Sometimes it feels like we shift to the online world more and more every day. Working remotely, attending online classes and using social media are just a few examples. So why not think about benefiting from online training programs, too?
There is no limiting the expansion of our online presence. The best thing to do to adapt to this change is to capitalize on its advantages.
Online sales training has many benefits, the first being the fact that you save money and promote consistency in virtually training your team members.
Understandably, it may feel scary to think about making the switch if you and your company are used to using programs like in-classroom training. However, you might not be taking into consideration all of the ways that it can improve your company, boost productivity and increase profit. This is where we can help by laying out all of these potential improvements.
Is Online Sales Training Effective?
Ultimately, you want to ensure that your team’s sales development is constantly on the rise and that your sales training programs result in an effective sales process.
So is online training effective? The resounding answer is “yes.” Let’s explore below.
According to a study conducted by Forrester Research, one minute of online video training is equal to reading almost 1.8 million words. Also, 90 percent of material absorbed by the brain is visual. The brain then processes visual information, as opposed to written information, 60,000 times faster.
This leads to online training promoting much faster learning and retention rates than in-person sales training. When a team member is required to participate in physical lectures, they typically have endless documents and training material to read, which we now know takes a huge amount of time. They can also feel overwhelmed with all of that coursework and information.
With standardized online sales coaching, however, you have access to the same continued program or programs repeatedly and for all employees.
Using that standardized online training also allows you to pinpoint where each employee might excel or fall behind. From that data you can work with the lacking employees to improve their weaknesses without wasting time and resources.
It might be helpful to gauge the effectiveness of online sales training for your business by asking yourself how the benefits outweigh the risks. Here are some questions to consider:
- Is your current training effective on its own and right now?
- Are your employees benefiting from your current training system?
- Would you be able to quickly improve your existing training program?
- How easily could you improve your current model?
- Is your current model relevant? This is especially important to note because the world of sales is always changing.
- Is it easy for your team members to improve their sales techniques by utilizing your existing training modules?
- Have you and will you continue to keep your training matter up to date for the benefit of your business?
If you ask yourself all of these questions and realize that you need to refresh your current content, then you should move on to the explicit benefits of switching to the online method for training. We dive into those benefits now.
What Are the Benefits of Online Sales Training?
Overwhelming as it may be to make the switch, it is important to realize how essential training is in the workplace.
If you do not effectively train your employees with consistency regarding how your company operates and closes sales, you will probably notice a distinct decrease in sales and ultimate business revenue.
The benefits of online training courses, however, are plentiful. They can make a huge difference in your company’s growth and success. We briefly touched on them earlier, but now we can get into the details.
It Increases Sales Productivity
We mentioned before that you can track the success or failure of a team member by using online training tools. But to what extent?
When you use online training modules, you naturally get data from these courses. This data can provide you with the results of just how productive a team member is. From those report cards and analyses, you figure out where to foster improvement.
Additionally, you can take that new hire’s analysis to understand if it would be profitable to even keep them on as an employee. This actually provides you with a tool for management training, as management is typically responsible for the decisions of team development.
It Cultivates a Winning Sales Environment
When most people think of a sales team, they do not always realize how imperative this team is to company success.
However, without a competent sales department, you cannot achieve closed sales with follow-through from beginning to end. Thus, sales professionalism is key.
When you employ online sales training methods, your team shares the same learning goal. This leads to consistency when they are closing the deal with a potential customer.
Also, since the sales world is fast-paced and changes almost every day, you would need to update your training methods over and over again. This would waste time and money spent if you were to continue using internal resources like in-person training to develop your sales team.
If you use virtual learning, though, they are responsible for the upkeep of their courses so that you can employ your team to spend time on actually closing deals and performing other essential company functions. More time spent on refining the sales environment means more revenue and more gains.
It Allows for Convenience in Trainees’ Time
All of your employees have personal matters to attend to when they are off the clock. This means their time is valuable to them. If you show that you care about their personal time, they will reciprocate that during their work time.
By using online training resources, you have the option to give them a timeframe to finish the training modules while still going at a self-paced speed. In addition, it decreases stress because they do not have to waste valuable work hours on training where they could be completing work-related tasks instead. It also means that they do not have to spend their weekends traveling to inconvenient training events.
It Has 24/7 Access to Video and Audio Training Materials
Not every employee is a diligent note-taker. This does not make them a bad worker. But what happens when they do not take detailed notes on an in-person training session? It would then be next to impossible to reference a concept they need to refer to when a related event happens in the workplace.
When you switch to eLearning, however, your team will have constant access to all of their training materials to reference whenever they need them.
For example, a client or customer might have a question that your employee would not typically have the answer to, but that they learned about in their online program. Your employee can now more easily and accurately answer the customer by accessing their program with just a few clicks.
Your employee might also just generally want to refresh their knowledge. By providing 24/7 access to their video and audio training materials, they can quickly head to the training website and relearn whatever concept they want in significantly less time than flipping through their notebook for a vague description from their in-person training.
It Provides Trackable Progress of Sales Team
We already discussed how tracking your sales team’s progress leads directly to heightened productivity. But the trackable progress of your sales team warrants a benefit in and of itself.
Not only can you follow employee progress with the data collected from online learning, but your employees themselves can track their own, too.
This allows you to encourage a self-aware team that cares about their personal effect on business growth. Employees can breed quality decision-making skills within themselves and take the initiative to monitor their improvement as business professionals.
This benefit directly feeds into the previously-mentioned benefit of cultivating a winning sales team through promoting the excitement to learn and develop within your own team.
It Creates Ownership for Salespeople
Since online training allows for more room for self-scheduling and autonomy within trainees, they are driven towards ownership of their growth.
Every person has a different learning style and different paths to success. If you encourage whatever that learning style or path might be for each individual salesperson, you trust in them which leads to them trusting in themselves.
They then have the opportunity to share with others and with you what worked for them and what did not, opening internal communication. This sort of self-reflection can only benefit your business as a whole since the training process is delivered with the trainee in the driver’s seat instead of a single instructor, who might not encourage that same sort of ownership.
It Trains Everyone in the Exact Same Way
Although it might seem like a contradiction, training everyone in the exact same way leads to more accountability and ownership of their own learning styles.
Online training always forces a cohesive and structured approach to the learning process. When required to participate in face-to-face training, there is often a massive variation in learning sales skills and strategy.
Internal training also means that the members of management and leadership who spearhead training efforts provide a variety of different training techniques. This results in discrepancies in team members’ sales strategies.
On any given day, the internal employee providing the training experience can fluctuate. The majority of internal employees providing this experience to new employees use their own anecdotes to promote the learning experience. How can you then make sure there is a cohesive system in place within your company? With this approach, you probably cannot.
The turnover rate of employees also affects this process. If whoever is responsible for training other team members retires or resigns from the company then the next trainer cannot possibly know how to pick up exactly where they left off and follow their same chosen program.
They promote ownership within themselves and, in turn, within the company, by applying these standardized lessons to their preferred method of learning. This leads to internalizing the information and actualizing it in real-life scenarios with customers or even other coworkers.
The Scalability is Evident
In-person training classes are almost never to scale, which is a huge advantage that online training has over them.
You can have as many trainees as you want, from any location at all, training at the same time with whatever online platform you choose for them to train with.
For example, if you have 16 employees working on a training model and one is based in South Carolina, one is based in North Dakota and one is based in an entirely different country, they all have access to the same training program.
Because of this scalability, new knowledge is readily available for everyone all the time and all over the world.
Online Sales Training Can Be Done Anywhere, Anytime
Like we just explained, any employee can complete online training from anywhere. But did you know that it can be done at any time, as well, resulting in lower company cost?
Since it can be completed on such a large scale, it is actually easier for employees to train digitally than for them to participate in them otherwise with physical training. Since they can complete it from the comfort of their own home and on their own devices, it gives team members a feeling of freedom and ease.
This also means that you do not have to spend company costs on hiring trainers and speakers or renting out venues and training materials.
Online Sales Training Leads to More Effective Learning
The pressure of employees spending valuable time attending training sessions, a pressure that both you and your team might feel, is relieved when you make the change to online learning.
Based on employees’ test and quiz scores, you can see their progress as valuable team members. You can also see which training modules are effective for the betterment of your company and which ones may not be necessary. This will all lead to a standard training regimen.
This sort of data leads to a faster understanding of what is working and what is not, something you do not have ready access to while you use traditional training methods.
From cost benefits to the constant availability of training materials that comes with online learning, there are many reasons why it could be a great fit for your business. Book a call with us now to learn more about online sales training and how it could improve your business.