April 5, 2021

Improve Sales Team Performance with Targeted Microlearning

Improve Sales Team Performance with Targeted Microlearning featured image

Using employee training to boost the most consequential areas of your business is an eternally relevant strategy, and it can be easier to get started than you may assume. Rather than committing to long seminars or classes, you can use a digital learning platform to give your team members access to targeted microlearning content, quick-hit lessons that deliver immediately actionable takeaways.

two men in suits shaking hands with a woman in a suit standing nearby

One group that can benefit from this approach is your sales team. Each individual aspect of the selling process takes a slightly different set of competencies to handle effectively, and there are training courses aimed at every one of those concepts.

3 Sales Tactics to Improve with Microlearning

The following are three elements of the sales process that may benefit from a quick tune-up. Each plays a distinct role in the salesperson’s toolkit and is worth developing through the application of specific training courses.

  1. Overcoming objections

The middle of a sales negotiation may be complicated by an endless variety of objections, some more forceful than others. An experienced and effective seller should anticipate that these may occur and be ready to come back with their own counter-offers and amended pitches.

The Hubspot guide to overcoming sales objections includes a few important tactics to try when encountering resistance to a sales pitch. For instance, salespeople should not ignore or minimize a prospect’s worries, but rather come up with solutions and ask detailed follow-up questions to help get the sale back on track. Experience can be a good teacher in overcoming objections, as employees can remember issues they’ve experienced in the past and be ready to overcome them next time.

Microlearning content based on managing objections can be highly granular, breaking down the issues even further. These lessons may introduce a salesperson to likely tactics for overcoming sticker shock, or help them tell the difference between kinds of objection and proceed accordingly.

Professional woman smiling across the table from a man in suit
  1. Closing the sale

While it could be limiting to have a one-size-fits-all strategy to close a conversation, salespeople can benefit from dwelling on this part of the process. After all, making a good final impression can help prevent last-minute changes of heart. Without an effective close, even the most promising sale can go awry.

There are a few popular tactics for closing a deal, and The Balance listed several of them. One of these is the Columbo close, based on the TV detective’s “one more thing” catchphrase. This involves saving a great part of the offer for last and getting the prospect fired up to buy. For a harder sell, the salesperson could use a “now or never” approach tied to a product or deal that will be going away soon.

Microlearning lessons can help sales personnel close their own deals more effectively by equipping them with multiple tactics they can deploy depending on the type of situation. After a potentially long and winding sales process, it can be reassuring to have these strong closing offers ready to go.

  1. Using discounts tactically

If there is a sales tactic that should only be used in moderation, it is the discount. After all, always knocking money off the price will inevitably take a chunk out of revenue. Instead of leaning on discounts and savings, salespeople can take a thoughtful approach to them, deploying them at key moments to help keep their sales conversations on track and close the deal.

Hubspot recommends that sellers find a discount range that’s not too much or too little, maximizing the psychological impact on their potential customers. A huge discount, such as half off, cheapens the product and makes it seem like it is worth less than it truly is. On the other side of the coin, offering just a percentage point or two off is not very exciting.

A training lesson about discounts gives employees important background information on the art of marking products down without damaging their profit margins too badly. Learning as much as possible about discounting can help salespeople go into negotiations confidently, without the fear that they will accidentally compromise a sale with a poorly calculated offer.

The Microlearning Model

Microlearning courses are, by design, short and easy to consume. In under 10 minutes, these modules deliver the salient information without wasting learners’ time. It’s possible to offer a large and varied library of microlearning content to employees, letting them take a self-guided approach to what they learn and when, or assigning courses based on a particular person’s role.

Salespeople who sharpen their most important skills via targeted learning are well-positioned to lead their teams to success. Each new tactic adds up to create a more complete skill set. As the individuals who make connections between potential customers and your company’s products and services, your sales representatives are responsible for your revenue. Training them is a way to benefit the company as a whole.

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