We’ve all been there: you’re quietly cringing listening to a team member sing the praises of a functionality your product simply doesn’t offer. Although this is the worst case scenario, it represents a common problem plaguing organizations: sales and marketing teams aren’t working together the way they should. When your sales and marketing teams aren’t aligned, it causes all sorts of friction. From knowledge gaps to missed training opportunities, the cost of having isolated teams just isn’t worth it. In fact, IDC reports that one in three sales lost today is due to a lack of sales preparation—what should we be doing differently?
Here’s the good news: the solution is right in front of you and pulls from resources you already have. Your marketing team is constantly creating collateral and passing it on to your sales team—what if you elevated and repurposed that material to create more micro-learning opportunities? It’s as simple as sharing a 10-minute eLearning course through your sales training and enablement platform or creating a coaching challenge around a new product feature. If you have a platform that supports total sales mastery, why not embrace it?
When your teams are empowered to learn from one another, they’re improving their skills and bringing in more business. Here are three tips you should know.
1. Create a Micro-Learning Environment
If you’re new to the idea of micro-learning, it’s a simple concept. Micro-learning refers to bite-sized training opportunities that offer just the right amount of information. It’s also about providing “just in time” learning so that your sales team can always find what they’re looking for. In a micro-learning environment, learning and knowledge sharing is embedded into the culture. That means you’ve found the right platform to share micro-learning and created a clear path for using it
As Millennials and Generation Z enter the workforce, they’re looking for on-demand, tech-based training at work. For younger people, learning is often an independent venture and they seek out information when they need it. Knowing that learning styles are changing, it’s more important than ever to offer a robust catalogue of video content, online-based coaching opportunities, and shared learning experiences to help your reps strengthen their skills and grow. When your reps have instant access to the information they need, they’re empowered to perform at their best.
Most of us work in fast-paced environments, and we’re often dealing with complex systems and ideas. In order to ensure your team is deeply knowledgeable and prepared for success, knowledge sharing and micro-learning across teams is critical. Empower your reps with a sales training and enablement platform that allows for education (like mobile eLearning and coaching assignments) and a way to practice it (like video training and peer feedback). If you’re simply handing off sheets of paper from marketing, it’s likely to end up in a pile on their desk in no time.
Once your sales training and enablement platform is in place, encourage the marketing team to view everything they produce as a potential training opportunity. Instead of simply filing collateral away, invite your support team to build training around it. We’re not talking about hour-long seminars or robust playbooks—micro-learning is all about creating digestible, bite-sized training to reinforce and build your reps’ knowledge.
2. Align Sales Marketing and Support
In order to bring your sales teams together, you’ll need a shared gathering spot: your sales training and enablement platform. If you’re constantly sending people deep into the company intranet or down complicated pathways, you’re likely to lose buy-in, and fast. But when content is easily accessible on one platform, it makes it easy for marketing and sales teams to come together for shared learning experiences. Bonus: when marketing and sales feel like a cohesive team, it creates a better experience for your customer, too.
Start by migrating your marketing collateral to the sales platform tool if it’s not there already. All of your marketing content should live on the platform in a searchable, up-to-date library. Next, look for opportunities for marketing collateral to double as training tools. What could a product demo teach reps about building meaningful connections with customers? What’s new on the sales sheet that could help them sell more effectively? From there, have some fun creating short, impactful training videos, eLearning courses, and coaching opportunities that your reps will have access to 24/7. Voila—you’ve got micro learning!
3. Use Technology to Relate, Not Automate
If most of your training still takes place in-person, it’s easy to see technology as a threat to your customer experience. How will your reps learn best practices from veteran salespeople? How will they learn to understand the customer from behind a screen? Here’s the thing: technology, like a sales training platform, actually enables your reps to deliver an even better customer experience. With an all-in-one platform, your reps have total access to the training, strategies, and tips that will allow them to build their confidence and deliver an unforgettable customer experience. Whether they’re getting instant access to the latest product updates or completing coaching assignments from a manager, it’s all about improving performance when they’re actually in front of the customer.
Think of it this way: instead of grabbing facetime with a seasoned rep at a once per year training, your salesforce now has anytime, anywhere access to their wisdom. Through video practice, coaching, and personalized learning paths, even your new reps can learn to sell like a pro. While blended learning is still the gold standard, it’s all about bringing in the right technology to support your sales teams, no matter their job title. That means looking for a platform that will empower your team to learn, practice, and improve their performance through micro-learning. The icing on the cake? You’ll come out on the other side with a more aligned, connected sales team, from marketing to support. It’s a people-first approach to technology.