An organization’s sales team is often the most dynamic one. From what we have observed, it is also the team that witnesses major changes in structure, strategy and workforce. Attrition rates are often high too. Many researchers have pointed out that training plays an important role in employee retention and it applies for the sales teams too. Lack of training often leads to low performance, difficulty to meet sales target/quotas. It is essential to understand that even the best hires need periodic knowledge upgrades and revisions to keep up with the cutting-edge competition in sales.
Though traditional eLearning, mobile learning etc. are great tools for training the sales team, performance support is what comes in handy most when training the ever-kinetic sales force.
The main task of Performance support tools is to deliver quick and just-in-time solutions to address day-to-day business challenges. So how can we use Performance support to assist the Sales teams?
- Learning at the Moment of Need - Performance support tools assist the learners (in this case the sales team). This can either be in form of a step-by step guidance about a business process to successfully complete the tasks or assist when stuck while performing a particular task or for a quick product knowledge before key customer meetings. Task automation too can be handled using certain performance support tools.
- Introducing a Learning Concept - Simple performance support modules like interactive PDFs or videos can be used to introduce the sales team to new concepts or strategies that control the sales function in general. Take for instance a new CRM that is being introduced, a little introductory build up can definitely give it a boost.
- Reinforcing Complex Concepts - Performance Support tools are often used to revise/ reinforce some of the key complex concepts. For example, the process for resolving customer problems and complaints needs strict adherence to certain policies that may need looking at twice or may be thrice. Performance support makes this easy.
- Better Understanding - Short scenarios or examples are easily the best ways to teach a subject. For instance, a complicated concept if presented in form of a common scenario makes it easier for the sales team to relate to. The trick lies in grasping the attention, which performance support tools can help with.
- Parting Additional Knowledge and Information - Today's age is the era of information and keeping workforce update is key to success over the competition. Hence presentations, glossaries videos, or even additional links that lead to added information about certain topics or concepts becomes very useful. For the sales team this is a way to expand knowledge and always be ahead of the competition.
- Knowledge Assessment - Knowing the impact of the sales training is necessary. Performance support tools in form of short assessments to determine the level of understanding is a good way to do so. This could allow the L&D function to identify key areas for training and development of sales team based on the outcome.
Performance support is already at the fore front with mobile learning and wearables gaining prominence. For making the sales team more confident and active, devising a robust learning strategy is a must and performance support should inevitably be a part of it.
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