In the past few years, we have witnessed the emergence of microlearning in sales readiness. Standing today, it is safe to say that microlearning has not only outperformed traditional learning but has also led to changes in the expectation of how sales representatives prefer to be enabled & upskilled. The field-force now wants to have the freedom to choose when, where and what they want to learn. Microlearning meets these expectations perfectly.
But is Microlearning alone sufficient to drive effective learning? Without a proper assessment of learning, learning can prove to be a futile effort. With assessment strategies incorporated in learning, it becomes easy to gauge the effectiveness of a microlearning program.
The Assessment & Microlearning Interplay
A customer-facing employee uses your microlearning platform to go through the possible objections he could face during an interaction with the customer. There’s a high chance that this learning experience would hold limited value if the sales rep wasn’t assessed on the types of objections and the way to respond to them with some real-life scenarios!
The key to achieving the best out of this interplay is to tie the assessment directly to the objectives of the microlearning module. Your assessment strategy should not be focused on randomly testing the field force. Instead the goal of should be to test the sales rep’s retention of learning & degree of repetition. To be able to build differentiation using gamification, organizations can use game-based assessments to boost knowledge retention and application of skills for everyone from the recruits to the sales managers and also incentivize them to consistently learn through rewards for successful completion, repetitive testing & mastery of the given skill set. Gamified microlearning content with game-based assessments enables the field force to measure their learning progress in real-time and provide data-driven feedback for course correction. These formative game-based assessments (assessments that are conducted during the learning process) can isolate skill gaps and correlate them with business performance to give managers a specific actionable task that is linked to the business performance.
Incorporating formative and summative assessments in learning can help the business teams to gauge retention not only post-learning but also during learning. Assessments can be included in the form of bite-sized nuggets within the module to check for understanding and increase learning engagement with more contextual content. Packaging the assessments in the form of a game would also make the sales rep put her/his knowledge to test in a fun, less threatening & most likely in a more repetitive manner.
Here are five ways how microlearning & micro-assessments can create a winning sales enablement experience for your field force!
1. Accelerating retention over time
It is often seen that sales representatives, despite going through a particular course or module, become a victim of the forgetting curve. The forgetting curve by Hermann Ebbinghaus depicts how our retention of what we learn drastically reduces over time unless we review or rehearse it. When exposed to the same material repeatedly, it takes less time to pull the information from your long-term memory. Plugging microlearning with game-based assessments can prevent this loss of memory & enhance the confidence of the field force to apply new skills on the job.
2. Breaking the ‘learner monotony’
Assessments are often associated with stress and the feeling of being pressurized. Gamified assessments are the key to breaking this perception. Leveraging hyper-casual gaming as part of the evaluation enables reps to combat such stress making the overall evaluation process fun and repetitive. Through repeated practice and rehearsals, game-based assessments allow sales leaders to identify deeper insights per rep and use them to provide more incisive microlearning inputs to boost individual sales productivity.
3. Fast-paced evaluation and learning:
Game-based assessments also complement the core philosophy of microlearning by making evaluation briefer and prompter. For instance, between introducing two concepts in a microlearning format, you could have a short game-based assessment. This helps in a quick evaluation of how much the sales representative has learnt and keeps them on their feet.
4. Developing performance interventions
With gamified learning paths featuring levels, challenges, leaderboards and awards, gamified-microlearning can act as a performance support tool that can help the field force to practice and improve their efficiency.
5. Make data-driven sales enablement decisions
By analysing the learning data captured through micro-assessments, we can identify the skills and competencies that sales reps are developing or struggling to develop. Sales trainers can also refer to the enablement data to constantly improve and update sales training content. Data can also be used to make the learning journey of sales reps adaptive based on their learning curve or ramp-up time and performance on the job.
For sales leaders, these data points can help in forecasting important business decisions about team performance, recruitment and salesforce planning.
Having clearly stated the benefits of having micro assessments in microlearning modules, the next big question that remains to be addressed is what forms of micro assessments can be used and what purpose each of these forms serve.
Let us now have a look at the different micro-assessment plugins for your content.
· Application-based simulation:
This form of micro assessment helps the sales representative hone his or her ability to apply the knowledge he or she has gained while going through a microlearning module. For instance, when developing and rolling out a module on answering objections just learning about the types and forms of objections will not prepare the sales rep for real-life customer situations. With the aid of game-based assessments, you can also present the representative with real-life situations, that would require him to make a decision and apply the newly acquired knowledge in that context.
· Knowledge evaluation:
This form of micro-assessment focuses on the retention capacity of the sales rep and can be embedded in the microlearning content such as short quizzes or hypercasual games. For instance, after learning about the new features of a particular product, the representative has to answer certain game-based questions which link back to the key points covered in the learning material.
· Observation-based evaluation:
It is widely accepted that observing and shadowing is an effective way to learn. Such elements of observation can be included in the form of micro assessments as well. For instance, a conversation between the buyer and the sales rep can be evaluated using a game-based assessment where he or she has to answer based on the conversation.
While all three of these formats can be used as micro assessments based on the objective of learning, it is very important to keep in mind that these assessments should follow the same principles of microlearning, i.e. be concise, concept-driven and engaging.
The end goal
You can opt for any kind of training, be it microlearning, on the field or classroom training but the completion of that is not the end. The final goal is field force readiness and being certain that the field force can retain and apply what they have learnt in their real-life sales scenarios. This is where both microlearning and micro assessments score highly in today’s remote or hybrid workplace. Let sales force enablement and effectiveness evolve from completing a course to repeating a learning experience to mastering a new skill.
Looking for an effective game-based microlearning & micro-assessment platform for your salesforce?