A recent Selling Power Magazine article “The Five-Minute Training Trend” reminded me of something I've been teaching my clients for almost a decade … the power of micro lessons (what they call “nano learning”) and their ability to increase sales and marketing productivity.
It doesn't matter what you call these short focused training exercises interspersed between implementation, you can't argue with the results they create. There is nothing new in this world; many of your best sales people have used this methodology for years by turning their cards into what Zig Ziglar calls “A University on Wheels.“
The big problem for sales and marketing management is structuring learning into the day to day lives of sales people. It takes motivation and interest to stick to a learning routine. Your sales and marketing staff must see their own immediate value to make the most of this program.
My latest Building Business Relationship‘s column speaks directly to specific guidelines you must follow when setting up a self directed training program, you'll find that in “Learn More In Less Time While Improving Productivity” — but it's critical to remember, this type of training has the best return on time invested than any other.
You'll also find other ready to use materials in the form of book summaries, pamphlets, and strategies sheets. Nightingale-Conant and Simon & Shuster also have relatively low cost programs for your team. Unfortunately many of these programs still require a sales person to spend 15 to 20 dedicated minutes.
With micro lessons your sales people don't have to stop selling to attend training. Lessons are 5 to 10 minutes long, focused on a single topic, and can be selected cafeteria style (meaning they choose programs most relevant to desired areas of improvement.)
A major setback to audio tapes, books, and other training materials is sometimes sales and marketing “students” needs to search volumes, where micro learning using an Ipod, or Mp3 player, lets you select specific program quickly, or even search a library of programs.
This is something I'm doing in two of my companies, the GOLD Membership program for Sales and Marketing Management, and the STANDARD Members program for Selling and Marketing to Executives. Members can download audio materials, articles, and other learning materials to train on the go.
These small lessons also promote discussion of selling methodology, strategies, and more; whether you utilize a discussion forum built into your training provider or have an open discussion at your next sales meeting. Your employees can be more attentive because these programs don't interrupt their daily responsibilities.
Micro lessons can help even new sales people and marketing professionals grasp complex issues quickly, but more importantly put what they learned into action immediately. If you aren't already, it is wise to build micro lessons into your employee training and development budget this year.
Copyright 2006-2015 ASK JUSTIN HITT, All rights reserved.
Justin Hitt has more than two decades of experience transforming business relationships into profits for clients. Practicing risk and project management in high stakes environments. Featured in Six Sigma Magazine and Greater China CRM. Author of numerous books, reports, and training programs on strategic relations.