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Getting the most out of sales staff is both an art and a science. Companies that invest in training sales professionals in the most effective way to reach customers, handle customer interactions and build strong business relationships with customer and potential customer are the most effective companies. The problem exists in actually finding the time to train the sales staff as well as finding the budget to bring in trainers that can actually provide role plays and real life experiences. Add to that the issue that if staff is in training, they definitely can't be interacting with costumers and making those all important sales.
There is a highly effective, cost saving and very practical solution to the sales training dilemma. This tool can be used in both initial training and employee selection as well as with experienced, current employees in the sales force. The solution is a web based eLearning system that allows you to incorporate serious game solutions and virtual world education into your training modules.
Employee training software that allows the employee to interact with customers in a virtual world is highly motivational and provides excellent opportunities to try out new sales approaches and techniques. The real value of the system is that if the user or sales trainee makes a mistake, there is no lost customer. All they have to do is simply reset the game and try again. The high quality avatars in a virtual world such as Second Life, or the browser based virtual world called Azivia, makes the training so much more realistic than just reading scenarios and writing pre-set sales presentations. The trainer can actually work with the eLearning developer to generate realistic questions and comments from customers that sales people in that particular part of the market have to answer.
These training programs are perfect for tracking which employees are learning new techniques and using them accurately in their work. Tests and pre and post practice quizzes can be added to the Learning Management System or LMS to allow easy record keeping for the human resource department or training coordinator. In addition those with administrative privileges can be set up to actually go in and view the sales person's interaction with the virtual customer, allowing personalized feedback and ensuring quality control over the training, even from a remote location.
For new employees in training or prospective employees these virtual interactive learning tools, also know as serious games, are a great evaluation tool. New sales people can experience in a virtual game, exactly how to approach and engage customers. If they make a mistake they can try again, learning what specific tool and techniques work for different types of customers. This also helps to reinforce the best practices you wish your sales force to use. Since you will work closely with the web based training firm you can create a virtual environment that is an exact replica of the real environment the sales people will function in.
Having the ability for your employees to work online also prevents issues with costly training and lost sales time. Employees can work though eLearning and 3D immersion training at any time from any computer within your network. This is an excellent training tool and one that many of the top companies have now incorporated into all areas of staff development.