At Imparta we’ve always been at the forefront of deploying learning technologies in sales training. Our innovations have ranged from our award winning online simulations to our concise theory modules on the Imparta i-Coach portal. To ensure our own product development thinking is based on market insight, we conducted some research with to find out how e-learning is now being used in the sales training industry. Before conducting the research, our hypothesis was that e-learning had not yet hit the mark in sales training, largely because of the difficulties in building real-life sales skills rather than instilling just knowledge.

Our survey, conducted at the beginning of 2016, was completed by 235 companies and represented by sales and L&D leaders across multiple industries. The results of this in part reflected our hypothesis – only 29% of companies rated their sales e-learning as very effective, and 47% considered sales e-learning products on the market as too generic. However, companies are more positive about their use of e-learning than we anticipated, with 72% believing sales e-learning to be effective, at least to some level, and many having made significant investments in their e-learning efforts.

The most common use of e-learning in sales training is in onboarding programs, with over half the companies stating they provided onboarding training online. These programs tend to be substantial and will have represented a significant investment, with new employees receiving on average 46 hours of training online. Subjects covered typically included product and service information, negotiation and pitching skills, consultative selling skills, sales management processes, and market intelligence.

The survey included five principal areas of investigation. These are:

  • E-learning Effectiveness in Sales Training
  • Perceptions of E-learning
  • Sales E-learning Implementation
  • E-learning in Sales Onboarding
  • Recommendations for Improving Sales Training

For the full report on the status of sales e-learning in 2016, please click here.