Product-based sales training continues to be a key focus area for any organization in any industry. Research from industry analysts suggest that it’s one of the top five categories in the $200 billion global corporate training market.
Coupled with sales training, product training becomes a key enablement for a company’s salesforce to acquire new and grow existing customers. With so much at stake and with many approaches to product training & sales training, it’s important for sales enablement executives to evaluate how they can maximize their training objectives.
As more organizations begin to realize the value of microlearning, it provides sales training professionals an opportunity to leverage microlearning for sales enablement.
We’ve put together five ways on how you can leverage microlearning to enable your salesforce on product & sales training:
1. Targeted and just-in-time learning: According to LinkedIn’s recent report, 49% of employees prefer to learn at the point of need. Using microlearning a salesperson can adopt a focused learning approach just before the need to apply it. For instance, imagine a pharmaceutical sales executive going to meet a health care professional to talk about a new research-based drug therapy. Revising what she learnt about the way the therapy works and any potential objections from the health care professional could be a sufficient five-minute microlearning session while waiting for the doctor. The immediate recall would easily be applicable in the flow-of-work, i.e. during the meeting with the potential customer.
2. Personalization of learning content: For an insurance company with 20,000 agents and 3,000 relationship managers, it’s hard to think of N=1 when it comes to product training and sales enablement. However, by adopting a data driven approach, every microlearning interaction can serve as a data point to understand the learning effectiveness and skill gaps of these geographically distributed learners. For instance, over a 30-day microlearning session on a new unit linked insurance product, a life insurance company may find out that:
a. 500 agents did not understand the “lock-in period” concept
b. 100 agents were not clear about “management fee charges” &
c. 300 relationship managers did not effectively learn about “premium payment options”
By looking at these data points and delving further at a question-specific level, sales training professionals can precisely identify the sales enablement areas that need to be improved or even bolstered with more content. This approach can not only make product-based sales training content more personalized for the sales executive, but can also significantly improve retention and application of learning.
3. Linkage to game-based learning:According to research, the game-based learning market is projected to grow at a 37% CAGR from 2018 to 2023. Given how microlearning is about 2 to 5-minute learning experiences, its outcomes can get magnified if combined with other complementary disciplines such as mobile gaming. By deeply intertwining the microlearning & gaming experience, sales enablement can become more engaging, more competitive and above all more habitual.
4. Blending microlearning with existing training practices: Microlearning is always more effective when clubbed with existing training programs as a “pre & post” approach to sustain learning. This bodes well for organizations looking to get more mileage from their existing training curriculums. They do not need to schedule classroom refreshers on sales training and can adopt the microlearning approach instead. Not only does this save travel & logistics costs, it also saves enormous time thereby, boosting sales productivity enormously. On the flip side, for fast-growing organizations with a lean sales training team, microlearning provides an opportunity to propose targeted sales training interventions on the back of microlearning data. Hence, for established as well as fast-growing organizations, microlearning can double up the effectiveness of classroom-based sales training initiatives.
5. Building habits using psychology: Imagine asking your salesforce to master the art of negotiating. Not only is this a daunting task that is made up of many sub-skills (or Microskills®, as we call them), it also requires dedicated time. For already inundated sales executives, the task of learning a new skill often leads to procrastination and multiple follow ups, driven by sales training executives. Microlearning helps to psychologically break the “ability barrier” associated with learning a new skill and simplify the task. This creates learning in-the-flow of work and encourages sales executives to learn a new skill bit-by-bit. With microlearning, you can also drastically reduce follow ups and enable the salesforce to develop learning habits of 2 to 5 minutes every day that allow them to master new skills effortlessly.
As you can see, the above five approaches are all inter-linked. You can build better learning habits, by also ensuring that microlearning content is application focused. Similarly, leveraging game-based learning facilitates a data-driven approach to personalize microlearning content.
Mastering these five approaches can equip your sales training team to upskill your salesforce but more importantly link the outcomes of sales enablement with better sales results.
 Josh Bersin: A New Paradigm For Corporate Training
 LinkedIn: 2018 Workplace Learning Report
 Behavior Change: BJ Fogg Model
 Metaari Research: Global Game-based learning market