Category Archives: Employee-Training

The 5 Best Training Tools For Sales Teams: How to Train Your People for Success

Sales training is extremely significant for pumping up your team. Check out how you can go about it to train your team for success! 

Sales training and strategies do go a long way in converting leads into sales. However, after a point, there’s only so much your team can do. With bulk orders to keep track of, an abundance of customers to manage, and hundreds of leads to convert, the logistics of sales can be quite cumbersome. 

The path to success lies in prompt training and building a team that is prepared for any kind of situation that is thrown at them. Different companies like to do it differently. There’s no set formula to train your people for success. There are some great training tools and software, though, that you can use to make sure you prepare your team for what’s in store with hardcore sales. 

Here are 5 of the best training tools that leading companies employ with their sales training programs. The best sales training tools include a combination of CRM-based software and other platforms to consistently help reps get comprehensive training. Browse through these to boost your training strategy to make all the difference: 

  1. Pipedrive – Advanced CRM for sales training 

An advanced CRM tool like Pipedrive can be great for training reps about the desired workflow. Especially if your organization is sales-enabled and employs workflow automation, this is a great tool that can help reduce administrative overhead. A great training tool like this one teaches how to deal with leads, conversions, and different aspects of multi-tasking. 

  1. 6Sense – For intelligent sales training 

In the era of AI, what better than a prediction-based tool for an intelligent form of sales training. 6Sense helps leverage AI predictions and sales insights to foresee hot leads and segregate premium leads. It is also a great engagement platform where reps can get the hang of what kind of leads and opportunities would be more viable in a given situation. An intelligent sales tactic definitely helps close deals faster! 

  1. Quodeck – Sales training with gamification  

One of the best ways for sales training is through a healthy, gamified, and competitive platform. Quodeck can be a great sales training tool with custom interactive experiences especially catering to your reps team. Especially for target training, micro-learning with a gamified interface can promote active training with two-way engagement. What’s more, is that it is readily integrable with your existing learning management systems! 

  1. Salesloft – Training for lead and prospect management  

Next up is a focus on training for lead and prospect management with tools like Salesloft. One of the most significant aspects of sales training involves dealing with leads promptly. A hot lead takes very little time to become a dead one if your rep cannot follow up proactively. Salesloft is a great sales tool and training avenue for streamlined automation of leads. With personalized interface and follow-up interactions, reps can learn about dealing with different case scenarios. 

  1. Chili Piper – Train to manage time and optimize conversions  

Time management is a key aspect of sales training. Advanced scheduling software like Chili Piper can help automate the scheduling aspects of sales in tandem and integration with your CRM. With active communication and distribution of roles across the team, a readily integrated sales schedule tool can impact more than you’d think! Finally, even great conversions would stand to be useless if they took too long or lack prompt follow-ups. 

Conclusion 

Pave the path for your team to perform better with effective sales training. After all, your team is only going to be as good as you train them to be with practical skills. Try implementing some of these training tools, and enhance your sales team with a default protocol for every situation they encounter. Eventually, an adept sales team is one that is trained for the unexpected! 

5 new trends in driving engagement for remote employees

The world of business has inevitably changed since 2020. Today, besides having vision and innovation, you have to make investments and adopt a new approach. This approach must stress on gratifying an employee so that they are happy and satisfied. Whether they are a leader or a manager, employees must feel connected to their purpose.  

The future engagement of employees depends on the five new trends that embrace flexibility and technology. Many recent trends have appeared, with some working and some not. But here’s what we have for you: the five engagement trends for remote employees. These will help you make informed decisions and battle the current crisis like a boss. 

  1. Focus on the channels of communication 

Suppose you have workers working on-site. You must brief them well on their roles.  And inform them about the colleagues that will work with them. Install rapid communication channels so that they stay in touch with each other, regardless of where they are. We must admit that meet-ups have worked wonders, especially for discussions relating to project issues and progress.

  1. Measuring engagement alone wouldn’t do – go the extra mile! 

As per the latest data, organizations spend 720 dollars million to gauge engagement.  But according to an American analytical company, only 36 per cent of the workforce is occupied. The rest 64 per cent is going through a gamut of emotions or feeling plain miserable.  

Your company is a breathing and living entity. Thus, you cannot manage performance directly. Hence, you must understand the areas that drive employees’ behaviours and directly impact their performance. Measure the conditions that matter. These conditions include alignment of personal strengths, psychological safety, and intrinsic motivation.  

When quantifying an employee’s prosperity levels, you should find out whether your organization is excelling with its people. 

  1. Improve the workstation of your employee, be proactive 

On identifying the positions that fit remote working best, you must give your employees an alternative. Not every person whose job may call for remote working, can do tasks remotely. Thus, do not expect the employees to brush their problems under the carpet. We suggest rethinking the entire journey of an employee and supporting everyone through this challenging time. Approximately 50 million jobs can be done from the comfort of a home, however, some cannot. Thus, we suggest that you furnish remote workers with all the software and hardware needed to work remotely. These small steps will help create a flexible environment amidst the pandemic.  

Adapt to the scenario of digital work but do not expect this new work wave to speed up as it advances.  

  1. Focus on talent development  

Before the coronavirus smothered us, the threat of talent shortage already rocked the business world. According to a US survey, employers confessed that they struggled to discover the talent they needed.  

With slashing of budgets and layoffs, re-skilling employees has become the need of the hour.  

One way to counter this problem is by developing your company as a marketplace for talent. This marketplace will have employees as the network’s segment. And once they are a part of the network, you can allocate them to new teams whenever you require their skills.  

  1. Get employees on the board with big, all-embracing goals 

When employees have understood their roles, are comfortable in their set up, and know what to do, get them on the board. Discuss the overarching goals of your company so that you can trade again.  

When the trade picks up and profits start pouring in, job insecurities and other fears will be eliminated. People will roll their sleeves up and do their bit to boost the success of the business. Encountering a shared tragedy or trauma has a fantastic way of dragging employees together towards success and survival. 

Conclusion  

A business may break, but it can heal as well. Each of these trends that drive remote employee engagement will be crucial in your company’s recovery. We hope these trends ensure that people under you remain engaged, productive, and cared for during and beyond a crisis.

7 Counterintuitive Tips for Crushing Your LXP

LXP is designed with an aim to provide a continuous and amazing learning experience. The article talks about 7 counterintuitive tips for crushing your LXP. 

Business organizations have been integrating LMS (Learning Management Systems) to enhance employee learning. Both trainers and learners need a comprehensive and powerful learning ambiance. This explains the popularity of LXPs (Learning Experience Platforms). 

LXPs offer a customized learning environment. In the process, the learners discover fresh opportunities to imbibe skills. These platforms pool educational content from different places.  

It also recommends the delivery of these skills through the latest technologies. These technologies include gamification, social learning, AI, and others. 

Key benefits of using an LXP in your organization 

1. LXPs enable team branching 

One of the prime benefits of using an LXP is its usability in different business units. Thus, various teams can use it without disturbing the learning process of others. 

Using this software, training managers can fix the number of learners in each team. They can also invite particular members or communicate with them. Besides, LXPs enable them to set individual learning paths and goals. By tracking progress, they can ensure better productivity of the employees. 

2. Learning on the go 

Many professionals love educating themselves on the move. LXPs provide a good platform with this feature, so that they can remain productive. They are compatible with different types of content and platforms, and this simplifies the learning process. The employees can learn at any time and place. 

LXPs have an advantage over LMS. The reason is, they help in upskilling employees. In the process, they can maximize the productivity of these employees. 

3. Intuitive and dynamic features 

The interface and architecture of LXPs are based on social learning. This strengthens its collaborative management, ease of use, and work efficiency. 

It brings you features like content sharing and receiving feedback. Moreover, your employees can display key benchmarks in their respective networks. 

The concept of LXP is like that of microlearning when employees are on the move. So, they can complete exercises on their handsets and take part in learning. 

Also, managers enjoy reduced administrative burden, thanks to the AI features. 

4. Great interface for users 

Employees find it easy to use LXPs, thanks to their seamless interface. It is easy to browse through the blog posts, lessons, videos, etc., through the search options. Besides, employees can come up with their own ways of learning. This includes other content for personalizing their experience. 

LXPs can also strategically track the progress of employees. The central dashboard present in the software helps the employees track the number of completed lessons and badges earned. 

5. Learning recommendations 

LXPs provide highly tailored recommendations to the learners. This ensures that employees don’t lose interest in the matter. In the corporate world, this is a key tactic to enhance productivity. 

In LXP tools, employees can find different customized learning styles. The AI integration further enables the employees to tailor content. These recommendations are largely based on their interests, profiles, and historical data. 

Therefore, employees can keep their staff fully engaged. The training process turns out to be interesting and makes the employees productive. 

6. Time management of employees 

Deploying an LXP enables employees to master their knowledge within their respective time schedules. They need not compromise with their working hours while imbibing fresh skills. With these tools, you can do away with the issues related to bite-size concepts of learning.  

This implies that an employee can engage in learning whenever he or she gets time during office hours. Reading blog posts or undergoing short tutorials would not take much time. Therefore, employees can gain skills without messing up their work schedules. 

7. LXPs are customizable 

Employers can quickly make changes in the learning paths in LXPs. This flexibility eases their operations, saving significant time. 

In the competitive environment, business firms need to stay productive. As the skill requirement is continually evolving, businesses need to come up with updated paths for learning. In the end, it contributes to the success of the venture. 

Conclusion 

With one of the robust LXPs at your disposal, you can significantly mitigate the financial burden. After all, you would be shelling out your money for exactly what you require. The intuitive interface allows the users to upload their content seamlessly for trainees. It makes sense to invest in a powerful LXP. 

How to drive more engagement out of your sales training in 2021

Engagement is one of the most important metrics to analyze the effectiveness of a training program. Engaged users are motivated, inspired and have a high willingness towards performing well. While developing a sales training course for your workforce in 2021, you must keep in mind that getting higher levels of engagement can be tricky because of various constraints. In this article, I will be highlighting a few, very interesting ways by which you can address the above issue and encourage a fun environment during the sales training. 

Storytelling:

An artform which is a two-way interaction between a storyteller and the learner. The interactive nature of storytelling partially accounts for its immediacy and impact. At its best, storytelling can directly and tightly connect the teller and audience. Relatable characters help the learners immerse themselves into the situation of the protagonist as their personality resonates with that of the character. Elements like story structure, emotional connectivity, real life challenges, use of multimedia components make sure that the learner is kept engaged throughout and can achieve the set goals. 

Personalization of training:

Personalization of training is the customization of training so that it is aligned to meet a specific learner’s needs. A highly learner-centric approach, personalized learning makes the training sessions highly relevant to the learners leading to high engagement. As trainers you must let your learners be flexible with your course, they should be able to choose their own device, their learning path, manage their timelines, learn at their own pace, and set their own milestones. 

Gamification elements:

Leaderboards are a great way to introduce healthy competition amongst the learners. This element of challenge encourages learners to do better than others thus improve the level of engagement throughout the batch. Rewards and recognition promote good work ethic and a sense of socialization within the company. Every learner wants to show off their achievement and share their accomplishments with others. This creates an environment where everyone wants to do well and demonstrate how skilled they are. 

Application of learning on the job: 

Provide job aids in your training program which could be used by the learner in the most practical sense. Your sales workforce is on their feet, the whole day interacting with different stakeholders. The training course should be designed in a way that salesperson could refer to the job aids to complete an important task during his/her day. This creates value of the training course in the minds of the learner and will improve motivation and engagement. 

Learner Feedback:

Learners should be encouraged to provide their feedback on different aspects of the sales training regularly. This will not just help in improving the course and fill the loopholes but also reassure the learners that their inputs are valuable and that they are a part of the process itself. This feedback needs to be used to upgrade the system and build on the research that was initially done on the learner profiles.  

There are various strategies which could be used to achieve higher levels of engagement and high immersive experiences. As the marketplace is evolving, the trainer needs to step up with their sales training programs which require effective strategies to drive readiness for the sales teams they support. Take into account the characteristics and personalities of your learner, conduct a discovery process, build and improve at each step of the learner journey. The elements mentioned in this article could be a solution to the challenges involved in engaging a learner during the sales training process by turning routine tasks into fun activities that give your learner a sense of confidence

7 gamification trends to follow in 2021

Gamification is likely to fill in the gaps that were not earlier considered. The gaming factor is positive and good. Here are 7 gamification trends you can follow in 2021.

Games tend to be fun and engaging, which has paved the way for the popularity of gamification across multiple sectors. After all, gamification can turn a boring task into a refreshing one. Gamification has been around for quite a while, especially in the academic sector. In recent times, however, it has become rather mainstream.

Therefore, it does not seem like gamification would become obsolete any time soon, and the trend is likely to go on in the near future.

What exactly is gamification?

Gamification is just a technique where the designers integrate non-gaming settings with gameplay elements. This ensures better user experiences with any product or service. For example, in a business, gamification can help keep the team motivated and provide them with various incentives.

Gamification can be as simple as integrating badges and leaderboards into a system that already exists.

What are the top applications of gamification in 2021?

Various gamification trends have emerged in recent times. Some of the applications of gamification are:

Remote onboarding

Lately, work from home has become extremely popular across different sectors. As an increasing number of activities have gone digital, so has onboarding. Various companies are onboarding their new employees remotely, through mobile apps.

These apps come with features such as trivia-style games, team rankings, and provisions for challenging colleagues. This helps to build a sense of belongingness and team spirit from the very onset.

Digital events

Currently, there exists a constant need for sophistication in a fast-paced world. As a result, an increasing number of companies are holding their events and meetings online. This trend has grown significantly more potent during the pandemic.

This is because face-to-face meetings became almost impossible. As a result, a growing number of companies have started to utilize video conferencing. Consequently, video conferencing has become increasingly popular among companies.  

Virtual learning

Virtual learning programs have been around for quite a while. One of the key benefits of this mode of learning is that it comes with ample scope for gamification. Students can interact with gamified pieces of information. This is much more interesting than learning statically.

Virtual reality-based games help to understand new concepts without many hassles. Thus, it appears that gamification would remain a part of virtual learning for years to come.

Combating disinformation

In today’s world, disinformation has become a burning problem in society. There is no shortage of hoaxes regarding crucial matters on social media. Various organizations have come up with gamified applications to fight disinformation. These enable the user to have fun while spreading correct information on various matters.

Investment

A large section of society finds interest in investment as a mode of earning. However, not everyone understands all the concepts of investment, which deters many from investing.

Currently, there are easy-to-use gamified apps that help the users to invest seamlessly. Although investing in stock trading may be confusing for those new to it, such apps help make it fun.

What are the top gamification practices to implement?

With gamification growing increasingly popular, several strategies and techniques have emerged. Therefore, it is logical to implement gamification in your organization in the right manner. It would help your business reap the benefits of gamification to the fullest. Some of the best gamification practices are:

  • In a workplace environment, competitive gamification is a good approach to increasing productivity. However, you must not celebrate only the top performer. Make sure to reward all the participants in some way as long as they performed well too. This would help to boost engagement and reduce the chances of demotivation. 
  • Try not to overemphasize the rewards. Funding big rewards can be inefficient in terms of costs in the long run. Moreover, focusing too much on the incentives would make the employees fix the wrong goals. Rather than being more productive, they would focus on irrelevant activities just to win the rewards.
  • Be creative and careful while choosing the rewards. Not every type of reward works in every scenario. Try to keep the rewards connected to the business. It would be smart to reward the performers in ways that would help them gain professional recognition. Simple rewards, such as an invitation to a guest blog, a shout-out at a meeting, or a LinkedIn recommendation, can be highly effective.
  • Track the gamification program and the performance of the team to check how successful the gamification is. It also helps the participants gain insights into their own qualities and understand how they can improve themselves.

Conclusion

These are some of the top gamification trends and techniques that one might follow in 2021. Building and implementing the right gamification strategy is crucial. It would provide a a significant boost to the business. 

How To Enhance Virtual Learning With The Help Of Social Learning

A virtual environment is a medium of learning where learners go through courses, study materials and learning aids through an online medium. It can be browser-based or a virtual training session through Zoom. Virtual learning offers activities, interactions, and resources within a course structure and provides different levels of assessment. Given this context, learners can access learning materials through peer-to-peer collaboration networks such as forums. As social learning is a continuous process of learning from other people within and outside the organization, it can be integrated into virtual learning through various means.

At the present virtual learning also happens through social technologies like blogs, wikis, discussion forums, messaging tools, conferencing tools, subject-matter directories, and videos. Organizations are increasingly using social learning in their training methodologies for improved learning retention, increased learner engagement, and reduced training costs.

The 70:20:10 Learning Framework

In traditional classroom training, most learners recall only 10% of what they have learned after 72 hours. Such lack of knowledge retention can harm the business of your organization. For example, a salesperson may face trouble recalling the knowledge learned at the appropriate time the next week, which could cost them a sale.

As per this methodology, about 70% of learning happens through on-the-job training and practical experiences, 20% through interaction with peers and colleagues, and just 10% in a traditional, instructor-led classroom training environment.

Why Social Learning?

Social learning helps employees with enhanced retention of knowledge, which is the primary goal of any training program. Social learning encourages learning in a working environment and allows learners to apply their knowledge to work. They can learn from peers, senior employees, or experts within the organizations. People learn from real-life scenarios/examples and by direct experiences. Research studies also indicate that social learning methods deliver a better ROI (almost 75:1 ratio) when compared to traditional classroom training.

Here are a few strategies on how to enhance virtual learning with the help of social learning.

Enhance Learner Engagement

A virtual learning environment allows you to manage the learning activities by using various means such as an LMS for learner administrations, learning platforms, and virtual instructor sessions. In social learning, employees can either start or take part in a discussion, training or coach others as and when a situation arises. This type of freedom to engage in their learning will directly impact increased engagement in their work.

As part of social learning, provide a network of mentors and peers, where information is created and distributed easily to employees. Thus, employees can obtain more practical knowledge and make better decisions through increased engagement with others.

Collaborate Proactively With Learners

Communication and collaboration among the participants with emails, chat, wikis, blogs, etc., are other key components of a virtual learning environment. Social learning is collaborative in its approach, happens in real-time, and has a direct relation to an employee’s work. Learning can happen anytime, anywhere, and by using any device. Organizations that support social learning need to have learning environments that foster conversation, discussion, and collaboration between learners across the organization.

Social learning involves knowledge sharing in a joint effort between peers, and between peers and facilitators. It promotes high-level thinking, good relationships, oral and written communication, self-management, responsibility, and leadership skills.

Encourage Peer Learning

Peer learning is a great way in which learners learn from each other. Participants connected can observe and learn from others, helping each other in the virtual session. Learners can directly learn from seniors and experts who have been in similar situations. In peer learning, learners receive more time for individualized learning, and interactions between employees promote active learning.

Learners get a chance to reinforce their learning by instructing others. Also, learners feel more comfortable and open when interacting with their peers. For companies, peer learning is a financially efficient alternative to hiring trainers or instructors. Research studies indicate that peer learning activities yield more benefits to the organization, such as enhanced team-building spirit, more supportive relationships, greater psychological well-being, and improved communication skills. Thus, organizations should encourage peer learning to achieve greater productivity.

Add Simulations And Gamification Elements

Simulations and gamification help facilitators turn their virtual learning into a more interactive experience. Simulations can turn virtual learning sessions into more interesting and fun learning sessions. Mock trials and digital simulations are great ways to enhance a virtual learning session and engage the participants more.

Gamification involves turning an activity into a competitive game for the learners. You can take learning concepts, assignments, and activities and convert them into interesting games. The facilitator can announce badges and rewards for winners and create that unique spark that attracts the learners’ interest. Gamification and simulations allow learners to observe real-life scenarios and examples.

By Suresh Kumar DN, CEO at Tesseract Learning

Why Your Sales Team Needs To Be Mobile Ready?

Mobile apps have been seen to increase sales team productivity and efficiency over the years.  Sales reps should consider your clients’ schedules. The faster your clients can get the information, the better it will reflect on you and your company. In this scenario, it’s critical to leverage mobile sales enablement within your sales team.  One option for sales teams is to use a mobile learning system.

A mobile learning system is an application that can be accessed from any device at any time to help with the sales process. When face-to-face relationship management is not possible, these tools and sales app solutions house customer information and relevant, up-to-date content to engage prospects, allowing for accessible, fast, and convenient communication. Following are the reasons why sales teams need a mobile learning system:

  • It’s accessible, fast, and flexible

Whether your sales reps are connected or not, they can complete their work from any location at any time. Up-to-date marketing collateral also makes it simple to share content with the entire team in real-time. A Mobile learning system functions as a central “hub,” allowing quick and flexible access to all marketing content and CRM data. Sales and marketing executives, as well as sales reps, can input and syndicate content with great ease and flexibility from a single source that serves as an information repository.

  • Generate Sales Pipeline

Customer inquiries and concerns do not always occur during normal business hours, and schedules or locations may preclude sales professionals from meeting in person. Mobile sales enablement tools enable marketing and sales leaders to provide excellent management, allowing them to keep buyer conversations going while supplementing or even substituting live meetings and phone calls. Buyers can use mobile learning software with a mobile platform app to reach out with questions, and reps can respond instantly, whenever and wherever they want.

  • Increased efficiency

Your clients’ days are just as hectic as yours. The faster your clients can access the information, the better it reflects on you and your company. A mobile learning system will save time for both your clients and the sales team.  Your customers can access complete information at the touch of a button and for further doubts; they can contact the sales team. It saves your team time as they don’t have to answer trivial inconveniences, hence increasing their productivity. 

  • Data is easily accessible

One of the best practices of this system is that it collects information about orders, products, and clients. This information allows you to learn which products are the most popular when certain orders are most common, and so on. Having up-to-date information helps increase order efficiency and reveals your clients’ purchasing habits. This allows you to suggest more relevant products and expect the client’s next move, which increases trust between the client and sales rep.

  • Increases customer engagement

Mobile sales enablement provides one-on-one interactions with clients which establish trust and dependability. This strengthens the business relationship and speeds up the sales process. Clients can see orders being placed in front of them and make changes based on their requirements with immediate results. Involving the client in the process of selecting products and placing orders is the most effective way to build closeness and trust.

Conclusion

Sales representatives must be prepared for face-to-face interactions with customers, as well as the process that occurs before a lead is passed on to Sales, as well as the follow-up process. Mobile Sales Enablement helps sales reps get up to speed faster by delivering content that reinforces training directly from their mobile device. Mobile learning systems provide a unique customer experience. Mobile Sales Enablement raises the bar for the sales rep/customer relationship by providing real-time access to the right information to advance the sale process. Staying ahead of the competition necessitates the adoption of new technologies, and when it comes to customer engagement.

5 Ways to Elevate Your Sales Rep Training & Onboarding

The onboarding phase, in general, is the preparation and integration of a new team member in the organization.

Sales representatives are taken on board through best practices such as revising and attending guidance sessions, and preparation elements to accommodate new salespersons more closely to their environment and responsibilities. According to research by Glassdoor, organizations with good onboarding programs increase new employee retention by 82% and efficiency by more than 70%.

Ways to Maximize Efficiency During the Training and Onboarding Process

  1. Have a Standard Process

According to Harvard Business Review, 22% of companies have no formal onboarding programs. A standardized program can help to have a clear image in your mind that is intended to be long-term. Questions such as, “What basic tasks would each recruit complete in the first week?”,“What training courses do they complete in the first month?”, and ”What do they expect to do in the first quarter?” need to be answered through the program. Therefore, analyze the current onboarding program (or the one you plan to introduce if your company does not yet have one) and define unique events that a new sales rep should go through, and make them the norm for all hires.

  1. Document it

According to a study Human Capital Institute, 58% of company onboarding programs are focused on procedures and paperwork. It’s always a good idea to have some tools and reference guides on hand so they can update their memory on the fly. Creating sales processes and intelligence documents will save the new reps a lot of time and effort during their first couple of months on the job. Of course, you should provide your new reps with a comprehensive set of phone scripts and email templates that they can use right away; these scripts should cover the majority of the touchpoints in a standard sales cycle. Most good reps will later tailor these to suit their style, but supplying them with these tools upfront allows them to get up and start running much faster.

  1. Set attainable goals and milestones for new hire

Consider the following scenario: you’ve just landed your dream job, but during the onboarding process, you find that the job goals are unclear and you’re unsure what is expected of you. When new employees enter the organization, they must understand the goals for which they are responsible. Provide them with insights into the company’s principles, priorities, and long-term goals. When you approach the sales onboarding program with a target in mind, you will be able to remain focused on providing workers with the right insights to keep them motivated and efficient. This approach will also help increase employee retention

Check-in every week 

According to a study done by Enboarder, 72 percent of employees, one-on-one time with the boss are the most critical aspect of any onboarding program. Nothing is more motivating for new reps than understanding that you, the boss, care for them and want them to succeed. A weekly five-minute phone call from you will do wonders for a new employee’s morale and effort. Simply get in touch: Inquire how he or she is doing and whether there is something you can do to assist.

  1. Practice makes perfect

The stereotypical cliché hasn’t stopped being real, at least yet. The sales method, like any other part of life, can be mastered with repeated practice. This is particularly true for sales representatives since they learn at a faster and faster pace with repeated practice. As a result, ensure that the program contains a sufficient number of real-world practice scenarios.

Anything that has the new hires doing what they’re learning (while they’re learning it, not months later when they’ve forgotten it) will boost sales training stickiness and rep trust.

Conclusion

These five tips will increase the chances of your sales reps’ success, retention rate, and increase sales. Having an effective sales onboarding program is critical not just for the new sales reps, but also for the entire company. It may appear to be a lengthy and laborious procedure — and it is, but when done right, it will yield profits that are several times over. Standardization also decreases the amount of time put into daily tasks, and so, having a solid onboarding program in place will be beneficial for all organizations.

On-boarding for a Job Role STACK

Unless you have been living under a rock through the last decade, you have heard of tech stacks. A tech stack is the set of underlying elements of a software application. These are the frameworks, languages, and software products that everything else is built on. Every developer who joins a tech team needs to learn his stack.

Similarly, I believe that every business role has a stack. A stack that has to be mastered by anybody looking to do that role.

Skills

Skills are what we all need to know how to do in order to our job effectively. There are two broad categories of skills – Soft Skills and Functional Skills. In the context of this framework, the “Skills” being referred to are Functional Skills only. Every role demands certain core functional skills, that are essential for the employee to function in that job.

Good examples of these are Javascript expertise for a ReactJS developer, Negotiation and Presentation Skills for a salesperson and Accounting Skills for a credit analyst. While such skills can be trained for, true expertise comes only from experience. This is why expertise in such core skills is typically evaluated during the recruitment process itself. And once in the job, organizations trust employees to progressively get better the longer they perform the role.

In the context of role on-boarding, there is very little that can be done in a short duration program to build up these core skills. Instead, what is recommended are skill assessments and quick refreshers. Essentially, just show them a mirror and jog their memory.

Don’t spend inordinate amounts of time (not more than 10%) on skill training during on-boarding.

Tools

Can you imagine a carpenter without a saw or a blacksmith without a hammer? A skill is useless without the tools that go along with it. Similarly, every job role typically requires an employee to use a set of software and hardware tools and systems to perform their jobs.

Good examples of these are IDEs for developers, Canva and Amplayfy for content marketers and Microsoft PowerPoint for salespersons. Apart from industry-specific tools like these, most companies also have their own company-specific ERP, CRM, LMS, HRMS, etc. that the employees need to familiarise themselves with.

In the context of role on-boarding, expertise on industry-specific tools is akin to having the core skills. It is not recommended that any industry-specific tool training be undertaken during the on-boarding program. Instead, it is recommended to focus on providing primers for company-specific tools. Most people are hesitant to learn new systems, and the on-boarding program is the best place to manage this trepidation through these introductions to the tools. Giving them access to manuals or help videos in a repository format will encourage deeper self-training at a later date.

Spend more time on training on tools (about 15%) over training on skills during on-boarding.

Attitudes

Attitudes are a mixed bag of soft skills, beliefs and habits that are required for working in a role. These dictate how well you can work or interact with others to form relationships, create trust and dependability, and lead teams.

Good examples of these are leadership abilities in team leaders, assertiveness in analysts and persuasiveness in salespersons. Beyond the role requirements, all companies have a clear set of values, principles and guidelines that they look to inculcate in their workplace. Every employee must learn, internalise and display these attitudes to fit into the company culture.

In the context of role on-boarding, such attitudes need to be communicated right up front. These are best done through meet and greets, icebreakers, evangelical sessions and value discussions with the employee. Given that these require significant face-to-face interactions, it is perhaps the most expensive part of an on-boarding program in terms of time and effort and might seem to have a lower direct benefit in role on-boarding.

However, attitudes are critical in integrating a new hire into the company on the whole, and deserve significant resource allocation (about 20%) during on-boarding.

Customers

Customers are the only purpose for existence of any business activity. Customers can be internal or external, depending on the nature of the job role. But in all cases, knowing about and understanding customers is critical to performing the job well. Such customer education is unique to role on-boarding, differing from organisational induction in its application.

Good examples of these could range from retailers for front-line FMCG sales, website visitors for SaaS inside sales teams and company employees for an HR team. A stakeholder mapping exercise would be a good starting point for identifying the customer for a role.

In the context of role on-boarding, the difficult question is determining the best approach for the customer familiarisation exercise. In the case of institutional sales, it could be one-on-one meetings with the clients and account planning exercises. In the case of B2C sales, it might be participating in surveys, focus groups and interviews. Attending reviews and meetings might be a good way to familiarise the employee with internal customers.

Customer familiarisation during on-boarding requires significant time expenditure (about 25%), but reduces the need for on-the-job training in the long term.

Knowledge

Knowledge required for a job role spans a matrix of Industry-Company-Employee and Information-Concepts-Expectations. This has been explored in great detail in the ICE Cube induction framework I and II which are linked here and here.

Good examples of knowledge needs are company background, regulations, company policies, business concepts, etc. A larger part of required knowledge are job role specific knowledge of concepts, processes, products, expectations etc.

In the context of role on-boarding, the knowledge requirement takes up the largest chunk of time. It is recommended that to the extent possible, the knowledge sections should be administered through e-learning and not instructor-led training. The knowledge content should be structured as a combination of course-ware and reference learning centers, with a focus on on-demand learning and personalization. Try and find ready learning resources on LinkedIn, Coursera, Udemy, etc. before starting to create your own learning resources.

Knowledge training forms the base of the entire role on-boarding program (about 30%) and needs to be planned smartly to manage time, cost and effectiveness.

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The Job Role STACK approach integrates really well with competency mapping and organizational development. Ideally, we typically recommend getting veterans of each job role in the organization to define the STACK and its constituents. Post that, taking the common elements of multiple Job Role STACKs into a common company induction program becomes easier. The remaining STACK components then move into a relatively shorter role on-boarding exercise that finally gets integrated with on-the-job training and coaching.

Do let us know your opinions on job role stacks and whether you see them being applicable in your businesses. And if you are looking for an easy to use tool to create interactive content for such programs, do consider giving Amplayfy a spin…

P.S. This was first published on LinkedIn – Click here to see the original post

6 tips to integrate micro learning in your courses for rapid learning

Micro-Learning can be defined as a skill-based approach in education as well as training that delivers the information in small, ‘bite-sized’ chunks. This is useful as the learners can quickly assimilate the knowledge that they need to perform a particular task without having to spend long hours learning about it. Thus, it creates an opportunity for the learners to engage with the content exactly at the moment they need it.

In recent years, Micro-learning has supplemented and in many cases, even replaced the traditional method of learning which was time-consuming and primarily focused on theory. Microlearning, on the other hand, focuses more on the application and is largely self-driven, thus, producing effective and measurable results.

This is why many training programs are now utilizing the micro-learning principles to generate rapid learning and make the process engaging and successful.

Let us look at the 6 tips to integrate micro-learning in your courses for rapid learning:

1) Gamifying Learning Content-

Learner engagement is one of the most important aspects of any training program. Without effective engagement, content retention or recollection is not possible. Micro-learning principles can be utilized to create a game-based learning scenario that is interactive and interesting. Gamifying the learning content makes it visually appealing and engaging which can help the learners better understand and remember it. Incorporating gaming mechanics like compelling narratives, characters, badges, etc proves to be useful in making the entire learning process fun and effective.

2) Using Interactive Training Tools-

Using micro-learning principles in creating Interactive training tools like simulations and scenarios can effectively and rapidly teach a particular skill-set. Simulation, in particular, can be really helpful in creating a virtual situation where the learners can apply the knowledge they have gained to solve a problem or achieve a certain goal. Thus, focusing on the content application instead of theory can help increase its intake and retention. A time-based decision-making scenario is also helpful in testing the learner’s capability in handling work pressure. Thus micro-learning principles offer a unique experience in a training program that may not be possible by following the traditional way.

3) Creating Instructional Videos and Podcasts-

Instructional videos can be a great way to give information as they are engaging and brief. Micro-learning can be used to create short videos about a particular product or developing a needed skill-set, which can then be shared across a variety of platforms like the company’s website and Youtube. This is convenient as the learners can access it whenever required.

Similarly, educational podcasts make it easier for the learners to gain information from the comfort of their own house or while traveling, without taking up too much of their time during work hours. It makes the process more learner-centric as they have control over their learning and can easily set their own pace for receiving the necessary information.

4) Writing Blog Posts-

Micro-learning principles can be used to create something as simple as a blog post which can keep the learners informed about various topics. Blogs don’t take much time to read, and a large chunk of information can be easily condensed in the form of points which the learners can easily remember. Blog posts can also be easily accessible from any device and can be published on various platforms which makes it handy for the learners to read them as and when required.

5) Creating Self-Assessment Tools-

One of the most effective ways of using micro-learning principles is by creating self-assessment tools which can include online quizzes, questionnaires, puzzles, case studies, etc. They provide an excellent opportunity to gauge the level of the learner and quantify their progress and understanding. Instant feedback that is given, helps the learners in identifying knowledge gaps which they can then rectify. As the evaluation is quick, the learning also progresses at a rapid pace. Self-assessment tools are also helpful in judging the effectiveness of a training program as they test the learner’s understanding and retention of the content.

6) Using Multimedia Resources-

Micro-learning makes it easier to condense information into various multimedia resources to provide a variety in learning and make the process interesting and enjoyable. Online slideshows and presentations are a great way to deliver information in a few minutes as the learners can easily absorb the content. Micro-learning is also used to create infographics that provide a comprehensive overview of the subject in a way that the learners can quickly understand and recollect.

Thus, integrating microlearning into the regular courses is a great way to boost the productivity of the training program and generate rapid learning and better content engagement, involvement, and retention.