Can Game-based Learning Be Useful for Sales Training?

Sales are all about numbers. What is sold? How well has the product fared? What are the indicators that flag issues in Customer Relation Management? At the end of the day, all the efforts are quantified, but reaching those figures, getting positive results is not that easy. While experience and talent do make a huge difference, there are still several qualities that are built entirely through training. And when we talk about the training we must consider the target audience too. With workplaces being transformed into digital workplaces and digital natives actively joining the workforce, the way training is delivered has changed considerably, and Game-based Learning is now being adopted at a higher frequency than ever before.

Before dwelling deeper into this, it is pertinent to understand that Game-based Learning is different from Gamification. The former stands for use of games, designed to deliver learning as a part of advancing through levels, mini-games interspersed between learning content, etc. The latter on the other hand stands for the use of game mechanics (rewards, points, etc., discussed in detail here) to motivate the learners.

As complex as it sounds Game-based Learning has its own perks (read more here ). How then can Game-based Learning be useful for Sales Training?

• Delivers Iterative and Reinforced Learning
Sales and product training require repetitions and revisions to drive the message home. Game-based Learning breaks learning content into small nuggets, skilfully integrated with gameplay. Small chunks of information or microlearning are absorbed well and retained for a longer time period.

• Improves Decision Making
Game-based Learning for sales training usually revolves around real-life scenarios, to assist the learners in understanding and analyzing complex situations that they may encounter. The user moves ahead based on the decisions made through the course of the game. This sharpens the decision-making skills and equips the sales personnel to work well even under stressful and time-bound situations.

• Trains in Time Management
Time management is of the essence in the sales function. Between meetings, product training, and travel, managing time well and sticking to the schedules becomes a must. Game-based learning usually is time-based or has a specific time limit for completion. While this approach ensures course completion, it also teaches the learners to work within a time frame and manage time.

• Risk-Free Environment for Learning
Game-based learning used in Sales training provides a risk-free environment where learners can learn the art of negotiation, decision making, etc., and that too through trial and error without causing any real damages due to wrong decisions or approaches. The best part is that the learners can try it out over and over, view the situation from various viewpoints, and even get a realistic view of the consequences of wrong decision-making or negotiations, hence prepping them for such situations in real life. And all this becomes more interesting due to the gameplay.

• Real-time Feedback
The perk of game-based learning is that everything is plain, right in front of the eyes and this includes assessments and feedbacks. In game-based learning the learners need to overcome certain challenges, and based on the answers or decision, immediate feedback is shared allowing the learner to assess their own position, be motivated to fare better.

Game-based learning acts as an active motivator both at the individual and organizational levels. While the learners can view their progress on the dashboards, they can also see their position at an organizational level, compare scores with their peers, and most importantly identify the areas that require improvement. Game-based learning for sales training also helps in staying on par with the technological demands, allowing learners to learn-on-the-go, in a competitive and motivating environment and improve in decision making, risk-taking, problem-solving, memorization skills, etc.

What are your thoughts on Game-based learning? Do let us know.

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