This post by uStudio's Lisa Stuardi originally appeared on Destination CRM.
Sales Training Processes Must Adopt New Technologies to Keep Pace
Your sales team’s ability to properly communicate the most valuable, up-to-date information about your company and its offerings is critical. And while any executive would agree with this sentiment, many companies are still lagging in their adoption of new technologies designed to make sales teams more nimble and effective.
The old modes of training a sales force – semi-annual, in-person workshops; quarterly documents and written briefs – are less effective in today’s always-on world of real-time communications. This is why many organizations are re-evaluating their sales training processes looking for faster, lower-cost ways to keep their sales force at peak productivity and performance. A better way of sales training – one that is agile, responsive and ‘just-in-time’ – is clearly needed.
Make Video Your De Facto Sales Training Method
The next evolution in sales training is just-in-time video. This means using video to get the right information to the sales person at the precise moment when that information is most likely to have an impact. For example, when a sales rep indicates a change in lead status in your CRM by upgrading the probability of a sale, use that moment to present him or her with a training video relevant to the next step of the sales cycle for that lead. Don’t lose momentum by waiting to train them weeks or months later.
The benefits of using video in this way are considerable. Most importantly, video is a medium that is easy to distribute, allowing enterprise organizations to communicate large amounts of information simply and efficiently. It provides consistent content and messaging to every person on the sales team at the moment when they need it, and only when they need it, thereby removing costs for in-person training. For example, by substituting video for in-class training, Microsoft was able to reduce the costs for classroom training from $320 per hour per participant to just $17 per hour per person.
It is also a medium that has a higher impact on learning and retention due to its media-centric, go-at-your-own-pace interactive content and feedback mechanisms. For example, Comscore tells us that retention of visual information can reach 65% versus just 10% for text-based information. Video is also an easily-sharable medium, making it ideal for collaborative learning.
Finally, video is the most trackable medium you can use for training. Sales executives can keep track of not only who is watching which videos, but also use scoring mechanisms to see who is actually learning from those videos. This data can then be correlated with sales rep performance to see the overall impact that training initiatives are having on sales.
With a lengthy list of benefits, video it stands to reason that video should be the de facto sales training medium.
Video alone is not enough. Video must be in-context for maximum efficacy.
While video may emerge as the most important medium for sales training, implementing it correctly is just as important. To do it right, video must be more than adopted, it must be presented in-context.
Context-switching is a notorious productivity killer. The American Psychological Association states that “brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.” This translates to significant costs on the sales operations sides when sales reps are asked to visit a plethora of separate intranets and portals to access everything from training videos to marketing content. It also helps to explain why, according to a Qvidian 2014 Sales Execution Survey, 88% of missed opportunities were caused because sales couldn’t find or leverage internal resources.
To keep sales reps at their maximum productivity, context-switching should be avoided at all costs. For those adopting video as their primary method of sales training, this means that video must be seamlessly integrated into the systems already in use by sales teams, namely their existing CRM system. Rather than sending sales reps to yet another intranet or learning portal, thereby decoupling the specific opportunity they are working on and the relevant training required, give reps an in-context connection. Relate the needed learning to a specific lead they are working or case they are addressing. Put 100% of their video training materials right at their fingertips inside the CRM.
In sum, organizations who are looking to boost sales efficacy and productivity by revamping their training practices should look to video as a solution. But video alone is not the answer. For maximum effectiveness with video, sales training organizations must design their processes to deliver just-in-time, in-context video that present training opportunities related to actual cases at the moment when the sales rep is working those cases, directly inside the company’s CRM system.