Article

E-Learning and sales training: Testimony of a former training manager

For the company, establishing a partnership relationship with the e-Learning expert is a key success criterion

Patrice Berthon-Moine is an expert in training and development who recently became an independent consultant after 8 years as the training manager for a Swiss multinational agribusiness (famous for its coffee capsules). This strategic position led him to head up the formation of an international network of salespeople and sellers, relying notably on e-Learning.

What was the context in which e-Learning was chosen to support the sales force of the large agribusiness group where you were responsible for training?

Patrice Berthon-Moine : “The case for using e-Learning has been obvious since 2010. Firstly, because this group has more than 7,000 people around the world in boutiques or customer service centers. Secondly, because it was essential also to convey emotions and meet strong marketing and aesthetic requirements.”

In a context as complex and with such high demands, only e-Learning could bring the same message across all markets, in a coherent manner, in a short time and in various languages.

How were commercial training courses disseminated on so many different markets?

P.B.-M. : The first e-Learning programme, at the end of 2010, was created in stand-alone mode on a USB key sent to all markets. One key per employee! Fortunately today, all courses can be accessed via the group’s Learning Management System (LMS) and put online 2 or 3 weeks before the commercial launch of a new product, for example. It is then up to the people responsible to ensure that whenever  a new contract is agreed, all the relevant collaborators have completed the necessary training. It is up to each team leader or shop manager, in turn, to free up his or her staff for training.

What were the objectives of these training course ?

P.B.-M. : There were several coursess every year: to accompany the launch of a new product or a new range, but also for sales methods, range positioning, marketing strategy and so on.
To keep up this pace, over the years we designed structures that are modifiable, infinitely variable on various themes, with an author tool that is very easy to use. The choice of a standard author tool allows markets that wish to translate training or integrate other visuals to adapt to the reality of their market as well as possible. This evolution has been gradual: we have evolved and grown together, with our partner e-Learning ITycom.

So the relationship with ITycom has been built over time ?

P.B.-M. : Yes, we have learned to build a relationship of trust over the long term. Setting up a real collaborationand working on the basis of partnership are essential for success. The e-Learning Partner must make an effort to understand the company’s culture and organisation and to put in place effective ways to collaborate. Validation steps were optimised, as both ITycom and customer teams were able to say when a problem arose.

What equipment was used by employees to access training ?

P.B.-M. : Shop associates could use computers, and in some markets tablets were deployed. Courses used responsive design: this allowed us to offer aesthetically neat modules that were exciting and very educational and also to address concepts that are more complex to explain to the customer, such as as the company’s sustainable development strategy.

However, for training to be accessible to all, and even by agents who did not have access to the group’s LMS, each e-Learning programme was also available in a printable version. This minimalist, “lowest common denominator” measure ensured that the message could get through in all cases.

What were the results of this e-Learning strategy ?

P.B.-M. : It’s a legitimate question … but it’s always difficult to answer. Good training osales forces must make it possible to sell more and better. But the results also depend on the design of the offers by the marketing teams. A uniform discourse on all markets results from training efforts, but also from management.

So many different factors impact sales that it’s hard to isolate the impact of e-Learning, and measure ROI. On the other hand, the high rate of satisfied users is both the answer to this question and the reward for those who designed the training program!

What were the results of this e-Learning strategy ?

P.B.-M. : It’s a legitimate question … but it’s always difficult to answer. Good training osales forces must make it possible to sell more and better. But the results also depend on the design of the offers by the marketing teams. A uniform discourse on all markets results from training efforts, but also from management.

So many different factors impact sales that it’s hard to isolate the impact of e-Learning, and measure ROI. On the other hand, the high rate of satisfied users is both the answer to this question and the reward for those who designed the training program!

> About measuring the effectiveness of training, read our article . Behind the challenge of measuring the effectiveness of e-Learning: the company’s entire strategy

Based on this experience, and your role of current consultant, what advice would you give to a company wishing to train its sales teams ?

P.B.-M. : There are several tips to give: first, generally, do not neglect the commercial forces, because they are the ones who sell and who carry the image of the mark. Next, focus on Blended learning, combining face-to-face training and e-learning. Finally and above all, to establish a real relationship of trust, over time, with the provider chosen to develop the training: a real collaboration is essential.

Contactez nous
By |2019-11-29T09:19:10+01:00November 29th, 2019|e-learning, ITycom x Ultramédia|0 Comments