Online Learning: Keeping Your Sales Team and Channel 100% in the Know!

Stephen Newman
Sep 22, 2016 11:06:46 AM

Are your sales teams, distributors, retailers and channel partners maximizing their full revenue potential? When the obvious benefit and value proposition of commonly recognized goods and products is clear, your organization tends to focus more on positioning and branding. Even though the differentiation points and brand aesthetic are cultivated and disseminated by the home office, your teams on the ground need to clearly understand how to deliver the message.

Add complex goods into the equation and the challenge is exponentially more difficult. Most companies are not selling sneakers or DVDs, so understanding the complexities of products such as medical devices, industrial manufacturing equipment, and technology can be overwhelming and constantly changing from year-to-year and even quarter-to-quarter. In order to overcome this, many companies rely on in-person training or static knowledge bases. This approach is simply hard to scale. There is no question that an educated sales force and channel will increase profitability. So are your doing everything there is to not only train your team but also making sure you quickly optimize feedback from the market?

To optimize growth in a scalable and efficient way, many sales and product organizations leverage online learning to educate sales teams and channel partners. Bottom line, it’s comprehensive, easy to manage and when done right provides an invaluable feedback loop that you’ll find hard to get from seasonal training events. It gives companies the ability to quickly deploy training programs, track engagement, and access understanding daily. The great news is the delivery of online training can be closely aligned with sales data so actual performance can be measured in a reliable way.

In case you haven’t been convinced, here are some of the core benefits we see day-in-day-out as sales and product organizations leverage the effectiveness of online learning technologies.

  • Optimize Training Costs: The days of long in-person training sessions can be significantly reduced (or eliminated) by leveraging online learning and live seminars. Flying in tens, or even hundreds, of individuals can prove costly factoring in flights, hotels, food, and more.
  • Certify Your Team: Assign an online learning course for every new product and provide certifications. Before your team starts selling, make sure they are fully educated and assessed so they have the expertise necessary to help potential customers understand the product, key benefits, and primary differentiators.
  • Measurable Success Rates: Online learning programs allow you to track the progress and ensure each and every individual has a full understanding of how the products work. Measure engagement, peer collaboration, product knowledge and much more. Activate cohorts and encourage sharing and interaction.
  • Activate Your Extended Enterprise: Larger organizations typically have a network of sales partners that are not necessarily internal employees - partners, resellers, distributors, and dealers. These groups are equally as important as your internal sales force because they contribute to your success just as much. Delivering learning to these extensions of your business is crucial and well worth optimizing and focusing on.
  • Shorten Go-To-Market Timeframe: Online learning provides the most efficient way to communicate product and service rollouts and updates to your extended team. Online training can be quickly deployed streamlining go-to-market time frames, which can lead to quicker sales and increased revenue.

At Thought Industries, we work with a number of organizations who are leveraging online learning to educate sales teams and channel partners on products and services. It's an effective way to track progress, save money, and streamline product launches. It's the "profiting through knowledge" approach where the indirect benefits of having a well-educated and trained sales force can lead to increase bottom-line results and accelerated revenue.

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