It is an era of digitization and disruptions. New technologies are transforming the way content creators are creating and delivering digital content. In the L&D industry, Content Authoring Tools (CATs) are used for creating interactive digital learning content.
What are content authoring tools and why are they gaining prominence?
Authoring tools are software tools that enable you to create eLearning content which can be easily converted into different formats and delivered online to learners on the desktop or mobile.
These tools can be used for creating learning pathways for sales training & readiness programs such as new rep onboarding, sales competency assessment, new product launch readiness, nudging sales reps based on customer interactions, and other technical or behavioral training initiatives.
Each creation tool comes with their own range of supported elearning formats, including SCORM, xAPI, HTML, LTI et al. Some of the popular authoring platforms include Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline 360, Lectora, iSpring Suite, Elucidat & Master-O.
Most sales leaders & even chief learning officers are beginning to realize that in the absence of a sound content creation strategy, the ability of platforms like Learning Management Systems & Sales Readiness solutions to continuously upskill, engage & enable the sales force will become extremely limited.
According to data published by our clients, the right authoring tool can deliver many advantages for business leaders and L&D professionals alike, such as:
- Ensure 70% faster & more agile content creation that better responds to the changing dynamics of the business
- Deliver 300% higher retention of product knowledge & sales competencies• Repackage static presentations into a game-based microlearning format that delivers 10 times higher engagement
- Create universal content that can seamlessly render across desktops, laptops and mobile devices
- Generate more insightful data points per rep to better link sales readiness with sales outcomes
- Enhance the capability of marketers, product managers and L&D teams to create engaging & effective content that frontline teams become habitually tuned to consume
But, which Content Authoring Tool is best for delivering sales readiness programs for the frontline workforce?
In recent years, there’s been an explosion of authoring tools in the market, offering many different features & functionalities.
Choosing the right authoring tool ultimately depends on various factors such as the organization’s industry, workforce demographics, internal skills and technical expertise to implement the solution, ease of implementation, nature of existing learning platforms, volume & variety of learning content and of course budget considerations.
Key considerations for selecting the right authoring tool for sales readiness & frontline training include:
- Microlearning-Ready: Understanding how frontline reps like to consume content is extremely important to ensure your content authoring tool can create and deliver the same experience. Sales reps typically consume content in 2 to 5 minutes at a time from sources like YouTube, Tik Tok, Pub G, Candy Crush & other hyper casual games. Content experiences from authoring tools need to mimic the levels of engagement from such applications. Increasingly, learning & sales readiness is evolving into repetitive, bite sized formats. Hence, an authoring tool’s ability to deliver similar content experiences is becoming paramount. Make sure your authoring tool not only supports and predominantly focuses on microlearning content & microlearning principles.
- Create Hyper Casual Game-Based Learning: The explosion of hyper casual mobile games means your sales reps are 90% likely to engage in games such as Wordle, Candy Crush, Temple Run and countless others during their downtime. To compete with their attention, your authoring tool must be able to create game-based learning experiences.
- Gamification Ready: To augment the game-based learning functionality, make sure the authoring tool can easily enable you to include gamification such as points, badges, leader boards and other reward mechanisms in the sales readiness & training curriculum.
- Flexibility In Content Design & Delivery: Ensure that your authoring tool is capable of customizing content per your requirements & delivering content in various formats such as videos, flash cards, micro interactions, quizzes of various formats, surveys, forms, flash announcements & macro learning content repositories.
- Agility, Speed & Ease Of Administration: Creating engaging & effective content is only practical if the process of creation itself is effortless and quick. Hence, it is important to ascertain how fast your authoring tools can create high-quality eLearning & microlearning content. Is your authoring tool easy to use by your sales trainers who, in addition to travel & administration related work also conduct 20 to 25 training sessions each day and above that have to sit down and create additional content for sales readiness? Can your content authoring tool respond at scale and at speed to the changing strategies & tactical changes that business leaders & sales managers respectively must calibrate?
- Insightful Analytics: Can your content authoring tool deliver insightful data points for all the key stakeholders that play a pivotal role in an effectiveness sales readiness program:
- Content creators & trainers
- Product managers
- Sales managers
- Frontline reps
- Sales leaders
An effective content authoring tool for sales readiness should be able to throw out more than just adoption and completion results. Insights such as content recommendations can enable content creators to constantly fine tune their content based on the skill gaps of the front line. Similarly, the level of engagement with the content, time taken to create & audit the content prior to launch can further streamline the process of content creation itself.
We have written earlier about how business leaders need to see clear linkages between readiness programs and their impact on lead and lag indicators based on a salesforce’s KPI. An effective content authoring tool needs to address this paramount requirement.
- Ease of Integration: Most businesses today have a multitude of platforms that feed into a frontline rep’s daily workflow in some way or the other. Rather than adding another tool to your arsenal, ensure your content authoring tool can talk to other systems to create more intelligent nudges and rule-based engines to trigger engaging content at the right time & context.
- Internal Content Authoring Readiness: Besides the capability of the authoring tool, also ensure you have a good hold on the readiness of your internal team who will be leveraging the tool. In most cases, content creators comprise of the training team along with product marketers. Ensuring that their capability is also upgraded and able to best leverage whichever tool you procure even more critical than the feature richness of the content authoring tool for sales readiness.
Are your content creators equipped to create and implement learning content or do they need some specialized training to best implement your authoring tool for sales training programs?
Let’s dive deeper into how Master-O’s content authoring tool enables organizations to create interactive and engaging eLearning content for their sales readiness & enablement programs.
Master-O is a mobile-first sales readiness & learning platform that accelerates frontline sales capability and workforce productivity. By leveraging the power of in-built content authoring, it creates an immersive, user-centric experience for frontline reps while enabling content creators to churn out content 70% faster than traditional authoring tools. Some of the key differentiators which make Master-O an effective platform for sales readiness & content authoring include:
Easy To Integrate: Master-O has been built as a holistic platform which can be easily integrated with your existing CRM or LMS/LXP platforms enabling L&D teams to quickly create content and seamlessly publish learning pathways for sales reps on the existing platforms they are predisposed to using.
Focus on Frontline: Unlike other content authoring tools that are more generic, Master-O is exclusively focused on enhancing frontline capabilities & provides a unique learning experience to frontline reps to ramp up their skills & performance.
Faster Content Creation: Master-O’s core authoring supports many formats which make it easier and 70% faster to create interactive eLearning content. Content creators can easily build on their existing base level PowerPoint content & generate bite-sized, highly engaging content for sales readiness.
Exclusive Focus On Microlearning & Game-based Learning: Master-O offers highly interactive, bite sized microlearning content, which front line reps can consume & refer throughout the day and stay up-to-date. Similarly, game-based learning is an integral part of the platform that engages learners as well as ensures higher repetition & competition via leaderboards. Points & badges provide further incentive to ensure sales readiness & training becomes habitual.
Assessment and Analytics: The Master-O platform throws real-time data and insights to provide sales leaders with advanced sales dashboards and customized analysis of key metrics such as:
- Current state of readiness among sales reps
- Level of learning agility, which ties well with dexterity among sales reps to sell across products / SKUs
- Proficiency level of skills & sales temperament such as perseverance, ability to take initiatives, ramp up capability
Furthermore, behavioural psychology- based interactions also offer valuable insights based on the sales rep’s interaction with game-based learning mechanics. Together, these insights enable sales managers to make smarter decisions on the ground and allow sales leaders to best forecast how to drive revenue generation across the salesforce.
Skill Certification: Master-O is the only content authoring tool with a bundled microlearning certification course to equip trainers and content creators to create new age digital content. Content creators get upskilled and gain confidence to roll out future projects at ease.
In summary, here’s a quick look to differentiate between Master-O and other content authoring tools
|Parameter||Master-O||Traditional Content Authoring Tools|
|Focus on front line readiness||Exclusive focus on enhancing frontline and salesforce capabilities.||Mostly offers one-size-fits-all approach which may not be very effective for frontline sales teams.|
|Game-Based Learning & Gamification||Supports game-based learning with a library of different game-based learning templates. Includes gamification of sales enablement & readiness via points, badges and leader boards.||Do not offer game-based learning but most will include some form of gamification.|
|Faster content creation plus customization||In-built authoring capabilities leads to 70% faster content creation. Customization and personalization is possible at every step of the learning pathway.||Most authoring tools focus on SCORM based content, implying it takes much longer to create content. This reduces the ability to quickly respond to the changing needs of business leaders.|
|Microlearning Focused||Bite-sized learning and micro interactions engage reps to complete and repeat courses with 95% less follow up.||Most authoring tools now support microlearning in that content can be created in a bite sized format. However, the content design & user experience for content creators is still focused on lengthy eLearning courses that are 60 to 90 minutes in duration.|
|Data Analytics On Sales Readiness||Provides detailed data and insights to take informed decision. Behavioural psychology-based nudges offer more insights & linkages to sales performance.||Content authoring tools largely rely on the integrated LMS or Sales Readiness platform’s ability to track and analyse learner behavior. Most data points on LMS platforms are restricted to adoption and completion rates.|
|Off-The-Shelf Content Library||In-built microlearning content library with almost 80 Microskills® on selling skills, customer interaction & service and personal productivity.||May not have any pre-built content library or repository|
|Microlearning Certification Course||Certifies content creators and L&D team to create impactful content||Absence of any certification|
To sum it up, in order to create an effective sales readiness & sales training initiative, it is imperative to look for the most viable content authoring solution that is easy to integrate and implement, gives good value for investment and ensures quickest adoption & habit among frontline sales reps to continuously upskill, engage & enable themselves.
To learn more about Master-O along with microlearning and enablement in the flow of work, please visit masteroapp.com or schedule a demo to discover how Master-O can redefine sales readiness & sales training for your organization.