Sales techniques and in-store product training: e-Learning as a sales tool

e-Learning is not limited to in-house training. Nor to just the company’s employees. When properly exploited, Digital Learning’s advantages make it an ideal tool to boost the marketing of products or services. For sales representatives, salespeople and distributors, and even in stores. Let’s explain.

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Among the many applications of Digital Learning, training in products, services and sales techniques is one of the most promising for companies. There are two main reasons for this:

• The variety of profiles that can be involved, from sales teams to distributors, salespeople in stores and even customers.

• The very concrete operational benefits for the company, the results directly related to its sales.

The advantages of Digital Learning for sales training

It must be said that the natural assets of e-Learning are particularly well suited to commercial training:

  • Less travel for those who train in-store salespeople
  • Flexibility for learners who no longer have to free up an imposed time slot to train
  • Richness of Digital Learning formats, which allow variations in arguments, descriptions in videos, and Serious Game simulations involving clients
  • Option to customise sales training to the range of products actually sold in each store
  • Quick updates, for example in the event of range enrichment or product upgrades.

In Switzerland, Milupa uses e-Learning for product training

All these advantages convinced Milupa, a Swiss company specialising in child nutrition, to switch to Digital Learning for its commercial training courses. For several years now, this subsidiary of the Danone Group has been using e-Learning modules to provide product information and sales advice to pharmacists and pharmacy assistants.

“In Switzerland, we sell our products in 2,500 pharmacies. e-Learning is a valuable tool for training pharmacists and pharmacy assistants about our products”, explains Guillaume Hopmann, Trade Marketing Manager at Milupa. “Digital technology allows us to provide them with a free training module, accessible anywhere and at any time. It is a format that offers great flexibility and ease of use.”

From training to prescription: a BtoBtoC strategy

« Our objective was twofold: to provide accurate information on our products, which are highly technical, and to offer sales techniques and advice, in order to increase pharmacists’ skills», continues Guillaume Hopmann. « The challenge was to combine the contribution of knowledge with a fun aspect. From the history of our company, to the presentation of our range and the simulation based on the questions parents frequently ask, we have developed a short programme, split into 6 chapters, that lasts a total of 30 minutes.»

A Micro Learning logic, based on very short programmes that are easy to follow and not very constraining for learners. And a win-win strategy: “pharmacist/salespeople” have better product knowledge and gain confidence and expertise from their customers. In turn, customers then benefit from more informed advice. Sales training thus goes beyond the internal framework of the company and its employees, in a “BtoBtoC” type approach.

Sales techniques and advice even for non-commercial customers

In a case like Milupa’s, the educational power of Digital Learning is particularly valuable when the user is not a professional sales representative: “Pharmacists and pharmacy assistants can have gaps in their knowledge of the sales process and interaction with parents”, explains Guillaume Hopmann. “Simulating real cases gives them the keys to establish a relationship of trust, to be more comfortable with customers and to build their loyalty.”

Today, the company says it is convinced of the effectiveness of its commercial Digital Learning training programme: « We measure the results using the quiz at the end of the training. To pass, at least 67% of answers must be correct. And the numbers are looking good!» . Guillaume Hopmann attributes this success to the key strengths of e-Learning: « Speed is real added value, so as not to impact learners in their working time. The really fun formats, the ease of learning and the user-friendly side are also key. Moreover, e-Learning, at the heart of our deployment in Switzerland, could be replicated in other countries. An updated version with our latest innovations is about to be launched. »