Sales are the lifeblood of every company because if the products and services do not reach the target market, the business ceases to exist. The same can happen if the message does not reach the right target at the right time. This is why it is important to focus on sales training, even if the staff cannot be physically in the workplace. eLearning is the only solution to continue to train the workforce on the best sales techniques, but to be effective, it is not enough to transport the teaching materials designed for classroom courses on a LMS, learning management system. Instead, their content and format must be revised to prepare sellers for the new needs of the online marketplace. Here are some ideas for moving sales training from the classroom to the web, from the physical "shop" to e-commerce.
Online sales training: adapting content to the web
For the sales staff who enter the company for the first time, we talk about onboarding, which is a welcome training where they explain the principles and values of the company, the products and services it offers, ending with a sales test. Being online sales, the content of such a course should be enriched with information on communication for the web. In addition to cold calling techniques, it is important that sales people know how and when to use blogs, email marketing and social media to intercept and convert readers. Another essential element is the customer experience, i.e. the path by which a customer is listened to and finds solutions to their problems with the company's products and services. The first online contact takes place through chats, which is why sales training should include exercises with this online tool.
Which format to choose for eLearning courses in sales techniques?
The beauty of eLearning is that it can use different languages to reach the beneficiaries of the courses: text, video, audio, videoconferencing lessons, discussion forums and much more. Some solutions are particularly suitable for the sales sector:
- Simulations: by simulating a conversation with the customer via chat or telephone the seller can practice customer management and presentation of company products or services, also thanks to the comparison with colleagues' experiences.
- Microlearning: especially for companies that have a wide range of products or a constantly updated catalogue, microlearning can be useful to manage learning independently.
- Videochat: confronting more experienced or specialised colleagues is one of the best ways to learn even informally.
How to increase your involvement in online sales training?
Physical distance from the workplace and colleagues can be difficult over time. In order to maintain the motivation and involvement of salespeople in an online course, there must be moments of play and social interaction. In eLearning, we talk about gamification, i.e. the inclusion of game elements in an online course, and social learning, i.e. the principle that learning is a social fact that passes through interactions with others. For example, one could think of point exercises where teamwork wins and not the individual seller.
An online course for online sales people should include content marketing among the didactic contents, include simulations and micro-contents, to encourage self-learning, without forgetting game elements and moments of social interaction to keep motivation high.
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