot add value to the conversation. Prospects expect salespeople that are invested in providing solutions by understanding their specific needs and provide relevant information.
One survey found that 61% of buyers consider providing the right product information essential to a positive sales experience. On average, it takes 18 calls to connect with a buyer.
LXPs offer learners choice and control over training that enables them to perform at their best capability. Without compromising on productivity, salespeople need product knowledge that is customer-centric at their fingertips (often literally, but more on this later). The information has to be easy to discover and pertinent to their prospect. Learning experience platforms provide exceptional content discovery for the user.
Microlearning modules are a potent solution for rapid sales onboarding. Your product or service may cater to customers across industries, it requires sales staff to switch gears between interactions with customers. This is where the improved content discovery of an LXP and the practicality of microlearning modules synergize to provide an exceptional experience for learners. Sales staff can take advantage of short, focused modules that offer specific objectives customized to expedite onboarding before key interactions with customers. Giving them the pertinent information to excel at the next pitch, however different it may be from the previous customer interaction.
According to one article by the Harvard Business Review, studies indicate 80% of information learned is forgotten within 90 days of curriculum-based training. Learning experience platforms are equipped with active learning-by-doing and scenario-based training strategies that have been proven to increase knowledge retention. For example, virtual training labs can increase knowledge and retention of the sales staff through engaging demonstrations of the key capabilities of your product. Better knowledge retention leads to overall lesser time spent in training and can increase sales success.
Offering a hands-on experience of your product provides unparalleled product knowledge that can be leveraged during a sales pitch with prospects. Virtual labs can also double as a viable method to test the product knowledge of your sales staff. Let us explore the importance of testing product knowledge and how LXPs can aid this endeavor in the next section.
The training management dashboard of an LXP is an invaluable tool. A unified training management dashboard offers a bird’s eye view of training programs as well as in-depth analysis to provide focused training interventions. Hosting and integrating assessments with LXPs paints a clear picture of core competencies and skills gaps. If learners are struggling with specific training modules, the dashboard can help determine that through a few parameters such as:
The information available to training managers can help them make better decisions about the effectiveness of their training modules or the pain points of sales personnel. The ability to provide feedback and targeted training interventions is critical to the success of a sales training strategy.
One of the defining characteristics, apart from tenacity and empathy, that defines a good salesperson, is competitiveness. Selling is a competitive field. The ability to gamify training using an LXP harnessed this innate competitiveness to the advantage of your training strategy. For example, the use of a leaderboard to advertise the success of your sales staff in achieving training objectives can instill a healthy sense of competition.
Similarly, gamified training can be synergized with personalized learning experiences with the help of “levels”. Deploying “levels” of learning ensures that the sales onboarding process is not overwhelming for inexperienced salespeople. Badges can also be awarded and displayed on learner profiles as an award to encourage better performance. Here are a few examples of badges that can effectively propel learners towards better sales performance:
Providing access to product information is an essential part of a successful sales enablement strategy. Without the right (or relevant) information at the right time, sales personnel and account managers cannot perform to their best potential. Despite this, access to time-sensitive critical information that may help close a sale remains a challenge in many enterprises.
Salespeople of today’s digital age depend on mobile devices such as phones, laptops, tablets, and other devices. Remote learning has been further boosted during the ongoing covid-19 pandemic.
Fractal LXP addresses this challenge by providing unparalleled access to users across devices. Origin Fractal is a cloud-based Learning Experience Platform, built to leverage modern immersive and interactive technology, data analytics, and a learner-centric approach to offer exceptional learning experiences to users. To find out more about how Fractal LXP can improve the success of your sales teams, sign up for a free trial here. Alternatively, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set up a demonstration of Fractal LXP that is tailored to your organization’s goals.