When it comes to the ongoing training or targeted upskilling of a distributed sales force, online is the clear way to go. Your training budget will go further if you haven’t got to pay for venues and delegates’ travel.
Although this inevitably means there’s less face-to-face interaction for the team, a creative and collaborative approach can mean everyone is smarter with their time and gains lots of value from their training.
Also, let’s not forget that we want to help sales teams to digitally connect with their customers, so the use of online platforms is pertinent.
There are three main ways to offer online training. Here’s our take on them plus advice on how to achieve the best outcomes for your learners.
Typically, this conjures up a dread of dull online courses. But, done well, eLearning can be fun and informative. For example, scenario-based learning puts the trainee in relevant situations and asks them to make decisions accordingly.
Use quizzes to test knowledge, plus activities to help trainees put their learning into practice. It’s best to keep modules bite-sized so that you create a continual learning habit.
People will find it easier to work their way through training that is interesting, interactive and accessible.
The real tip for success is to align eLearning with individual behaviours. Sending out a blanket eLearning module to the whole team will disengage some members because it won’t cover what they need and that’s where it gets a bad reputation.
By making it relevant and thinking strategically about how you train individuals and teams will really pay off in this instance.
These are often focused on the delivery of content and messages, so most people think they are one-way.
However, it is possible to make them fun and interactive. Try using the chat function to engage your audience directly and make them feel part of the experience. You can showcase live examples and even run through their live suggestions to help demonstrate your thinking patterns in certain scenarios.
There’s nothing like watching something first-hand to help your team understand and consolidate their learning.
At Tribal, we have successfully run live workshops via webinar: doing live profiling exercises, live searches, and live account-based marketing. It’s engaging and an excellent way to get your point across.
3. 1-2-1 coaching
As this requires a higher investment, both in time and costs, it’s a solution that should be reserved for your most advanced sales reps; those who are showing great promise and influence in the market.
Online coaching can be highly effective. Whether you are upskilling in using video, blogging or conference speaking, you are working closely with individuals to build their next steps.
They may go on to carve a niche and create a following for their own style of content. They are your champions; critical to evangelising your program internally so the extra time and investment is well spent.
Tailored coaching sessions will give them advanced guidance to push themselves further.
Although not online, we couldn’t leave you without mentioning workshops which remain highly valuable for face-to-face training. However, for guaranteed success you need the right people in the room; people who are ready for advanced, hands-on activities. And, because of the investment required in terms of venue and getting your people together, workshops should focus on advanced training topics, not basics.
You want people to leave with valuable new skills and the understanding of how to put them into action.
The key to achieving the right training mix using the ideas we have shared above, is to think about training the Tribal way: train the masses, train the many, train the few. This means picking the right vehicle for each category.
For the masses, you need self-serve e-learning sessions, tailored to their individual needs. The many will benefit from targeted training via webinars, and the few will benefit from 1-2-1 coaching. Taking this approach will drive the best outcomes and, without doubt, the best value for money from your training budget.