How microlearning can enable sales teams to upskill and improve the customer relationship


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Employees across all industries and departments need continuous opportunities to upskill and reskill, so they feel empowered to do the best job they can and feel less burnt out. And now, set against the backdrop of two years into the pandemic, The Great Reshuffle and all the disruptions and changes throughout the workplace, upskilling is more crucial than ever.

Sales teams in particular have not escaped these workplace disruptions unscathed and are one of the most important groups for organizations to upskill. Customer-centric organizations that were accustomed to closing deals in-person are challenged with forming strong customer relationships digitally – and Zoom fatigue is real for both sales reps and customers. Even as the business world starts returning to normal and gathering in-person, effective sales enablement programs have never been more important. Sales reps need the necessary product knowledge, sales skills trainings and soft skills to maintain and grow relationships with prospects and turn them into loyal customers.

When organizations look at ways to increase the effectiveness of their sales force, they can uncover trends using trackable data points at scale. But as they’re evaluating where to resolve friction points or increase productivity, it’s important to remember that sales enablement, for all its focus on numbers, is about people more than processes.

When it comes to people, typically those friction points and productivity barriers represent skills and knowledge gaps that can be filled with the right training and education. Organizations need to adopt sales enablement programs that reinforce and increase their sales reps’ knowledge. Fortunately, microlearning can help.

What is microlearning?

Microlearning, commonly thought of as bite-sized training that is more easily consumable, is a superior teaching modality. It is highly effective and upskilling and educating learners when it employs both snackable learning content and the neuroscientific principles of spaced repetition and scenario-based testing.

The entire approach differs dramatically from typical classroom-based learning that puts enormous time constraints on the learner. And it’s far more efficient than even asynchronous online courses that usually force people to wade through loads of material that doesn’t necessarily apply to them. Here’s why:

  • Microlearning is designed to be highly personalized and customizable. Employees go through a comprehensive evaluation to uncover what they need to learn, so that microlearning sessions can be crafted to cover the specific skills or information that will benefit each person the most.
  • Microlearning platforms make use of scenario-based testing, which closely resembles actual experiences that employees encounter in real-life sales and customer situations, and then tests employees on their answers. The sessions are short and repeatable, so employees can easily go back and revisit any areas where they need some extra review. The short sessions and the repetition work together to ensure that employees can learn necessary information quickly and then consistently retain it.
  • Microlearning solutions can expose deep insights and real-time analytics that help managers understand if learning is actually sticking (amongst an entire team or an individual), which informs them whether or not they need to provide additional, tailored coaching opportunities for their employee(s).
  • Sessions are convenient to access, too. Well designed microlearning allows employees to work through sessions using a computer, tablet or smartphone, so they can access learning easily within their flow of work. Microlearning can even integrate with the systems and applications sales reps use daily, like, Microsoft Teams and Slack.

Microlearning is proven to reinforce information in a way that is immediately applicable.

Why sales teams should adopt microlearning for sales enablement

Microlearning can be successfully used to rapidly train entire sales teams on new products or services they need to sell. Additionally, microlearning can help sales teams learn new messaging, objection handling, discovery skills, etc. in order to win more business. Further, the evaluation process that precedes a microlearning program is ideal for onboarding new salespeople, significantly reducing the time-to-productivity of new hires. At the end of the day, all of the above enables sales reps to have more effective conversations with prospects, and turn them into loyal customers.

The ROI from enabling sales staff to become more proficient at their work is incredible. When it comes to empowering people, any friction points and productivity barriers an organization encounters represents skills and knowledge gaps that can be filled with the right training and education.

Organizations need to adopt sales enablement programs that actually reinforce and increase knowledge through effective upskilling opportunities. Microlearning enables sales teams improve their skills rapidly, with minimal disruption to the day to day because of how smoothly sessions fit into people’s existing schedules and workflows. Most importantly, microlearning sessions are quick and effective, and the benefits persist for sales teams and the prospects they’re pursing alike.

Bret Kramer
Bret Kramer is the Vice President of Sales and Customer Success at Qstream, leading the company’s sales team and ensuring its customers are deriving business value from its microlearning platform. Prior to Qstream, Kramer was the director of revenue at WNDYR, a consulting firm specializing in digital transformation. Before that, Kramer spent 15 years selling and deploying software development tools with Rational Software (acquired by IBM), and for the past 12 years worked in sales management roles for SaaS organizations.


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