Amp up your sales force with eLearning

Many organizations associate eLearning with onboarding, product training, compliance, and other internal processes. However, sales professionals, who are the lifeblood of most organizations, require continuous training to hone their skills, stay competitive, and deliver on their growth targets. eLearning can assist.

“Look at any sales professional’s CV, and you’ll notice how often they change jobs. Global studies show that sales professional turnover is three times higher than all other jobs,” said Michael Gullan, CEO of G&G Advocacy, an eLearning consultancy for the corporate sector. Gullan says the reasons are not always because of unmet sales targets but also from burnout and disengagement. Even the most experienced sales professionals and partner resellers need ongoing training to improve engagement, productivity, performance, and revenue.

Most top-performing organisations provide continuous training to their sales teams, from their first day on the job to their last day of sales. Regardless of where they are in their careers, regular training will enhance your sales teams’ communication, negotiation, relationship-building, confidence, and effectiveness, resulting in more sales revenue for your organisation.

Michael Gullan

An effective eLearning strategy for your sales teams should include onboarding, product training, skills and process training, and regular development of sales tools, techniques, and practices, such as,

  • Coaching
  • CRMs
  • Email campaigns
  • Communication skills
  • Battle cards
  • Playbooks
  • Sales and marketing content

Not for the faint of heart

“Sales can be rewarding but also grueling. It’s fast, pressured, and fraught with rejections. Burnout is common among sales professionals and can lead to declining performance fast,” said Gullan. Low engagement should be avoided across all departments, especially sales. Training and opportunities for advancement can reignite deflated sales professionals and ultimately help businesses save on hiring and onboarding new reps.

eLearning strategies for sales professionals and partners

Gullan suggests an effective sales eLearning playbook should include the following because, regardless of their experience, every sales professional needs to be onboarded. It lays a strong foundation for success, and should include:

The basics – how your organization works, technology, and other important company information.

Product training – overview of your industry, products, and customers.

Pitch training – understand your customer’s needs, how to overcome common objections, and which products are sold together.

Sales skills ­– this will ensure experienced sales professionals don’t revert to old habits, and new hires know how to sell your products to your customers. It also ensures your sales cycle is adhered to.

Sales strategy – salespeople do better when they understand the reasoning behind their pitch and sales psychology. Studies show that the best sales organisations spend less time on product training and more on sales strategy.

Soft skills – so your customers experience polite, prompt, and personalised experiences. Soft skills such as perseverance, active listening, empathy, managing relationships, and critical thinking are important success drivers.

Mentorship and coaching – Scale this via webinars, videos, and other rich media without being a time drain for team leaders.

Closing performance gaps – even experienced salespeople need to learn and grow their skills. “58% of workplaces reported skill transformation since the pandemic,” said Gullan, “and many seasoned salespeople felt lost trying to sell virtually. An eLearning needs analysis, and strategy can combat this.”

Adaptive selling – a recent Salesforce report shows that 73% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs. An adaptive sales eLearning program will give your reps the tools to evaluate each customer and adapt their sales approach.

Cross-functional training – eliminates the sales team from working in silos and promotes organisation-wide collaboration and enhanced performance.

Partner resellers – need to understand your products and services and how to sell them. eLearning does this at scale using onboarding, product training, and sales training relevant to their niche. eLearning can be tailored to various partner learner profiles, so they receive unique learning material based on their market.

Enablement and on-demand training ­– gives your team everything they need, when they need it to be more effective at selling: resources, playbooks, content, training, and anything else sales teams might need to do their jobs well.

“By providing continuous training throughout a sales professional’s career, you will improve your sales team’s performance and retain star performers for longer. The results will be increased revenue and a marked ROI on your eLearning,” concluded Gullan.

Sales professionals require ongoing training for success, as turnover rates are high due to burnout and disengagement. The importance of continuous learning to onboard, train, address performance gaps, and provide resources on-demand ensures internal and partner resellers collaborate, perform, and boost revenue.