by B. Leach | April 11, 2016 | 7 Min Read
Microlearning for Sales Training: It’s Time to Make the Switch
In case you haven’t heard, the average adult attention span is shrinking. Microsoft says it's dropped to 8 seconds (down from 12 seconds a few years ago). Compare that to a goldfish who can stay focused for a whopping 9 seconds.
Unfortunately, short attention spans haven’t reduced the need to deliver great training. It only makes it more challenging to get great training into the hands of your easily distracted people (look, a squirrel!).
Mobile technology has changed the way our brains consume information. We now access content on-demand, in short bursts. So if you want to reach your people, you have to deliver training in a way that works for them.
WHAT IS MICROLEARNING?
Microlearning has been getting a lot of attention in the learning and development world lately. Also known as micro-learning, or bite-sized learning, it's the practice of delivering training in smaller, more focused chunks that learners can easily digest without committing large amounts of time to training.
The definition of “micro” varies depending on who you ask, but training as short as 90 seconds, or as long as 5 minutes is generally considered microlearning. But know that short isn’t a silver bullet. Content also needs to be clear and hyper-focused on a single topic for microlearning to be effective.
For example, instead of delivering a single, 30-minute eLearning that covers a topic in-depth, break it up into 5 or 6 shorter modules that each focus on one aspect of the topic. Be sure to include no more than one key learning objective per module.
BENEFITS OF MICROLEARNING FOR SALES TRAINING
There’s many benefits to using microlearning over traditional eLearning methods. Because of sales reps’ busy schedules and their need for ongoing training, microlearning is ideal for sales training.
We recommend microlearning for sales training whenever possible, and here’s why.
- It’s short. Reps spend less time training and more time selling. It’s easy for reps to get quick hits of training between customers. This lets them stay up-to-date without taking their eyes off their goals.
- It’s on point. Rolling out a new product or service? A short animation can help reps learn the features and benefits quickly. Need to help reps build new skills? Use a brief, live-action video with a quiz to demonstrate the skill and help reps apply what they learned.
- It’s easy to access. Reps like things simple, including their training. If it takes too many clicks to get to, you’ll lose your reps before the training even begins. Take simple, on-demand access one step further and choose an LMS that works in Salesforce so reps have a single place to access everything.
- It’s true just-in-time training. Give your reps training when they need it, when it’s most relevant to their job, and when they’re the most receptive to learning new things. No one wants to sit through a 30-minute eLearning course when they need to learn something specific that can help them in the moment.
- It’s refreshing. Not only is microlearning great for teaching new concepts, it doubles as great refresher training. Make sure it’s easy for reps to go back and re-watch videos and re-take courses. You’ll get more bang for your training buck, and reps will stay up-to-date more easily.
- It’s easier to create and maintain. Consider the 30-minute eLearning example above. When created as a single course, it’s difficult and expensive to update the entire module. When broken down into smaller chunks, you only have to update the individual modules that need it. This saves both time and money and makes it easier to keep your training up-to-date.
DOES MICROLEARNING WORK?
At Unboxed, we’ve seen the results from microlearning first hand. Here’s a quick peek at the results we’ve helped our clients achieve with microlearning.
- NextWorth used microlearning to cut inventory variance in half and achieve double-digit improvement in trade-in accuracy.
- Berkshire Hathaway Media Group partnered with us to create a series of brief, video-based training modules and 98% of learners agreed or strongly agreed the content was immediately useful and applicable.
- A global producer of packaged foods reports that our brief animation received more views than any other training they’ve ever created.
If you’re still using eLearning courses with long seat times for your training, it’s time to make the switch to microlearning. Check out our custom eLearning solutions, or drop us a line to learn more.