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Selling Has Gone Mobile – Shouldn’t Your Sales Training Follow?

BC
Friday, February 1, 2013
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While learning and development strategies for B2B companies are in a constant state of evolution, the primary goals are always the same: to create training that is more effective and less costly. As a result, e-learning programs have become increasingly popular over the past decade, giving companies and learners alike more flexibility when it comes to corporate training. In fact, Znanja reports that the global e-learning market has grown by 900 percent since 2000.

So, it’s no surprise that mobile learning, or m-learning, has gained plenty of traction over the past few years as well. In fact, in a survey conducted by the E-Learning 24/7 last year, 69 percent of respondents cited m-learning as an essential component of their ideal learning management system (LMS).

Why? Well, the combination of more remote employees and an increased focus on sales teams in the field has required B2Bs everywhere to become more mobile-friendly – and that naturally extends to training as well. For salespeople in particular, mobile training programs provide a more convenient way to stay updated on new product releases, corporate policies, and more – no matter where they are.

Here are a few more reasons why m-learning is especially useful for today’s modern sales teams.

#1. Mobile devices are a sales rep’s best friend. Whether they are at the office or in the field, modern salespeople live by their mobile devices. BlackBerrys have long been the standard, but the advent of new enterprise smartphone technology and (of course) tablets have created new opportunities for mobile workers in regard to how they access information.

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For instructional designers, the popularity of Apple and Android devices has opened new doors for training and updating sales reps in the field. As for tablets, their thin, lightweight design makes them much easier to travel with than the standard clunky laptops, and an ideal tool for reps who need to access training content anytime, anywhere.

#2. Mobile training gets right to the point. As you might expect, salespeople on the road have extremely hectic schedules, so finding time to attend bloated, hour-long training sessions can be a challenge. Reps are also notorious “just-in-time” learners, meaning their quest for knowledge only begins when they really need it.

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Mobile learning content is typically created with the understanding that audiences will be viewing it on smaller screens in potentially distracting environments. As a result, mobile training tends to be short and to-the-point. You won’t find any one-hour webinars or 10-page documents here. Instead, mobile content is delivered in smaller, bite-sized segments that are easy to consume, allowing learners to get in, get out and get going. This is ideal content for mobile sales reps who often rely on small windows of time to review training content, like while riding in a cab or during the few minutes before their next meeting.

#3. Mobile video leads to better training. Retention rates for training content are generally higher when learners can see and hear the information being presented. As a result, video has become one of the most preferred and effective formats for eLearning and online training. Video content can now be easily streamed from most mobile devices for on-demand viewing, reducing the need to bring salespeople in from the road for in-person training and demonstrations.

In a 2012 report, Aberdeen Group actually made the connection between mobile sales training with video and its effect on the sales process. The report found that high-performing companies that adopt mobile video-based training tend to average shorter sales cycles, higher customer renewal rates and more accurate forecasting. The percentage of salespeople who hit their yearly quotas was also higher for companies that trained with mobile video.

Those are just three examples of why mobile learning is an ideal fit for today’s sales teams. Have you implemented elements of mobile training for your sales organization? Are there additional tips you’ve learned along the way? Sound off in the comments and share your story!

BC
About the Author

Brendan Cournoyer is a content marketing manager at Brainshark, Inc. Brainshark’s cloud-based technology lets business professionals create, share and track online video presentations that can be viewed on computers and mobile devices, and meet training needs. Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brencournoyer and Brainshark at @brainshark. For more tips and ideas on using PowerPoint and video to enhance your e-learning and training program, visit the Brainshark Ideas Blog.

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