Spice Up Your E-Learning Sales Training With MBS

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


I loved pick-a-path adventure books as a child. Why? Because I was in control of my reality and the outcomes. Adding multi-branching scenarios (MBSs) to your e-learning allows you to add this experience to your sales training—making it memorable, engaging, and even fun. 

In an MBS, learners are presented with decision points where they can choose several options, with each leading them to a unique outcome. Typically these outcome fall into three categories: positive, neutral, or negative. If a less-favorable response is selected, learners have a new scenario that presents an opportunity to recover the situation, just as you would in real life in front of a customer. 

Here are some benefits of using MBSs to simulate real-life sales training. 

Keeps Learning Real 

MBS enables learning to focus on context and content. Scenarios present relevant and specific skills and knowledge in the context of a learner’s daily role and tasks. So, rather than remain theoretical, sales reps can an instantly be put learning into practice. What’s more, research shows that this sort of learner-centric training that focuses on situational context can yield greater return-on-investment. 

Includes the Customer in the Equation 

Traditional sales training can remain conceptual until learners are back on the job. Unfortunately, by then, key learning is often forgotten. MBS brings the customer in at the training stage to ensure that learners consider their point of view. This means learners create strong links between content and its practical application, strengthening knowledge retention. 


Forms Strong Links to Performance Goals 

As an industry we know two things for sure: 

  1. Training needs to tie to real performance.
  2. Information alone doesn’t change behavior; it’s about making information accessible and relatable. 

Through determining performance outcomes and links to KPIs, you can identify what constitutes post-training learner success. Linking scenario branches to these outcomes offers a way to measure the impact and success of training. 

Empowers Learners 

We’re human; we like to be in control. Not surprisingly, learning theory states that adult learners prefer problem-based learning in which they lead the way. MBS puts your learners in the driver’s seat, navigating their own learning pathway. 

Aligns Content to Specific Issues 

Using MBS, you can align your content with specific sales scenarios. Let’s say a learner is going off-course in a sales consultation scenario, due to misinterpreting the customer’s needs. At this point, a content pop-up could discuss how to successfully identify customer needs. 

There’s no better learning opportunity that practical experience—and MBSs offer just that. Likewise, content that lacks context is easily forgotten. Not only do multi-branching scenarios increase learner engagement and motivation, they also acknowledge that learning is more than a simple process of information transfer. Perhaps it is time to let MBS make your e-learning more memorable?

Do you use branching scenarios in your sales training? If so, share your experiences in the Comments. 

About the Author
Ruby Spencer is director of global curriculum development at PulseLearning. She is passionate about all things training. Ruby has designed, developed, and implemented synchronous and asynchronous training for a number of national and international clients, including CA Technologies, VMware, IHG, and Bank of America.
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