Sales representatives are always on the go, rushing from one moment to another and most often short on time, while shuffling between prospecting and closing deals, liaising with the management and following-up with the customers. In the midst of a never ending list of to dos, their learning and development needs often take a back seat, which may ultimately contribute to poor job satisfaction.
With today’s rapidly evolving and highly-competitive markets, the need for continuous training and development of the sales representatives cannot be overstated. Keeping up with market changes is critical for an organization and training of sales representatives is a crucial part of market readiness. However, the current training methods, which involve bombarding sales representatives with large volumes of information, are proving to be ineffective. One of the methods that organizations can adopt for effective training and development of sales representatives is ‘Microlearning’.
What is Microlearning? And how can it be delivered?
The concept of microlearning can be traced to Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve. Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850-1909) was a German psychologist who founded the experimental psychology of memory. The forgetting curve is a mathematical formula that describes the rate at which information is forgotten after it is learned. The theory seems to suggest that we tend to forget new information that we learn within a few days, unless we make specific efforts to review and retain the information. Training methods must therefore be a combination of (i) imparting information; and (ii) reinforcement of information.
Microlearning involves learning through short and repetitive bursts of information until knowledge is fully embedded in long-term memory. From a training perspective, microlearning can be adopted by designing short training courses that are fun, engaging and concise. The infographic below demonstrates how training courses can be designed for microlearning.
How to use microlearning for sales training?
Sales training requires ongoing training but many sales reps do not have time to go through traditional training as they are always expected to be on the move. For example, they are working in the fields, traveling to meet clients and customers. Micro-learning is a smart strategy to train sales reps as they are bite-sized learning segments that don’t take more than ten minutes. Moreover, sales reps can access them anywhere and whenever they want
Here are 4 learning strategies you must use in your microlearning sales training program to get the best results.
- Interactive Infographics – Our brains process images and videos much faster than text. Infographics can be used for sales onboarding or change management.
- Simulations – Simulations based on real-life client scenarios can help sales reps be better prepared in handling complex interactions. This will also improve their selling and decision-making skills
- Micro-assessments – Knowledge checks like quizzes and tests, auditing phone recordings, and reviewing email pitches can help absorb the training content effectively. Animated Videos – Presenting large amounts of information through animated videos can be very effective, especially while learning about company products and services. This is very useful for sales onboarding
Adopting effective learning and development programs help organizations attract and retain talent as opportunities to continuously learn, develop and grow contribute significantly to overall job satisfaction of sales representatives. The training and development teams of organizations must ensure that the training programs do not overwhelm the sales representatives and become one of the mandatory to-do things that do not pique their interest. Micro-learning is a perfect strategy that can be utilized to train and engage employees whenever and wherever they want.
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