3 Must-Haves for Your Online Sales Training Platform
Selecting the right online sales training platform can transform the performance of your sales reps—and your business in general. But with an array of sales training software options out there, how do you prioritize what’s essential?
It comes down to having . . .
- A single platform that covers all the bases
- An onboarding component designed for results
- A dynamic sales coaching feature
How did we arrive at these three essentials? Consider the evidence. If you’re in high-tech or other sales-driven industries, you’re dealing with a changing—and challenging—world:
- Buyers freely consult a plethora of information sources and are creating a buyer-driven world. Meanwhile, according to Hubspot, sales reps spend more than 30% of their time looking for or creating content.
- Onboarding is taking too long, and turnover rates are hurting your ability to maintain a strong and consistent sales effort. Companies can commonly have new hires comprise 20% of their overall sales force.
- Your products are complex and continually evolving, but your training and coaching efforts aren’t truly ongoing—when they really need to be. According to Keenan, “Salespeople who exceed quota are 32% more likely to be coached.”
Online sales training platform was born from the notion that challenges like the above can be solved.
But with so much riding on whether that’s actually true, you’ll obviously want to research your options thoroughly and choose carefully.
The following describes three crucial features you should look for when you’re searching for online sales training platform that’s right for you.
1. A single platform that covers all the bases
Your salespeople should never have to wonder where to go for the information they need to do their jobs better.
And they definitely shouldn’t be wasting time searching for or recreating content that’s already out there . . . somewhere.
A true content management system to find vital information easily
The idea of one place for all your content has become a hallmark claim for most sales training software. And, yes, a comprehensive repository of content is crucial.
But it’s not enough.
You’ll want online sales training platform that enables actual content management.
That means it’s a system that can logically organize your content and make it easily accessible through an intuitive, familiar-feeling user interface.
The software should allow a salesperson to easily search by topic, skill, product, or any other custom category appropriate for your business.
And just as important in today’s world, users should be able to access the content from a smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
Complete integration and accessibility to reduce obstacles for your team
Imagine a world where users can rely on—and even be emboldened by—having a single, easy-to-use channel that:
- Provides the right information and training to help them onboard faster and more effectively
- Can integrate with multiple platforms (think CRMs like Salesforce)
- Delivers sales enablement tools appropriate to a potential customer’s place in the sales cycle
- Allows for all forms of content—from PDFs and PowerPoints to video and audio files—on any device, including iOS and Android mobile devices
- Adheres to your company’s security guidelines and prevents confidential information from leaving the platform
Robust analytics that reveal key areas for improvement
Businesses today thrive on data and measurement—i.e., analytics. When you have all your content in a single place, you now have an opportunity to distill vital information like:
- How is it being accessed, viewed, and shared?
- Who is doing the accessing, viewing, and sharing?
- Which content assets are winning more deals?
But details like these—and a myriad of other possibilities—are only possible when you have this: an online sales training platform that provides a sophisticated analytics option that’s also easy for managers and supervisors to use.
Having the benefit of relevant analytics can be vital for providing targeted guidance, rewarding individual performances, and improving overall operations.
2. An onboarding component designed for results
The stress in recruiting, hiring, and onboarding can be a major pain point.
But what if you could make significant improvements to your onboarding specifically? What if your new hires had the support they need to learn more effectively?
They would be much more likely to feel comfortable and confident in their direction—and continue on to the next level.
That would mean less turnover, which could take measurable pressure off your recruiting and hiring efforts, couldn’t it?
Learning paths that facilitate smarter onboarding
Today, more and more companies are looking for better alternatives to the expense and limited ROI of in-person marathon training sessions, one-on-one training, and big annual conferences.
A truly effective online sales training platform should turn the onboarding experience into a streamlined process.
You should be able to walk your new hires through a carefully controlled learning sequence, one that prevents them from losing their focus and keeps their attention on what’s most important right now.
In the process you can:
- Reduce time-consuming in-person training
- Share new content easily by making it immediately accessible to trainees from a single sales training platform
- Gauge performance with life-like scenarios, quizzes, and video assessments
- Organize your content by stage, buyer persona, content type, and more
In turn, that means your software should enable you to:
- Replace expensive training consultants and travel costs with scalable content you create once and trainees can read, listen to, or watch from anywhere at anytime
- Ensure your sales info and messaging—from elevator pitches and value propositions to company differentiators and pricing—are being delivered consistently
- Quickly tell who’s ready to start selling and who needs to improve
- Guide new sales people step-by-step so they know what their next move should be as they move potential customers down your sales funnel
Dynamic sales training to get new salespeople selling faster
Getting new salespeople up to speed as soon as possible is obviously an imperative. But the reality is that people learn at different speeds and in different ways.
Your online sales training platform should enable your sales reps to consume content in their own way, on their preferred device, and when it fits best in their schedules.
This creates a much more efficient and effective training process.
Rather than waste time enduring ineffective training sessions, users should be able to seek out—and benefit from—methods that best resonate with their learning styles.
"Rather than waste time enduring ineffective training sessions, users should be able to seek out—and benefit from—methods that best resonate with their learning styles."
That does more than create better learning outcomes.
It encourages people to return again and again to the sales training platform because they’re experiencing its value. They’re getting better. They’re understanding more. They’re feeling more confident.
This is a dynamic form of sales training and should be an integral part of the software you choose.
Keep in mind that the best dynamic sales training programs present information in smaller pieces, with regular assessments along the way, and rewards for moving through the process.
Gamification to reward and motivate
Your online sales training platform should have a variety of options for motivating people to engage with it. Gamification is a great way to do that.
Think about it: You’re onboarding salespeople. It’s a safe bet to assume they have a competitive streak. So why not tap into it?
Getting users the opportunity to score points, show up on leaderboards, and compete with one another is more than just a fun feature.
There’s a reason why gamification is growing in use. It’s backed by research indicating things like:
- Effective gamification can help release a host of neurotransmitters beneficial to learners
- People feel more in control when they experience tangible indicators of their progress through rewards (even small ones)
- Game-like scenarios trigger people’s inner competitor and encourage them to excel
And remember that the right sales software will allow you to establish games that parallel real-world sales scenarios.
3. A dynamic sales coaching feature
An exceptional sales onboarding software must be balanced by an equally exceptional sales enablement component—both for novices and the established sales force.
For you, that should mean looking for training software that can connect coaching to sales enablement.
Think of it as a dynamic sales coaching feature that enables you to reinforce sales messaging, encourage adoption of new practices, and meet the individual needs of sales reps—all in a much more efficient way.
Ongoing coaching for continual improvement
Dynamic sales coaching is not a one-and-done exercise. Rather, it takes place throughout the year, sometimes in short sessions focusing on a single skill and sometimes in longer sessions covering broader issues.
"Look for software that enables dynamic sales coaching: training conducted throughout the year, sometimes in short sessions focusing on a single skill and sometimes in longer sessions covering broader issues."
In other words, find a sales training software platform that:
- Acknowledges salespeople are at different points on the performance continuum
- Accommodates that fact by allowing coaching sessions to be personalized
- Lets the gamification in the onboarding stage be adapted to the actual sales performance arena
Finally, dynamic sales coaching should let salespeople learn at their own pace, on multiple platforms, so everyone can access coaching and no member of the sales team is left behind.
Asynchronous video coaching to match people’s needs
Video is now an established way for people to not only be entertained—but also to learn.
In fact, the potential value in video use for your sales training and enablement is simply too valuable to ignore.
Take Millennials for example. They’re coming out of college already accustomed to learning via streaming and on-demand video options.
Make sure your sales software gives you a user-friendly interface for video recording and viewing.
More specifically, asynchronous video coaching should be a key aspect of your sales training because it does the following:
- Allows coaches to deliver important information quickly and effectively to a video-savvy audience
- Creates a forum where dialogue can emerge between a coach and a sales rep—but on each participant’s own schedule (hence the asynchronous part)
- Gives opportunities for valuable sharing and critiquing—What do you think of this sales pitch?—that can be done during off-peak selling hours
Raven 360 invites you . . .
Which online sales training platform is right for you?
Seeing the software in action is a great first step to finding out.
This is your invitation to evaluate if Raven360 fits the specific needs of your company. Contact us today for a free demo!