When it comes to delivering crucial sales training to teams, obstacles such as skills gaps, lack of product knowledge, and a dispersed workforce can hinder progress. Having an e-learning platform such as a learning management system (LMS) is invaluable for any organisation looking to improve its sales training initiatives as it can be managed and delivered via one robust, centralised platform. So how can these organisations get more from sales training using an LMS? Keep reading to find out.
What is sales training?
Sales training is an L&D process designed to improve the skills and knowledge of people working in a sales-based role. It might range from how to learn sales in its most generic format to specific communication skills training designed to help salespeople converse with customers.
A few of the key objectives covered throughout the sales training process are:
- Improving product knowledge – ensuring salespeople are well-informed about the products or services they are selling, including the USP, key components or features, and any benefits. This is particularly important for new starters joining a company with no experience in selling the products/services sold within that company.
- Closing skills gaps – Some of the core skills that salespeople are expected to possess include listening, organisation, negotiation, and problem-solving. However, skillsets will be varied across a workforce and in order to yield the best sales outcomes skills gaps must be closed via training initiatives.
- Aligning sales processes – The sales cycle and selling process will likely look different for every organisation. To streamline sales and manage leads effectively, sales teams must have a clear understanding of how they should navigate the sales process, along with adhering to operational procedures.
The overarching goal of delivering sales training is to grow a confident and highly skilled workforce capable of delivering stronger sales increased levels of customer acquisition, loyalty and satisfaction, and achieving overall operational growth. Sales training ensures an organisation stands out amongst the competition. In fact, companies that invest in training are 57% more effective at sales than their competitors.
Maximising the effectiveness of sales training with an LMS
When a new starter joins the sales team, most organisations will be keen to carry out induction training as swiftly as possible, in turn ensuring that new employees start work in their new role quickly - resulting in a better ROI.
Offline sales training typically consists of workshops or lectures and seminars which employees must attend - all of which slows down the training process. With an LMS, training can be carried out at any time and autonomously, meaning new starters can begin the training process as soon as they start their contract, if not earlier. Induction training can be carefully crafted to ensure new starters learn sales skills through rapid upskilling programmes and concise content. Furthermore, onboarding programmes can be made more effective by utilising the vast range of training content and lesson types available through an LMS. When training is comprised of diverse content types, learners are more likely to be engaged and motivated. LMS lessons such as situation training are powerful for sales teams wishing to simulate real-life sales scenarios or deliver the type of training that would typically take place in a face-to-face workshop session.
With variables such as changes in consumer behaviour and adjusted product offerings, the skills and knowledge required of salespeople are revised frequently. Adapting to change requires rapid upskilling and time-sensitive sales training beyond the onboarding process. With automation technology, LMS admins can automatically assign training modules and courses to any relevant sales staff meaning they will receive an instant notification of any training that needs to be completed and when by.
Sales training on the go
Travelling to visit potential or existing customers can be common practice for sales staff, meaning a workforce will be dispersed across various geographical locations. Without the right technology, this can become a hindrance to sales training practices as staff members aren’t at their desks to complete L&D courses or gathered in a single space to attend sales seminars.
A powerful LMS with mobile learning technology can have a transformative effect on the uplift in usage and ROI of an e-learning platform. An LMS with mobile learning functionality enables sales teams to complete training anywhere, at any time, whilst on the go – ensuring they never miss out on development opportunities and never fall behind on PDPs and learning plans. Mobile learning technology makes sales training more accessible and with downloadable SCORM content learners can even access lessons offline.
Sales training opportunities should be afforded to sales teams beyond the onboarding process and outside of essential upskilling practices. Continuous learning and professional development ensure sales teams can build their confidence in their abilities, broaden their skills, identify any new duties they may wish to take on and explore new career opportunities.
Rather than providing sales teams with annual workshops or irregular training sessions, L&D programmes and courses housed on an LMS can be accessed by employees at any time. Employees can enrol themselves on courses, or managers may choose to assign lessons and programmes depending on any development opportunities that have been identified. Continuous training doesn’t just benefit employees but is also said to result in 50% higher net sales per sales rep – yielding a much higher ROI on both an LMS and members of staff.
Research has shown that for the majority of sales professionals, 84% of sales training is forgotten within three months. To maximise the effectiveness of sales training, L&D teams develop refresher courses. These refresher courses may be concise, condensed versions of induction training or upskilling lessons – designed to cover core elements and ‘refresh’ the memory of sales professionals.
One of the most popular and effective ways to deliver refresher courses is via microlearning or nanolearning lessons within an LMS. These lesson types are targeted and refined, keeping content brief so that it lends itself to revision and allows learners to quickly revisit content without having to start from scratch. Additionally, sales teams can be tested via LMS assessments, designed to easily identify anyone who is in need of further training beyond refresher courses.
Monitoring sales progress and tracking performance is a key process for any sales-related role. And for an organisation delivering sales training programmes, tracking L&D performance should also be part of that review process.
With an LMS such as Totara Learn intuitive reporting tools allow site admins to create custom site-wide reports which can then be distributed to users for review. These reports can indicate elements such as course completion rates, competencies and assessment results – designed to help managers easily identify those in need of additional training or champion those who have excelled.
With Totara’s all-in-one performance management tool Totara Perform, team leaders can combine the tracking of sales performance, role-based sales progress, and sales training progress together via one centralised platform. Totara Perform also provides a historical log of targets and progress, whether based on sales activities or L&D opportunities, which ensures sales teams stay on track – with full visibility of progress for sales staff and managers. Find out more about performance management systems by reading our ultimate guide.
How Hubken can help empower your sales team
We have helped organisations of all sectors and sizes deliver sales training programmes across the UK with our powerful e-learning platforms. With the right functionality, sales training can be maximised to deliver programmes that do more than just encourage employees to learn sales skills - facilitating long-term career growth and delivering better results. If you’re ready to empower your sales team with a robust LMS, get in touch with one of our e-learning experts today or book a demo to see our solutions at work.