Mobile Sales Training on the Rise, but Challenges Remain

Currently, only about one in four pieces of sales training content (26 percent) is accessed through mobile, according to the trainers surveyed.

mobile training and brainshark

Nearly half of training professionals (48 percent) say their organization's sales training content isn't engaging enough to work, while a quarter say the materials created don't match sales teams' needs, according to a Brainshark survey.

Survey results show that the most prevalent methods of sales training for organizations today include live classroom training (80 percent), live Web conferencing (65 percent), on-demand training (67 percent), video (49 percent) and social learning (28 percent).

However, mobile is becoming more of a key area for sales training, with nearly one in three organizations investing in it for next year (22 percent say they use it now).

Currently, only about one in four pieces of sales training content (26 percent) is accessed through mobile, according to the trainers surveyed.

Current inhibitors to mobile sales training adoption include content that is not well-formatted for mobile, content that is too long for mobile, interactive content that doesn't work on mobile and difficulty to ensure content works across platforms.

"The results from our survey show that organizations need to address content and technical issues to increase the use and effectiveness of their mobile sales training," David Klein, vice president of product management for Brainshark, told eWEEK. "For example, nearly half of respondents noted that a mobile learning challenge they faced was that their organization's training content isn't well-formatted for mobile, and 37 percent said the content is often too long for mobile. These are easy fixes."

From a design standpoint, it's important to use explanatory images and large text when content is likely to be consumed on mobile, and rather than send reps a long course to consume, tailor the content to their on-the-go workflow—providing high-impact, multimedia training in bite-sized chunks, according to Klein.

With regard to on-demand training, organizations face challenges including deadlines not met (25 percent) and an inability to track completion or progress (23 percent).

Survey results also suggest that in the year ahead, organizations will continue to make investments in on-demand (62 percent) and live (classroom or Web conferencing) training methods (57 percent), while also allocating some of the sales training budget toward video and social learning.

The report found that 38 percent of training professionals say their organization's training content needs quarterly updates, and only 19 percent think once-a-year updates suffice.

However, 42 percent say that, in reality, their organization's training content gets updated once a year at best—leaving them open to inconsistent, incorrect or outdated messaging, and even potential compliance violations.

In addition to struggling with training content that falls flat and/or is irrelevant, respondents cited other content-related challenges, noting that, on the whole, their organizations find that sales training materials are too time-consuming to create (50 percent), are too hard to update (32 percent), and are obsolete by or before delivery time (15 percent).

"As people consume more and more online video in their personal lives, they have the expectation that a high-quality video experience should also transfer to the business world," Klein said. "And it should. Cost and technical barriers to creating video are declining, and more businesses can quickly create, disseminate and track videos not just for sales training, but also marketing, internal communications and much more."