Major manufacturers and suppliers are using online learning to train other people’s employees.
Clearly, online learning is a hugely effective way for companies to teach their staff about new products and how to sell them. But many manufacturers, producers and wholesalers have no direct relationship with the people responsible for selling the majority of their products on a daily basis. E-learning is changing that.
For all the digital presence of companies of that size, a big proportion of sales still come from bricks-and-mortar retailers. An LMS gives the opportunity to reach those on the shop floor directly with the information and motivation they need to sell more products.
So, how do you ensure that everyone selling on your behalf – right down to the part-time Saturday worker at your smallest reseller – is recommending your products over your competitors’ products?
The information on your LMS needs to be relevant. It needs to give retail staff the product information that matters to their customers. The user experience of your LMS needs to be such that the product training follows a logical process and that information is easy to find and navigate.
Encourage friendly competition
Appeal to people’s competitive nature by adding leaderboards and other gamification elements to the learning you’re offering. Establishing themselves as a leading expert on your products in their store, their region or country will be compelling for many sales staff.
Give perks and prizes
Build goodwill and increase engagement by offering rewards to those who complete your training. This could be a prize for topping the leaderboard, for completing a course on a product or product range or for regular engagement with the LMS. Why not make your products the prizes to give your top advocates even great knowledge and experience of using them?
Provide useful downtime
If it’s a quiet day on the shop floor, your reseller could lurk behind the shelves checking their social media or they could get their phone out in full view to complete some training on your products. Only one option is likely to get the approval of their manager and potentially increase their commission come the end of the month. So make sure your LMS is responsive and ideally includes offline sync, so your learners can use it even if they don’t have an internet connection.
If you know retail staff will be using your platform when they have a few spare minutes on their hands, design your courses so that they can accomplish something within that time. That means short, focused courses; multimedia learning materials; and quizzes. And make sure it’s easy for the learner to track their progress throughout each course.
You’re seeking out a direct relationship with retail staff you wouldn’t have been able to reach in the past. Give your learners equal footing in that relationship by using the LMS as a way for them to contact you with questions, concerns and suggestions.
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