Microlearning Platforms – The Future of Sales Development Efforts | Code of Talent
Microlearning, Sales Enablement
Aug 19
6 min to read

Microlearning Platforms: The Future of Sales Development Efforts

Sorin Paun
Sorin Paun
Co-Founder & CCO

All businesses are comprised of several dynamic functions. Much like clichéd cogwheels that are part of a bigger mechanism that makes the clock tick. The sales or business development function proves to be under the organization’s microscope as it is the gateway that leads to prospective clients and customers. A Hubspot survey of salespeople reported that over 28% sales directors work over 60 hours while 72% work evenings and weekends, while 68% describe their lifestyle as challenging and 54% as stressful.

A pathway to achieving business goals, mission and vision the organization is committed to materializing.

Under this impression, salespeople or sales personnel are taught and trained to demonstrate proficiency over a complex skillset. They are each multifaceted, well-versed in the nuances of business operations, in-depth knowledge of products/services they’re selling, the sales process, and the art of persuasion and negotiation.

They should not only be able to answer the prospect or client’s queries and articulate the company’s USP (unique selling proposition) but also use a variety of sales techniques to boost the company’s overall bottom line.

Considering that they are the breadwinners of a business entity, sales managers, trainers, directors, and L&D (learning and development) experts invest in their training and education.  Their continuous pursuit of learning new skills and refining existing ones is critical. Unfortunately, many conventional programs tend to fail in imparting the knowledge they originally sought out to share.

It is especially more important as the world phases through the impact of COVID-19. With over 70% to 80% B2B decision makers preferring remote interactions than in-person, according to a Mckinsey B2B sales report, the pandemic has created seismic shift in what the future of the sales function looks like. Learning and development of new skills that facilitate evolution of the sales teams is pertinent to succeeding in the future.

The strive to make sales training effective

There are a couple of reasons that can be attributed to the failure of conventional sales training programs to create meaningful change.

The reason that tops the list is low employee engagement. It is a hurdle that many have tried and are continuing to try and solve. Besides that, irrelevance of the content for their specific need is a lack of time.

Unsurprisingly, sales personnel are one of the busiest departments in any organization. Their job is often beyond the norms of the corporate 9-to-5 as companies are now readily moving towards the globalization front. This means clients and customers spread across various time zones.

Sales teams can’t spare the time to partake in lengthy, conventional training programs. They may be consistently distracted by an awaiting call, client’s email, texts, etc. And since closing a deal at hand and retaining a client seems much more important than another lecture on negotiation skills, they forgo the latter.

The second reason is the approach to sales training. Class-room training, lectures, and workshops where hundreds of sales personnel from different teams, locales, etc. are given the same instructions don’t seem to work as efficiently.

Not only are engagement rates low, but retention of the content is also not as high as trainers would expect. Furthermore, this approach falls under the one-size-fits-all category, which means that regardless of the seniority or individual skill-level of the employee, everyone learns the same things.

If the training pertains to the development of high-level negotiation skills for corporate clients, a new salesperson who’s imply responsible for cold calling won’t benefit from it.

Microlearning – Modern Day’s Solution to the Sales Training Dilemma

Research published by Harvard Business Review Sales Insight shows that 50% of high-performing sales teams admit to having an automated and closely monitored sales methodology. This tells us that the modern sales department and its approach to training need a much-needed transition to more dynamic approaches as they produce better results.

For instance, sales teams that have a dynamic training program are likely to have 28% more wins and can earn up to 7% more in annual revenue. There are various other statistics like these that show the value and impact of a dynamic, on-the-job training program.

Given the impact of more dynamic sales training programs and the shortcomings of conventional approaches, microlearning seems to be a solution that alleviates the challenges.

What does it entail?

eLearning and microlearning are by no means brand new concepts. However, they are revolutionary and have become so with the integration of new-age technology in the recent past.

Whether an organization’s sales teams are dispersed across the globe or concentrated in one national region, microlearning platforms make creating and disseminating training material and course much easier.

Instead of relying on a one-size-fits-all approach, it allows sales trainers and managers to create programs, courses and goals tailored to each employee’s needs. This works more effectively because the content is divided into more digestible chunks.

Since modern microlearning platforms are available in the form of mobile applications, they can access the material on their phones on-the-go. This works even better for busy sales personnel who thrive on multitasking.

Furthermore, microlearning platforms allow trainers and sales managers to create and disperse actionable objectives by using gamification features. Setting small tasks and quizzes for each lesson keep them engaged, give users a sense of accomplishment, and adds value to their learning efforts.

Plus, they can complete each lesson and activity within less than 10 minutes, which is effective for people with short attention spans and busy work schedules.

Microlearning platforms such as Code of Talent facilitates training opportunities in various sales-related areas. Whether its product know-how through short learning modules or gamified journeys that test the salesperson’s social selling skills, the digital ecosystem of a microlearning platform delivers a wide range of information.

Coca-Cola: A Practical Example of How to Increase Sales Agility

To put words into practice, let’s take our client, Coca-Cola HBC, as an example. This industry leader in the bottling sector, used the Code of Talent platform to increase their sales teams’ agility and skills.

The challenge was to improve the sales organization’s performance and skills through real-time, mobile learning. And we rose to the challenge, having achieved all our objectives:

  • 70% skills improvement across all competencies
  • 90% engagement rates
  • the revenue growth management equation has been achieved
  • many business developers have overachieved their targets
  • dedicated training time was optimized by 50%.

You can download the full case study, with more details about the objectives and the implemented solution.

Turn knowledge into action

All in all, microlearning can help a sales organization in many ways, starting from increased skills retention, better engagement to time and cost-savings. Instead of conducting lengthy orientations and spending time reading the same training manuals multiple times, making them available on the eLearning platform allows them to access relevant material on their own whenever necessary.

 

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