Who should buy sales training software?
When the company is small, the training and onboarding are usually done in house by the existing team members. But when you are a large organization selling multiple products and your sales methodology has been ironed out, it’s usually time to buy a training solution. Typical symptoms these manifest are - managers don’t get enough time to educate reps, Onboarding time is too high, retention of product information is low, messaging is all over the place, etc.
These days software comes that are specialized for certain industries. Certain video recording solutions that are trained to understand the jargon of industries like VoiceOps understand travel and finance industries and are ideally designed to train people from these industries better.
Finally, if your product is complex and needs a high learning curve for the user, it implies that it will need a good trained sales force (and customer service) to effectively communicate the merits of the product.
How do you want to train your workforce?
If your product is complex and has a high learning curve, you want your sales team to be properly trained and knowledgeable about the product before they hit the market. For these cases, where you want to train them on harder aspects of sales (product knowledge), it makes sense to have personalized learning paths and tests and assessments to evaluate the understanding of sales reps.
If you think your sales team needs more work on presentation and softer aspects of the sales pitch, it's best to go for a video coaching solution where they can practice their delivery and their sessions can be reviewed by the manager or peers.
Finally, since most of the knowledge is lost within the first 30 days, you may want to go for a microlearning solution that continuously reinforces the learning until it is fully assimilated.
You can buy these pieces individually or as an entire package as well, depending on the needs of your organization. For example, Allego does a good job of video practice, while Brainshark is good for all three i.e. tests, video practice and microlearning.
How do you want to use AI?
AI is used heavily in call and video recording solutions. AI can score the video and call recordings to prioritize the videos that need immediate attention, otherwise, managers have to spend time browsing through the entire list. Some coaching solutions use AI to score while others only restrict themselves to transcription and recording.
This is a very important factor when deciding a training and onboarding solution especially when you are interested in microlearning. Since most reps are on the field and have a disdain for doing courses, utilizing their travel time to upgrade their knowledge and train them is beneficial to both. Most training solutions do have a mobile version ready, but it's important to check that as a buyer.
Integrations with CRM
Integrations with CRM can help embed training in reps flow of work. Deeper integrations would allow you to design training modules / in-context content for reps at the opportunity level. This is a huge plus since the reps can immediately learn about the deal/product with an in-context training module to come up to speed on the deal.
Challenges in adopting Sales Training Software
Salespeople are usually less keen to spend time on training and theoretical courses. This is compounded by the fact that they are averse to new technology. Hence keeping the sales team engaged is still a challenge. Some ideas could be to personalize the training program for the rep, mix up the content and delivery (videos), have actionable training (not theoretical), and make the delivery gamified.
Retention remains the biggest problem in sales training software. Most salespeople forget most of the content they learn in training programs. You really can't blame them because the market is changing, the product is changing, etc. And they don't like time taken out from their selling schedule and put into training. Studies suggest that salespeople can retain 87% with training, demonstrations, practice, and coaching. Hence it makes sense to buy solutions that have capabilities to address all the above activities. But the software can’t do it alone. It has to be backed up by the commitment from the management to make a training program successful with regular coaching.
Source: From Salesbenchmarkindex.