Concept of remote video conferencing during pandemic for digital sales training
ATD Blog

6 Critical Design Elements for Digital Sales Training

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Let’s talk about training design in the digital environment.

According to Gartner, “Today’s technology makes it easier for instructors to simulate face-to-face training in an online world, but too often enablement leaders focus on the technology and overlook the training design.”

Design becomes more important with digital sales training, if you want to reach your sellers in a meaningful way.

The magic of innovative learning environments is that they can bring together even the most fragmented sales teams. We’ve seen phenomenal results when sellers learn alongside other sellers, talking to leaders and learning from SMEs. Community is built, all guided by a facilitator or coach.

The guided digital training environment weaves in skillful design elements—videos from executives and sales leaders, discussion boards and chats, real-world practice, peer-to-peer coaching, and more—to deliver the context and information that sellers need to be successful. This guidance and community-building focus are key to any successful online sales training program.

Set Strategic Context (Why Now?)

Give sellers access to the top of the organization, and they’ll show up. When executives and SMEs participate live or in recorded messages, a signal is sent that the training is important and worth a seller’s attention. Understanding the context helps sales reps take the training into their everyday actions.


Immerse the Seller Into Their Real World (Why Me?)

Accelerate the application and adoption of any sales training. Reflect the seller’s specific challenges and opportunities at every opportunity. Use local scenarios, language, and business examples. Using in-region facilitators levels the playing field across geographies. Facilitators and coaches in, for example, California, New York, India, and Germany can narrow in on what a specific location needs most.

Connect With What Matters to Them (WIIFM?)

Digital training is perfect for addressing the What’s in it for me? (WIIFM) question. Sellers face time constraints but want personal attention. Custom digital designs can accommodate specific work environments down to a granular level.

Get Them Talking and Working Together (How Do We Apply This?)

Many sellers have limited face time with their leaders and managers, and that’s even more common in this era of remote work. But they’ve also lost connections with their peers during the last couple of years.


It’s powerful to have hundreds or thousands of sellers from around the world experiencing the same sales training at once. From breakout rooms for practice and exercises to peer-to-peer coaching and executive town halls, a sophisticated sales training digital experience can offer opportunities for everyone in the community to connect.

Promote Relationships (We Are in This Together)

Company culture and belonging are as important now as they’ve ever been. Use every opportunity to create a sense of community.

By weaving relationship-building elements throughout an online training event, sellers, managers, coaches, leaders, and executives can engage with each other, embrace the learning, boost morale, and help everyone feel like they belong.

Don’t Waste Time (Why Wait?)

Strategic implementations of digital sales training never lose sight of the fact that time is a precious commodity. For a recent project, employees worked with a company to deliver an online sales bootcamp for 2,500 remote global sellers. It took just three weeks from concept to delivery. And once the training event ended, sellers returned to the marketplace using the new sales content.

Use these design elements as a guide for creating compelling digital learning experiences that truly engage sellers.

About the Author

As vice president of marketing, Heather Muir directs Mandel’s marketing, branding, and communications strategies in collaboration with the Executive Team. In addition, Heather leads Mandel’s public- and industry-relations activities. Prior to joining Mandel in 2010, Heather held several marketing and communications roles within the learning and training industry. Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis, and has completed graduate courses in business and entrepreneurship at the University of Washington.

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