How Microlearning Will Transform the Sales Channel
Challenges of Learning
Your success depends on your channel understanding your value proposition. If sales people are not up to speed on your products and services, how are they going to effectively sell your products and services? Getting people to learn about your products, processes and best practices is a challenge. You are competing for time and attention with every social media platform and content company. We are living in the “attention economy”.
You are competing to stay front of mind so that your product is recommended above your competitor. This puts even more pressure on sales people who have to learn their business, your business and many of your competitors. It’s no wonder that 75% of channel sales people reported in a recent Whistle survey they want better support from their channel partners.
The approach for most channel programs makes the problem worse. Many companies still rely on outdated channel promotion and distribution methods like sending brochures every few months featuring new products or hosting learning events at an annual conference. Slightly more advanced companies have embraced “learning on demand”, creating content libraries sales people can access when convenient. Both of these learning approaches are doomed to fail because people forget 90% of information shortly after it is delivered.
Think about your own experience at a conference or online workshop – can you remember more than 1% of the content?
The concept of microlearning
Microlearning breaks learning and lessons into small pieces of information that only require a few minutes to process. Instead of watching an hour long video or slide deck, focus on one topic at a time.
Our brains have a hard time processing lots of information at once. A recent study tested students and compared test results for the same information – just presented in two different formats: traditional (long format) and microlearning. Students who learned in small chunks answered questions in 28% less time and did 20% better on answers!
Additionally, microlearning through a mobile device can be consumed whenever and wherever it is convenient for the participant. Americans spend 5.4 hours a day on their mobile devices so delivering content through a method people already are engaged with is a no-brainer.
Whistle takes this delivery concept one step further by leveraging AI to suggest the right information, delivered to the right person, at the right time – delivered to their mobile device.
How Microlearning with Transform the Channel
- Learning performance produces better results. Microlearning for most situations and most people is a more effective learning format. Combined with mobile technology making it accessible and convenient, sales people with access to these tools will become more successful, creating a cycle of growth for the companies that are early to adopt micro-learning tools and practices.
- Data informing what works (and what does not). Learning tools are typically a one size fits all. Learning content is developed and then distributed to hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of participants. Because microlearning breaks down content into small chunks, it is easier to collect data on what learning elements actually make an impact. Real-time feedback loops and insights not only help design better content, but help customize learning experiences to match the learner – increasing the success for both channel sales people and companies alike.
- AI guiding the right information at the right time. Microlearning content size (small chunks) allows easier searching of specific information, and even for AI to recommend what learning content will help a specific sales person be more effective at that time. This “guided choice” changes learning from a generic list of ingredients (most of which is forgotten) to a proactive partner empowering the success of the channel.
- Accelerate the difference between who is moving forward, and who is not. Digital transformation is in full swing (and was even given a boost from the pandemic). The advancement of microlearning is accelerating the success and demise of companies depending on how effectively they are prepared for change. Especially true in competitive channels, companies who are better engaging and empowering salespeople will take market share from companies who are not.
Microlearning is just one of several major digital trends impacting the sales channel – but it is critically important because of the role it plays helping salespeople be effective in their roles. Whistle not only developed AI enabled microlearning, but also focused on the three other elements that inspire value creating behavior; motivation, prompts and friction-free interaction. Contact us to learn more about microlearning and how we are helping companies transform their channel sales experience.
Case Study: Whistle helped a global equipment manufacturer rethink its approach with independent service technicians as a platform for growth.