Hot off the heels of mLearnCon 2013, we decided to write about an area of training that could greatly benefit from mobile applications. That area is sales training. More specifically, training a sales team that is spread out across various regions or in other words, a ‘mobile’ sales team. Over the last few weeks, we have been asking clients as well members of the sales training community about some of the biggest challenges they are experiencing when training a mobile sales team. Here is what we’ve discovered:
Challenge 1: Cost
Bringing in an entire sales team from across various regions to one location for training can be extremely costly to an organization. Not only in terms of travel, boarding and other expenses but also in terms of potential opportunity lost when a salesperson leaves his or her respective territory for a period of time.
Challenge 2: Accessibility
With a slew of new mobile devices entering the market at a rapid pace (tablets, smartphones, etc.), it’s difficult to say when and on what device a salesperson will be engaged at any given time. It can be very inconvenient for a salesperson if they are not able to access the information they need from wherever they are and in some cases it may even negatively impact potential business deals.
Challenge 3: Constant change
Sales professionals in technology or life science organizations can especially relate to having to deal with constant change and evolution. It is critical for a company to be able to communicate new product information, competitor information, promotions and a whole variety of other changes to their salespeople as soon as possible.
How can mobile training solve these challenges?
Mobile devices are now so omnipresent that they are essentially a new appendage of the human body. As we mentioned in a previous blog post about mobile training, the penetration rate of mobile devices in the US alone is upwards of 102.2%. Given this clear trend toward mobile growth and adoption, it only makes sense for training professionals to start delivering their training via mobile devices.
To address the first challenge of cost, by delivering training on a mobile device, travel costs are no longer a problem. Mobile training allows salespeople to spend more time focusing on pursuing opportunities, by allowing them to stay within their respective territories. As for the challenge of accessibility, an effective mobile training program can be delivered through a web application, which comes standard with any modern mobile device. This gives salespeople the freedom to engage with any device they wish and still have access to critical materials as and when they are required.
One of the other advantages of delivering mobile training specifically through a web application is that the training can constantly be updated and changed. This means that if a new product is introduced and salespeople need to be rapidly brought up to speed, it’s no longer a case of flying them into headquarters … it’s a case of each of them reaching into their pocket and simply completing the most recent and relevant training module on their mobile phone.
As the mobile world evolves, so must the training world.
With a mobile-centric training program, the three major challenges with training a mobile sales team will no longer prove to be burdensome to an organization. Organizations can instead start to think about how to cater and build training programs that are specific to a mobile-user. More on this in a different post.
For now, share your thoughts on how you think a mobile training program can not only impact sales but also other functions within an organization.