Experts don’t just suddenly appear. Only practice makes perfect. Especially in the complex world of sales, you have to make sure that you get your training mechanism right to maximize your conversions and grow your customer base.
Any former and current sales rep knows that to be successful in this field, you have to train yourself in multiple dimensions. Brand expertise matters, but so does understanding how to react to unexpected situations, questions, and roadblocks. To master your engagements and conversations, you have to build the perfect mix of technical expertise and people skills.
That’s where sales training systems enter the equation. The right solution helps sales rep build both their tangible and intangible skills. But not every platform is created equal. The right training system needs to be engaging, streamlined, and customizable. These are the 7 most important features of an effective sales LMS.
1) Built-In Live Video Capabilities
Online training systems have a number of advantages for your sales reps, but they also come with limitations compared to in-person training. Virtual solutions tend to be impersonal, based less on interaction and more on conveying rational knowledge. Video coaching and mentoring capabilities can mitigate some of these issues.
Video role-play comes with a number of advantages for your sales professionals:
- It simulates real-life environments.
- It encourages and builds creative problem-solving abilities.
- It saves on in-person training costs.
- It improves listening and communication skills.
- It minimizes time and location restrictions.
All of these benefits can be vital to train your sales team. Set it up right, and it can transform the effectiveness of your sales training solution.
2) xAPI and other Integration Opportunities
Experienced managers and training professionals know that not all development actually takes place within the LMS. Informal learning matters just as much, as your team reads books, watches videos, chats with their peers, or looks for solutions for problems they encounter on an everyday basis.
An effective training solution recognizes these limitations. Rather than confining the learning experience to its own platform, an xAPI-enabled LMS can help you track a number of activities outside its own platform, including from sources such as
- Performance Management
- Knowledge Base
- Online Forums
- Group Platforms
- Help Desk
- Talent Management
- Data Management
Additional integrations also matter. For instance, a direct connection to your customer relationship management software (such as Salesforce) helps to improve your tracking and provides a clear bridge to implementing newly learned topic in real-life sales situations. The more you can integrate your learning management system with the rest of your digital infrastructure, the better.
3) Social Engagement Capabilities
Good sales professionals want to talk. In fact, that’s what makes them good at their job. Does your LMS encourage them to actually engage and interact with each other?
Research shows that training becomes more effective when the professionals being trained are able to talk to each other, exchange information, and work together on potential solutions. The right learning environment should facilitate this type of collaboration.
For your LMS, that means including discussion boards and groups that encourage engagement and information sharing. It also makes sense to include live chat capabilities, which helps instructors easily communicate with individuals or groups of people.
4) Gamification Possibilities
We’re competitive beings. Studies repeatedly show that while we love working together, we also tend to look for opportunities to distinguish ourselves from our peers. Depending on the right environment, that competitive instinct can be either productive by compelling us to new heights, or destructive by pitting a team against each other.
Your online learning solution should ensure that the latter is the case. The easiest way to accomplish that feat is building gamification possibilities into the training modules. Provide points for lessons, tasks, and objectives, and publicly show leaderboards to give your sales trainees something to strive for. For more internal performance reward, it also makes sense to provide badges that show when your reps have learned a vital new skill or completed an important module.
5) Customized Learning Paths
Generally speaking, your sales team should emerge from their learning path with the same general knowledge about their job and the everyday situations they encounter. But at the same time, not everyone starts from the same baseline. Continual training for experienced reps might look different than the path that entry-level trainees should take.
As a result, your LMS needs to include customized learning paths. The more relevant you can make your modules and path to the individuals on the learning journey, the more effective the training will become over time.
6) Mobile and Support
The mobile revolution is already here. The majority of adults in developed countries now use their mobile devices to surf the web, read their email, and complete digital tasks. Is your online learning solution up for that development?
Mobile optimization means making sure that the training is just as accessible and user-friendly on a smartphone or tablet as it would be on a desktop or laptop computer. Touch-based navigation, visuals, and other elements all work toward making sure that happens. This type of mobile optimization should not be separate from your sales training platform as a whole, but tightly integrated into the regular flow of modules, tasks, and engagement opportunities.
7) Reporting and Tracking Features
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of effective tracking within your LMS. Without it, you risk not knowing whether your sales team actually gains the knowledge they need, making them more effective at closing deals and increasing your customer base.
Ideally, these reporting capabilities should be visual to provide you with a good and quick overview each time you need to evaluate success. But it also makes sense to focus on data you can dig into deeply, allowing you to understand the nuances of how your team works through the training platform, and which modules can be made more effective.
We’ve reached a point where more sales managers recognize the importance of effective training. However, not every learning platform can actually support that effectiveness, which is what makes it so important to find an LMS that actually helps your team reach its sales goals.
Knowledge Anywhere can be that solution for your team. We build our platform based on years of experience in working with clients that range from Microsoft to Denny’s. Schedule your demo today to learn how our online sales training solution can help your team close more deals.
In addition to reading this article, a great resource to help you recognize attributes in an LMS that matter most to your organization and simplifying the research and comparison process is the FREE LMS Evaluation Checklist. It provides a helpful visual grid with a criteria rating system to help you easily narrow down your LMS provider list.
Learn how you put education at the center of your organization with these great articles and resources.