What are the benefits of sales training online when measured against classroom or in person instructor lead sales training?
Today (and probably into the future) there are millions of salespeople working remotely and will demand sales training delivered online. The delivery of training programs which were traditionally delivered in-person, like many other things, has transitioned to the web. More and more sales managers plus learning and development managers are pleasantly surprised by the many unexpected benefits of sales training online, as it grew into the main delivery channel in the past year. These benefits of online learning support the widely held belief that impactful sales training does not have to be confined to classrooms. Research from Harvard shows that engaging with online learning enables the learner to connect in new ways, beyond what was previously possible in any face-to-face training environment.
What is Sales Training Online?
Simply put, online sales training is a learning medium that allows salespeople to learn new skills and refresh existing ones via the internet. They don’t need lose time by sitting in a lecture hall or classroom plus they are in control to learn what they want from the comfort of their own room. Online sales training is a streamlined method for subject-matter experts to pass on their sales knowledge in easy to digest micro lessons.
However, on the flip side, there are some disadvantages to online training. Some salespeople learn better in a classroom environment. For others, they thrive of the energy of fellow learners. Many companies now see the symmetry between all methods of sales training. Just because a salesperson undertakes an online sales course doesn’t mean they should not pursue traditional training. In fact, we argue that a well-rounded sales learning experience is just what all forms of e-learning provides.
Let’s explore some of the many benefits of online sales training.
20 benefits of sales training online
There are many benefits to learning sales skills online, but the major ones are:
- Freedom to learn whatever you want
- Learn from home
- Ability to implement skills as you learn
- Convenience and flexibility
- Proof of self-education in your career
- Cost effective training
- Ability to revisit training content 24/7
- Study at your own pace
- Expand your knowledge set across topics
- Constantly updated insights and trends from experts
- Acquire multiple training certificates or qualifications quickly
- Space to concentrate without competing voices
- Zero travelling
- Shared sales knowledge from other students
- Reduce sales pressure
- Boost your sales skills
- Micro learning that fits a modern learning style
- Demonstrate accountability for career
- Facilitates getting or pursuing a sales career
- Improves both hard and soft sales skills
So, let us delve deeper in these 20 benefits of online sales training.
1. Freedom to learn whatever you want
Traditional classroom training has certain limitations due to:
Reduced Budgets: The percentage spend on training globally is decreasing due to a number of factors. Trainers have to select from a narrow list of topics to meet the constraints.
Trainers: Apart from reducing budgets, organizations are also reducing the headcount of trainers in order to meet HR cost controls.
Content: Much of the sales training content being delivered is out of date or doesn’t reflect the modern sales process. Updating sales course material is expensive.
Appeal: Time spent on vanilla flavored sales topics can’t appeal to a whole range of different learning needs. Online learning is appealing because the salesperson and pick and choose the topics they want to learn.
Online sales training removes all of these barriers because it creates room for sales skills acquisition to flourish. A salesperson can find sales training courses on just about any sales or personal development subject salespeople can imagine. A big plus of online sales programs is the ability to take micro lessons and then drill down into the sales topic. What about free sales training? While the web has created mountains of information, freely available sales lessons will not go into enough depth to get a rich learning experience. Low cost sales training online bridges the gap between free sales training and topic rich learning for the serious salesperson.
Remember, it also removes any personal barriers that might stop salespeople from learning such as no distractions, uneven pace, competing opinions and egos.
2. Learn from home
Whether it’s working from home, or you prefer to learn in the comfort of your own home then leaving the stress of delivering sales numbers behind to learn and refresh sales skills is are major benefits of sales training delivered online. This about the salesperson being in control of their learning environment and the flexibility and self-care it allows them to enjoy. No more leaving a sales training boot camp and fighting through traffic to get home, even pushing through competing demands as not to miss a session. With online sales training programs any salesperson can continue acquiring knowledge in the comfort of surroundings they know well. The sales training videos and content can be accessed while on the go or before a sales meeting. Learn while on a train, in a coffee shop, waiting for a flight or during breaks.
3. Ability to implement skills as you learn
Because accessing online sales training videos and content is so easy, a salesperson can repeatedly watch and read sales tips etc. before undertaking a sales call. Micro sized sales videos on a specialized topic can be viewed and the skills learnt implemented on the next call. The same goes when reflecting on the outcome of a sales conversation, a salesperson can review the sales training materials alongside the outcome of the sales meeting.
4. Convenience and flexibility
Sales is a producers career. Everyday it’s go, go, go to deliver on the numbers. Too much doing and not enough learning can have negative consequences on a sales career. It’s vital that we all have time to relax and enjoy life or we can start resenting any activity in which we participate. While sales training online is an academic undertaking to deliver proven results, they are also fun, engaging, inspiring and a great reference library of sales knowledge. This allows any salesperson to schedule learning at their own convenience with flexibility of what topics or sales skills they want to focus on. Sales training that can be undertaken in chunks or small 5 to 10 minute sessions. The options are endless, maybe a five minute refresh session in the morning, a new sales topic during lunch, then a review video in the evening before some down time. Sales training where the salesperson is in control of times, topics, and themes. Again, one of the many benefits of online sales courses is that the choice is entirely at the salespersons fingertips.
5. Proof of self-education in your career
Many organizations seek out salespeople who take ownership for their own learning, learning that compliments any internal sales training. Any completed sales training courses outlined in a resume will stand out from the crowd. The benefits of sales training undertaken online is that the salesperson can finish the courses quickly, or at least much faster than the typical traditional classroom based training. This means no waiting weeks or months to complete a course and add a new certificate to a resume.
6. Cost effective training
Learning sales skills should or need not be expensive. Many sales training programs cost over $3000 for a single program. Online sales courses such as those at The Digital Sales Institute come at a really low costs for a number of reasons. These include use of animated fun videos, in-house based research, no large overheads, no fees to trainers, easy to update content structure, streaming video benefits, own all the IP to the sales training programs. In fact, a salesperson can undertake sales training for just $29.99 for 4 sales courses.
7. Ability to revisit training content 24/7
When training is over it’s over. Well, not with sales training on the web. The importance of repeating lessons cannot be underestimated. The more we watch and revisit the same content, the higher the retention level. The ability to login and repeat courses or revisit lesson topics is a bonus that traditional sales training does not facilitate. Check to make sure the sales training is valid for a year or so and the salesperson can login continuously during their subscription.
8. Study at your own pace
The benefits of sales training online is not just be being convenient, flexibility and low cost. It must also empower any salesperson to learn at their own pace. Maybe they want to revisit a lesson 3 or 4 times before moving on, maybe they want to watch a video before reviewing the lesson notes. We are all unique human beings, while some of us absorb new information quickly, others need time to fully understand the content.
There is no right or wrong way to learn, however being forced through a program that suits the company rather than the individual can be a waste of time, money, and opportunity to really learn. Online training will benefit any style of learning. In the online learning environment, the learner sets the pace. There is no competing with anyone else, no pressure or fixed schedule. Instead, you can micro learn, set aside blocks of time and repeat the lessons as many times as needed to acquire the skills contained therein.
9. Expand your knowledge set across topics
Following on from learning at ones own pace, another advantage of online training to enhance sales skills is the ability to learn across a whole range of sales topics. The salesperson is not confined to one topic or course. Maybe social selling is appealing, maybe soft sales skills need work, how about sales prospecting or even all the general sales skills. Then the learner can drill into topics such as writing emails, creating a value proposition, how to ask discovery questions, how to use the voice, how to build value, how to close a sale etc. Hundreds of topics there to be learnt, absorbed, and revisited at the click of a mouse.
10. Constantly updated insights and trends from experts
Creating sales training programs for online delivery means that updating the content is easy. Things are moving fast in the sales world, new ideas, insights, and methodologies are constantly being revealed. No one organization can invest in regular updating on internal content due to budget constraints and other factors. Trainers get little time to research or engage with external experts, so sales training materials become stale or outdated. Online training removes these barriers, as specialized online sales training companies use a whole range of research experts, external contributions, business school alignment etc to construct the latest sales ideas and knowledge. All this benefits the salesperson over yesterday’s sales insights.
11. Acquire multiple training certificates or qualifications quickly
Be clear, the content and lessons delivered in online sales training is comparable to if not better than traditional training for reasons mention in previous paragraphs. For the qualification hungry learner, investing their own time over days or weeks will result in a completion certificate. Recruiters and hiring managers value salespeople who demonstrate willingness to learn and bring knowledge to their role.
12. Space to concentrate without competing voices
The use of online training means no competing egos or loud voices that distract and hinder the learning process. The salesperson can engage with the learning course material when they are in the right mindset. Training online allows the learner to feel positive, confident, resourceful, and relaxed, with zero pressure to contribute. Just learn, focus, enjoy and absorb.
13. Zero travelling
Time out of the office can cause stress or even diminish the learning as the body may be in the classroom but the head is back in the office. Then there is the travel impact, taking salespeople out of their routine even feeling frustrated at the time spent travelling to the training. Because online learning has zero travelling time, salespeople can plan to use some downtime to improve their sales skills in an enjoyable environment. This focused headspace boosts learning 5X.
14. Shared sales knowledge from other students
Most online training courses have message boards, online support, and question facilitation. The power of shared knowledge compliments the course content. So, the learner can learn from fellow students as well as videos etc For any sales topic, the learner can compare notes, and share insights. A bonus is the web doesn’t separate people by city or even countries. The opportunity to meet virtually fellow salespeople from different backgrounds or cultures is inspiring. The more we broaden our horizons, the more powerful our learning experience become.
15. Reduce sales pressure
Apart from egos and competing voices, classroom training can create an artificially competitive atmosphere where opinions become more important than learning. Sales training should be about helping salespeople reduce sales pressure in their roles not magnifying it via classroom chatter. Then the salesperson walks out of the training with a folder that will probably never be opened again. One of the top advantages of online training is how it offers a completely different environment. Online training reduces sales pressure because it is available 24/7 so learning on the fly in a relaxed atmosphere. Sales has enough pressure without having to face a competitive atmosphere in learning new skills. It’s about learning in a safe environment that encourages acquiring knowledge instead of competition.
16. Boost your sales skills
It may seem obvious that sales training will boost your sales skills, however research shows that much sales training has no impact. You see most sales training programs are vanilla flavored and a one size fits all. Too many organization think that the annual three-day-long or week-long training sessions will suffice plus they most likely have been using the same material for years. The almost on-tap power of online training helps salespeople to hone their hard and soft sales skills. Content and material that is updated regularly so the salesperson learns faster, so it empowers them to sell faster, win bigger and meet their sales targets more consistently.
17. Micro learning that fits a modern learning style
The way salespeople learn new skills has changed dramatically over the last 18 months. Salespeople love micro learning as it is fun, concise and topic rich learning specifically designed to meet a range of sales topics. Lessons are typically five to fifteen minutes long and consist of videos, tutorials, PDF downloads and quizzes. A real bonus is that micro learning improves the transfer of knowledge by nearly 20% and increases engagement in skill learning by 50%. This learning format is most suited to modern training as it offers the flexibility and convenience demanded by today’s time-pressured salespeople.
18. Demonstrate accountability for career
The best way to demonstrate accountability for your career is to invest in yourself. HR and hiring managers seek out people who take ownership for their self-improvement. Training not only yields future returns, but also pays off in a current sales role. The surest way to achieve a promotion is investing in both personal and professional growth. The effort put into consistently investing in self-improvement plays a large role in determining sales success now and in the future. A sales career is in large part determined by the willingness and ability to invest in improving sales skills now.
19. Facilitates getting or pursuing a sales career
Getting onto the first step of a sales career can be difficult. Organizations want to hire people with existing skills and knowledge. The benefits of sales training online is a risk reducer. It introduces the salesperson to all the key aspects of what it takes to sell successfully without breaking the bank. Anyone in another career or in customer support, can dip their toes into how to sell for a small cost. Plus, the leaner will reap the rewards of learning something new, even if it has nothing to do with their current job or career aspirations.
20. Improves both hard and soft sales skills
Selling today is as much about the soft sales skills as it is about hard selling. The ability to blend both topics seamlessly can only be achieved via online sales training. The learner can mix and match or do the two sales programs separately, so at the end they have mastered both skills in a shortened timeframe. Most organizations do not address the importance of soft sales skills in a digital first sales environment. Sales training via online content is the most powerful way to acquire the ability to mix hard and soft skills.
So, there is our attempt at outlining the twenty benefits of sales training online. Enjoy.