Tough question time: is your LMS doing enough to support sales reps? An LMS (learning management system) is great for helping an organization manage content and track training, but it’s not always the best tool for supporting your salesforce.
Here’s the thing: sales reps want to find what they need quickly and get back to their jobs. The typical LMS is built for administrators, not sales reps. That means the resources reps need are often several clicks away, buried in a hard to find folder. And honestly, a standard LMS can be frustrating for administrators too.
If you’re working around your LMS, it’s time to find one that works for you instead. Your salesforce wants a platform that makes sense for how they typically work and learn. That means on-demand training, searchable content, and plenty of personalized coaching opportunities. What if the best kind of LMS for your sales team isn’t your typical LMS?
It’s time to find a platform that is more than an LMS and that supports total sales mastery. Let’s dive into what that looks like.
How Sales Reps Learn Best
First, it’s important to understand what effective training looks like. The days of formal learning and long seat times are over—on a day-to-basis, your salesforce needs more. The most successful learning paradigm for modern sales organizations is learn, practice, perform. While a typical LMS offers help with learning and provides some practice, it takes more to deliver meaningful learning. Embracing on-demand, tech-based training creates micro-learning opportunities that deliver “just in time” training when your reps need it most.
While product training is a piece of the puzzle, it’s actually more important to train your reps on successful customer interactions. When you lose a potential customer, it’s often because of a problem with your service, not your product. That means your salesforce needs to practice and perfect their customer interactions. Enrich the typical sales coaching experience with video practice, social learning, and online coaching to help your reps learn the skills they need to create more successful customer interactions.
Key Features to Look For in a Sales Training Platform
OK, so you know how your sales reps learn best—but what does an effective sales training platform look like? Basically, you’re looking for a platform that can support the full sales learning experience, from new hire to master salesperson. You want to provide a training ecosystem for your sales reps to do product research, practice their pitch, and receive feedback to identify pain points. Your typical LMS doesn’t do that, so here’s what to look for in a new platform:
Searchable Content Management System
Who knew a simple search bar could be so important? Your sales reps should have the ability to quickly access a how-to guide or infographic in their moment of need. A CMS that allows you to search and filter by alphabetical order, popularity, or content type puts reps and admins in control of their content. Whether they’re out in the field or practicing for a big pitch, 24/7 on-demand access makes learning easier and more efficient. Pro tip: the most powerful search engines will search within the documents you’re housing (even PDFs!), making it even easier for your reps to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Most LMSs have assessment and quiz features that help you chart office wide trends and identify learning gaps. That’s great, but your reps need individualized feedback, too. Your team members are all at different stages of development with varying strengths and weaknesses. Providing individualized learning paths helps to keep everyone on track and moving forward.
You’ll want a sales training and enablement platform that has the option to provide individual feedback on modules and quizzes. Even better, look for a tool that provides personalization across all features. Whether you’re assigning an article or giving feedback on a pitch, customized coaching is practical and efficient.
You can’t perfect your performance without (a lot of!) practice. The right platform for your sales reps will allow them to vocalize what they’ve been taught and get feedback on their delivery from coaches and peers. Ultimately, performance is everything—your reps need a space to role play scenarios and work through deficiencies. Video practice helps your sales reps strengthen their presentations and take their communication skills to the next level. Add personalized feedback to the mix, and you’ve got the formula for sales success.
Making the Most of Your Sales Training Platform
Even after you’ve found the right sales training and enablement platform, there’s still work to be done. Managing your sales coaching will be easier than ever, so it’s really all about making the most of the platform you choose. Remember that tech-based training won’t replace traditional, face-to-face coaching—it’s a powerful tool for supporting it.
Think of it this way: your sales training platform is a safe space for reps to practice their messaging and get feedback from peers and coaches, judgement-free and with no fear of rejection. Use the platform to boost confidence and offer help before they’re in front of the customer. That way, they’re much more likely to be successful at an actual sales presentation.
Your sales training and enablement platform is a tool for reps of all skill levels. Rep education is an ongoing effort, so use the tool to create and assign eLearning, provide coaching, and deliver personalized learning lists. Then bring that learning to life through collaborative, online practice sessions that get reps sharing knowledge and giving feedback to tell better stories. Before you know it, you’ll have a more prepared, confident salesforce who get great business results.