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Future Learning Tech
Insights

The Impact of Modern Learning on Sales Teams

Thursday, May 2, 2019
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Your business is changing constantly. You need to be able to adapt with it to ensure sales effectiveness. Never underestimate the power of effective sales training.

Training a global sales force is not a one-size-fits-all project. Individual learners have individual learning preferences, and the old method of providing only formal training—e.g., boot camps, e-learning, classroom training—is no longer enough. It’s vital to have a modern learning program that’s adaptable for individual learners and includes an element of informal learning. These modern learning technologies and techniques have greatly enhanced how people gain insights and acquire knowledge.

At CooperVision, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of soft contact lenses, we transformed our sales training paradigm with the help of Allego and GP Strategies. Using the tenets of modern learning, which emphasize content that’s relevant to each professional’s situation, coupled with reinforcement, practice, coaching, and peer learning, our reps experience motivation, mastery, and utilization of new information instead of the indifference and forgetfulness associated with traditional training. Furthermore, using mobile video technology, we’ve quickly and easily communicated relevant information and helpful insights to our widely distributed sales force of more than 150 reps across the United States and Canada.

One for All—How Modern Learning Assists Everyone

The benefits of modern learning truly outweigh the cost. Lengthy PowerPoint presentations and classroom-style lectures not only bore sales reps, they are a waste of training resources and onboarding dollars. Studies have shown that when people try to quickly retain copious amounts of new information, they don’t absorb much. Microlearning, however, helps with knowledge retention—people learn more when training is spaced out over time and in bite-sized portions.

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That’s why we implemented these strategies at CooperVision and used our annual sales conference as a benchmark. From pre-conference communication and preparation through the event and post-event follow-up, we watched how people best learned and retained information. With the use of GP Strategies’s highly engaging solution, which included an interactive game and a Sales Success Playbook that sales reps could access afterward, our team made the most of our conference. When these tools were combined with reinforcement techniques, just-in-time learning, and other modern learning principles, our sales reps became more knowledgeable, resourceful, and empowered.

As part of this initiative, we worked with GP Strategies to design application-based learning within our workshops. The process incorporated different elements of both Allego’s and GP Strategies’s modern learning solutions, including games and videos. Between learning from facilitators at the conference then applying knowledge through instructionally sound activities, we were able to see the effect of modern learning principles and tools on reps’ knowledge retention and understanding. The combination of in-person trainings and post-workshop activities created avenues for learning and sharing we’d never seen before.

By applying modern learning principles to our annual sales meeting, we found employees retained more information than traditional learning methods—a critical step in transforming sales reps into the best they can be.

Empowering Employees

Our journey to use the most up-to-date training and coaching solutions has affected nearly every part of CooperVision's sales organization, and we continue to come up with new ways to modernize our approach to learning. Promoting a place where sales reps have a personalized experience and access to modern learning tools empowers the individual rep and improves sales performance across the team.

Be sure to attend my session, Modern Learning Journey—Evolution of the Annual Sales Conference, at the ATD International Conference & Expo on May 22 at 8:15 a.m. in the Liberty Ballroom at the Marriott Marquis to learn more about the impact of modern learning and sales learning success.

About the Author

Shelly King is the manager of sales force development at Coopervision. She is a certified learning and development professional with 15 years of regional and national sales experience in the life science industry. Shelly is skilled in sales training, adult learning theory, L&D Strategy, professional development, medical and technology B2B sales, sales operations, and product marketing.

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