Whether you’re using manufacturer representatives, sales agents, distributors or value-added resellers, selling through an organization that’s not “your own” presents some unique challenges. One of the largest hurdles you may encounter is keeping your external sales network trained and up to date on your organization and your product line. If your extended sales team spans across the nation, or even globally, then your training challenges become even far greater. Yes, you can gather your teams together regionally to host training sessions, but the costs associated with this approach to training can add up really quickly. Not only is this type of training costly, but how can you expect your teams to retain what they’ve learned during these one-off training sessions? If repetition and reinforcement encourage learning retention, then these one-off training sessions may prove to be of minimal value. So what’s the best way to train a geographically dispersed sales representative network? Using an LMS to distribute online learning of course!
Convenience ranks as top benefit
Apart from cost savings, convenience is a major benefit to offering your training online. Your sales network can train when it’s convenient for them and when they need it the most. Delivering your training online using an LMS provides anytime anywhere access to courses and learning materials. Perhaps your team needs a quick refresher before walking into a prospective new account, or maybe they need specific details regarding your new product specifications? Your sales team can have instant access to the materials they need via the Internet.
How often do you onboard new sales representative organizations? What’s the turnover like in your current sales network? Remember, it’s not only your products that your sales team needs training on. New sales representative organizations or new members to your existing sales network require training on how your organization operates, your company’s unique history, your mission, competitive differentiation, sales strategy, support assistance, etc. Providing this information consistently through your LMS ensures that your sales network is on the same page using the same messaging to promote your products and services no matter where they’re located.
Staying “Top of Mind”
Offering access to online training using an LMS will help to keep your organization “top of mind” and “top of line card” with your sales network. This type of support encourages positive relationships and greater allegiance, which of course can lead to greater profitability for all parties involved. Above all, respecting your sales network’s time and providing them with the tools and support that they need are keys to building long-term profitable relationships. Delivering online training to your sales network using an LMS provides your network with the flexibility to learn at their convenience and when they need it the most.
Susan Distasio | eLearning Industry Crusader | ePath Learning, Inc.
About the Author: Susan Distasio is an eLearning Industry Crusader focused on advocating for advancement and change in the eLearning and professional development industry. An avid seeker of knowledge and continuous improvement, Susan is happy to share her research, observations, and thoughts regarding “all things related to learning and development.” When she’s not out on the learning crusade, Susan can be found with the wind in her hair riding her Harley or simply enjoying life with her husband and her Siamese cat named Elvis, as well as with family and friends.