In this article highlighted below, you will see a different approach to training –one that is not time intensive yet has powerful results. Whether you have a sales function or not, there is something universally applicable when it comes to micro-learning.
“American Tire Distributors Shares Its Microlearning Success Story” by Sarah Fister Gale in Chief Learning Officer Online illustrates how to overcome traditional sales training methodology hindrances in a fast-paced and regularly changing world. An organization faced unique dynamics in designing and rolling out successful sales training. Employees are front facing experts in their field with new things to learn constantly to keep their sales skills fresh and current. When there is a question about investing in sales training, the proven results do the talking. This case study demonstrates how micro-learning has been impactful for American Tire Distributors (ATD) resulting in measurable increased revenue.
Sarah discusses how Rebecca Sinclair was brought in to find a better way to support the sales team at American Tire Distributors. The environment was data rich but the sales teams had different levels of competencies and were being coached directly by their immediate supervisors. Traditional instructor-led “check the box” sales training simply wouldn’t cut it for this unique group. They had to be the most up-to-date on their product knowledge to push sales like they had never done before. Specifications and new technology are constantly evolving and this knowledge can quickly become a perishable resource.
In my own experience, covering the basics of organizational training and standards sets a great foundation, but keeping up on current trends is an ongoing process. The changes can be subtle at times; it’s not practical for me to invest time into multiple day conferences on a regular basis. I enjoy and get the most benefit by balancing my day with small but important bits of new information. I’m also competitive so I like to imagine I’m getting points for learning. When I use something measurable, I can see myself on a scale and know I’m running with the pack, leading, or need to catch up. Recognition is the very principle that gets me hooked into opening my favorite traffic app and reporting conditions or gas prices, buying those 9 cups of coffee for the 10th one free, or that next level tier as a frequent flyer.
By using a custom learning app, these employees could access their learning and keep up on the go in 3 to 5-minute sessions. It is a just-in-time training model but with a tremendous strength—it eliminated redundancy by adapting to each individual based on their strengths and weaknesses identified in the quizzes following each session. Not only is it short and sweet, it’s pushed to the user when there’s a new opportunity to advance. They didn’t suffer from FOMO, or fear of missing out.
Employees at ATD were engaged in competition with each other, earning points and ranking on leaderboards. Statistics indicated the heaviest users were the top performers. Specific product lines also received measurable boosts in sales when employees were given product knowledge training.
Read the case study and imagine how this could apply in your organization today!