When you turn on the television today, it’s hard to avoid news about the novel Coronavirus, which is running rampant across the globe — wreaking havoc on markets and business and leisure travel, and stoking fear. Though many of the world’s most dedicated scientists are working to uncover a vaccine or cure, it appears that the virus’ spread — and selective quarantines — will be fixtures for some time to come.
Facing uncertainty like this, how can we make sure that our business can remain healthy and focused, and that we are still able to meet all of our strategic goals for 2020 – particularly around professional development?
Enter Virtual Training
As the name would suggest, virtual training refers to an approach to instruction in a means other than face to face. It can take the form of a video conference where the instructor and learners are in separate locations, or it can be done in a simulated environment, facilitated by a technology called eLearning.
As an example, here at The Brooks Group, The IMPACT Selling Virtual Sales Training Program was rolled out as a response to the growing demand for virtual training. Our vision was to offer the virtual program to companies that have far-flung sales resources, or are looking to stretch their training budget by eliminating travel expenses – though it can also be a worthy surrogate if factors like the Coronovirus affect a company’s travel plans.
Benefits of Virtual Training
Despite the distance that the name projects, virtual classes can actually be quite personalized and compelling. The facilitator and the trainees are generally united via video conferencing technology – allowing participants to ask questions, send messages, and receive feedback in real-time.
Some benefits of virtual training include:
- Flexibility: You can work the training around busy schedules.
- Convenience: You don’t have to deal with the headaches of travel and other logistics to access the training.
- Creativity: Technology tools give the instructor the chance to deliver animations, visuals, and other interactive content.
- Palatable: Lessons can be parsed into multiple, short, and concise (bite-sized, if you will) bits of content that help to keep the attention of an increasingly distracted workforce.
- Gamification: Lessons can be reinforced using apps and other platforms that deploy quizzes as a competitive – and fun – sustainability tool. We at The Brooks Group deploy a platform called BrooksUP to training program graduates as a means of reinforcing lessons in this manner.
Will Virtual Training Still Be Effective for My Team?
While delivered training to a remote audience may seem like an invitation for distractions, virtual training actually offers many ways to hold trainees to account. The virtual format ensures a singular focus on what’s being presented on screen (with tools to ensure everyone is eyes forward and ears tuned). Also, the ability to queue questions – either through virtual hand-raising or through a chat window – can help in keeping distractions to a minimum, with the teacher able to answer chats or questions at specific intervals. And, the ability to send quick quizzes, assessments, and interactive content is facilitated by the virtual platform, with near-immediate feedback. Finally, all of those interactions with the online platform can be captured into analytics, which can be crunched later to deem the effectiveness of the lessons, as well as the identification of areas for follow-up.
It is prudent to be mindful of options that exist for virtual sales training if heightened travel restrictions affect our ability to work in person. If unforeseen internal or external factors affect your ability to venture from your home location, perhaps the IMPACT Selling Virtual Sales Training Program can be a worthy surrogate.
Can we help you keep your sales development goals on track for 2020? For more than 40 years, The Brooks Group has partnered with sales organizations around the globe—helping them to hire, train, coach, and develop salespeople and sales managers to reach maximum performance levels.