How can you prepare your team for the unexpected? How can you leverage real-world scenarios in a daily work environment, before they actually occur? These are the questions that tend to stump training managers and developers across multiple industries today.

Traditional training and development tend to revolve around theoretical concepts, past experiences, and other hypotheticals. While undoubtedly important, these mechanisms are not always relatable and can make onboarding new team members as well as developing existing staff difficult.

That doesn’t have to be the case. New training techniques have allowed modules to become not just more immersive, but more applicable to your team’s everyday work tasks. One technique that deserves particular attention is video role-play; in fact, here are five ways in which utilizing online video coaching can transform your training effectiveness.

1) Simulate Real-World Environments

Role-playing is particularly effective in sales training environments, due to the high-pressure situations reps can encounter. Even the best training focusing on the script and hypotheticals cannot address the scenario in which a customer asks unexpected questions, or reacts negatively to a pitch.

Through video role-playing, these situations can be better anticipated and learned. Experienced online mentors walk trainees through a scenario that puts them in the right mindset to respond appropriately. Trainees learn faster and more effectively in this type of active environment.

2) Encourage Creative Problem-Solving

Unexpected situations such as the ones described above can quickly lead to scenarios that no theoretical preparation can cover. The goal of your training program, then, should not just be to teach basics but also to encourage any trainee to foster and develop their creative problem-solving abilities and techniques.

As Rehearsal VRP, a leader in the online video training environment points out, “incorporating role-play scenarios in training bridges the gap between reacting and being prepared.” Through effective online role-playing new and experienced sales reps alike can begin to anticipate the unexpected, and form patterns of correct responses and ways forward.

3) Save Training Costs

Effective training can be expensive. According to John Talbot’s Training in Organizations book, expenditures of in-person training and off-site workshops and conferences make up a majority of the average company’s training budget. At the same time, few other opportunities can replace the personal contact and customized learning that these types of training can provide.

Video role-playing could be the exception. Through its mentor system, it still focuses on personalized training, but without the actual costs of travel and event organization or the opportunity cost of pulling an employee out of their day job. The result is an approximately equally effective training, at a much less expensive rate.

4) Improve Listening and Communication Skills

Role-playing is about more than just listening to a linear video. Any trainee has to build a more wholesome understanding of their conversation partner, from the actual words of the body language and nonverbal cues. Modules often include scenarios in which these exact cues become vital to success.

Any externally-focused position at your company can benefit from these learned skills. Employees trained through this method begin to understand the importance of communication and listening, not just to spoken or written words but the context around it.

5) Minimize Time and Location Restrictions

Finally, especially when compared to its in-person training alternatives, online video coaching minimizes the time and location restrictions typically placed on a team in need of training. Live role play for sales reps can easily be converted to recorded, asynchronous videos to be incorporated into future onboarding and development programs.

Within these lower limitations, of course, it still makes sense to place each participant in locations that are as realistic as possible. Sales reps learn more if they perform the role-playing exercise at the same spot in which they will ultimately encounter similar scenarios. But even then, connectivity and remote possibilities significantly reduce the typically centralized aspect of training.

Use Cases of Video Role-Play Across Industries

The above-mentioned benefits are particularly relevant to sales training. At the same time, video-based employee training can be just as beneficial across industries, as the below use cases highlight.

  1. New employee onboarding. Role-playing is a perfect fit to onboard new employees for any communication-based role. From sales to customer service, it can provide scenarios that develop the needed skills at a fraction of the cost compared to other training methods.
  2. Regular professional development. Even experienced professionals, in sales and elsewhere, will need to develop their skills regularly. Online video coaching can be a natural fit to present new scenarios and make sure that these professionals don’t begin to fall into formulaic habits of communication.
  3. Distributed workforce. Centralized training makes sense if all of your employees work from a single location. With a centralized workforce, however, the limited costs and flexibility afforded by an online solution that doesn’t sacrifice customization can be significant.

In short, live role play for sales reps and other professionals within your organization might be the technique you need to enhance your training. Thanks to benefits that range from real-life simulations to cost considerations, any industry that looks to prepare its employees for high-pressure, communication-based roles can take advantage of it to optimize their training management and execution.

To leverage these benefits, of course, you need a learning management system capable of integrating video role play software. Knowledge Anywhere is proud to partner with Rehearsal, one of the premier VRP solutions on the market.

Thanks to Rehearsal video role play, in combination with our eLearning suite, your team will be able to prepare better for any scenarios they might encounter. Contact us to learn more about our customizable LMS, and how it can allow you to take advantage of video-based employee training.


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