This post was originally published by George Talarico on lessonly.com.
As a self-diagnosed extrovert, I will admit, I was nervous to start a new job in the middle of a global pandemic and onboard remotely. Working from home? Online training? No lunch with buddies from the office?
With the remote world still seemingly very new, I’m sure that many people out there are in a similar boat mentally that I was 2 months ago. It’s so easy to find yourself scratching your head and wondering, “Are online certifications worth it?”
Take it from me…
I am now two months into my job as a Sales Development Representative, and I personally can’t imagine a more smooth and efficient onboarding process. I guess since I was starting a job at a company that sells the best online training software, I shouldn’t have been surprised.
In past roles, I’ve only ever had in-person training. Usually it came in the form of long-winded presentations, class sessions, and tedious multiple choice questions. I always felt that I was dragging myself through it, completing it just for the sake of completing it, and never really feeling like I had learned anything until I had actually been doing the job for a few weeks.
I had no idea the impact that an effective online employee training platform could have on my attitude toward my job (and the quality of my work). The training was hands-on, active, and most importantly, I was doing the job before actually doing the job. That way, when I had my first day of real work, I knew exactly what to expect.
Engaging the learner
When it comes to online training platforms, engagement is key. In order for an online training system to be effective, it needs to be interactive. You can’t provide a rep with ten pages of reading content and expect that all to stick. As humans in an over-stimulated world, we pick up on and retain information faster if it’s presented in more bite-sized and engaging ways. Instead of asking a rep to memorize a sales pitch, create training courses where they can put their skills to use and craft a pitch based on a practice scenario. Practice makes progress! Balancing the delivery of relevant information with activity is the sweet spot for online learning. Sprinkling in skill-enhancing activities within that learning material is key for keeping all learners engaged.
Interactive training software is a great way to provide employees with the ability to fine tune their skills in low-risk practice scenarios. In any type of customer facing role, rep confidence is going to directly correlate with the experience of the customer, thus leading to a more successful rep. What better way to build confidence than to use an online training portal packed full of opportunities for realistic practice?
Take, for example, handling objections. Not every sales call is going to end with pen hitting paper. There are several objections that you’ll have to juggle as a sales rep. It isn’t easy to handle an objection in real-time; You have to be prepared and feel comfortable. With effective e-learning software, reps can role play scenarios in which prospects hit them with a roadblock. They can spend time crafting different responses and different scenarios to slowly build up their skills in that specific area, without the fear of stumbling around on the spot or losing a potential client. It’s risk-free, but provides all the necessary action to make progress.
It’s worth it
As a rep who currently takes advantage of online learning platforms, I feel so much more confident doing my job, and it’s all thanks to the practice I’ve had. Refining calls, perfecting emails, and making personalized videos are all things I do on a daily basis now that I had tons of relevant practice to prepare me for beforehand. I was able to receive virtual certifications on designated topics, as well level up my credibility when reaching out to prospects.
Having virtual training platforms in place is game-changing when it comes to training teams remotely. A physical piece of paper or a classroom session isn’t the only route when it comes to training anymore. As we plunge deeper and deeper into the digital world, online software training will continue to allow reps across the globe to get better at their jobs, one lesson and one certification at a time. I feel much more equipped to succeed in the sales world, thanks to my online certifications and the additional training that I’ve received. Whether the training is in person or not is not what matters most: What’s important is that learners have engaging, relevant content at their fingertips, that allows them to level up their skills through effective practice.
So, are online certifications worth it? Yes.