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1 How to Build Better and More Interactive Online Sales Training Programs

2 About MindTickle MindTickle enables businesses, trainers and individuals to transform their existing online content (PPTs, Videos, documents) into an interactive learning experience. MindTickle engages the learner and makes learning efficient, effective and delightful through a unique combination of game mechanics (points, medals, badges and leaderboard) and social tools (profiles, comments, chat and walls). The platform has been globally adopted by several Fortune 500 customers, and over 55,000 users have benefited from MindTickle products. MindTickle has global sales presence with headquarters in the United States, and development / operations team in India.

3 Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. Benjamin Franklin

4 Author Mohit has diverse work experience spanning across 14 years and four continents. Prior to co-founding MindTickle, he was a Director in PwC s management consulting practice at New York, and has been a senior member of product teams. Mohit Garg MindTickle mindtickle.com He was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by Startup Leadership Program (SLP) in Mohit holds an MBA degree from ISB and MSEE from Stanford University.

5 Table of Contents

6 Why Online Sales Training 1. More Educated Customers - Your customers are more educated than ever. Before they set foot in your store or sign that contract to work with you, they Googled your brand, learned about your products and read the reviews. With mobile devices, they are even searching for reviews and price comparisons while in your store. These customers arrive with pre-conceived notions about your products and services from their own research. This new consumer frame requires an entirely new approach for educating your sales staff. 2. Access for Regional and Global Teams - Businesses are making moves away from traditional sales training to online education close this gap. For businesses that have sales teams across multiple offices, even globally, it may not make sense to keep pulling sales reps out of the field to attend face to face training. The convenience of online sales training programs allow employees to fit in training when it suits their schedule. Also, online training can be more ideal for sales staff who find themselves moving from one city to another to make sales presentations on a regular basis.

7 Why Online Sales Training 3. Flexibility Learn at Their Own Pace - Locking your employees into a training schedule at a fixed location that only happens at certain days and times can be a huge waste of funds. Also, people learn at different paces and often prefer the flexibility of having access to education when they want it - not just during designated training sessions. 4. Opportunity to Collaborate in Learning With Social Media - Finally, businesses are becoming more social. Social media enabled organizations use online forums to connect, collaborate, share knowledge and solve problems.

8 Online Sales Training and Relationship Building Sales success is all about building a relationship and trusted partnership with your customer. With that relationship, doing business together becomes a collaborative two way street. It is important that your sales team (and your entire staff) become resources for customers focused on helping to overcome challenges and solve problems. It is also important to keep your finger on the pulse of the market for your customers to address the inevitable evolution of your business landscape. The best sales people understand without question that the lifetime value of a client is way more than a single transaction. So how do you as a sales manager foster an environment where your team values these principles when you can t speak with the team everyday? An ongoing online sales education plan can be a powerful tool for building a sales force to be envied by the most profitable businesses.

9 Elements of a Strong Online Sales Training Program Principle #1 - Get Off to a Great Start With New Employees If you expect your sales team to behave like empty hard drives built to download every fact in tedious explainer videos, you need to ask yourself if you really want your profits to keep humming. 70% of the staff members who can be found yawning into their cappuccinos while watching lackluster online sales training videos have no confidence in their leaders, and 56% of those glazed-eyed trainees have no company pride. Your online sales training toolbox is stuffed with all the trappings of the internet include mentorship tools, online discussions, sharing, coaching, blogs, and wikis. Take a step back and map out what the learning journey should look like for your sales team. Ask your best salespeople, senior sales staff and human resources to contribute to designing a remarkable experience for your team. An inspired program encourages your trainees to start unifying as a team before they even hit your offices, and that journey can only be started if they can connect with one another. Once they are inside, online sales training helps new employees get acclimated to their new working environment. The first few days at a new job can be the most difficult. The new sales rep wants to impress her boss as well as be viewed as competent by her colleagues. An online sales training program can relieve some of that initial tension, letting the new rep know what is expected of them, and chart a roadmap to get up to speed.

10 Elements of a Strong Online Sales Training Program Principle #1 Continued Training reinforces to the sales person that she is a valuable asset that helps the company to grow and profit. Every sales employee wants to feel that their presence and hard work make a difference. Being chosen to participate and rewarded in training reinforces the feeling that they have a place in the company and have something important to contribute. How to take this into online sales training: Map out the learning journey for your sales reps and get your team involved in designing the onboarding experience. Make sure that the training helps to set expectations and goals for getting up to speed. With gamification, even tasks like getting forms signed can be made into a more interesting adventure! The online onboarding can start before they set foot in the building. Use online training to get your seasoned sales reps interacting with newbies. Provide incentives and goals along the way to reward the behaviors you wish to encourage in your program.

11 Principle #2 - Don t Try to Outdo Your Customers Your sales team needs to get into the buyer mindset to be successful. As you know, customers purchase when they are ready not when you are ready to sell. Successful salespeople know how to listen more than they talk and immerse themselves in the same content your customers use to learn more about the market. How to take this idea into online sales training: Train your sales force to acknowledge and accept the fact that consumers are more well informed today. It is very important to respect that knowledge. A customer that s done their homework can be difficult to interact with on the sales floor. Show your team how to interact with them intelligently but without trying to one up the customer. That s not a battle you want your sales team to get into! Reward your sales team for listening and asking questions by presenting scenarios and having them practice responding to common customer objections.

12 Principle #3 - Use Training to Hone New and Old Skills In large and small enterprises, fast moving product launches can create a disconnect between your product and sales organizations. You don t want this gap to become a chasm with your sales team focused on old and outdated features and concepts. It is important for reps to stay up on what s coming and how to appropriately position products to address customer situations. Online sales training programs help employees to learn new skills while on the job. It is possible for your star sales reps to become bored in their day to day work activities. If they do not see an opportunity to learn a new skill to be used in their current position, or even in another department, they may start to look for other employment elsewhere. Online sales training allows your sales staff to also hone old skills. With the advent of new technologies being implemented on a daily basis, it is possible for certain procedures to become obsolete. This creates an opportunity for you, as a company, to let your sales team know that you still value their expertise and want to further invest in them to update their skills. How to take this into online sales training: Use online learning to push out new sales refresher courses and reward your team for completion. Reward product knowledge exhibited through online training by recognizing high scoring individuals. Get clarity to more easily help sales reps who are struggling with product updates. Bake in client and customer questions, example scenarios and case studies. Sales staff can interact seasoned sales SMEs and have discussions. Questions can be voted up so that they get more exposure when they are seen as important.

13 Principle #4 - Use Online Training to Deliver Helpful Collateral and Resources An increased focus on online content publishing is helping to pave the transition to online sales training. More and more, blogs, social networks, online communities, review and free accessible content like free online e-books and guides are how people stay up to speed on what s happening. The idea that every business is a publisher now means that your business should not only be producing educational content but that your sales team needs to be reading that content as well as content from sources across the web! Helpful, educational content should be as accessible as possible to your sales team. They should also have the ability to access the content in multiple formats. They should also be enabled to curate helpful data, news, videos, articles, SlideShare presentations and more to share with the sales team and with customers. With constant access to the latest content, you will have a stronger sales team that is more equipped to engage and delight customers. How to take this into online sales training: Embed current content in multiple formats and deliver online training on the fly. Create and foster forums for sharing the latest news and best content through online training. Encourage and reward members of your sales team that find and share valuable content. Salespeople can share their best presentations and pitches and get ratings from peers. Questions can be placed next to new content so that salespeople can see it and react to it in context.

14 Principle #5 - Use Online Training to Facilitate Dialogue There s no ignoring it, social media is here to stay and is a major influencing factor in purchase decisions. Businesses ignore the two way dialogue made possible by social media at their own peril! Consider the importance then of online listening to ensure that you and your sales team are always aware of customer conversations around your brand, your products and services. Online training that educates your sales team on social media sentiment can be an incredibly powerful tool for your team to stay ahead of the market while being flexible and responsive to current customer concerns. How to take this into online sales training: Include details from your social media listening each week to ensure that your sales team is informed and aware of the social conversation in your space - especially if there are some hot topics they should know about. Sales reps can engage in informal Q and A sessions to learn how to overcome objections and engage in informal learning like the popular social channel Quora.

15 Conclusion An effective online sales training program doesn t really discount face-to-face discussions and actual mentorship. A build it and they will come simply won t work. New employees, after all, can t successfully finish their training by themselves. They need guidance from mentors and support from program leaders. Make sure to involve your managers in the responsibility of educating your future sales leaders. Investing in your sales team starts in training. Why not invest in a robust online sales training program now and reap the rewards later?

16 Get a Free Demo From Request a demo of MindTickle's online training software. See MindTickle's learning software in action! We'll show you how to effectively engage learners and measure ROI. With MindTickle's learning software you can: Boost Learner Engagement: Use social and gamified learning mechanics to increase engagement and retention. Deliver Anytime, Anywhere: Use our mobile-friendly platform to deploy to learners anywhere. Save Time and Money: Save classroom time, and use our flexible subscription-based pricing.

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