A product manager of a reputed insurance company approached us a couple of months back with a requirement to develop e-learning for product training for an insurance product, which was due to be launched within a few weeks from then. He was responsible and accountable to ensure that the salespersons are well trained about the product before it is launched in the market.

The insurance company had earlier planned for a classroom training at each of their branches but could not implement it as it was a time consuming proposition and the product launch was round the corner and hence came up the idea of e-learning. We developed an interactive and engaging e-learning for their product training, complete with a series of assessments for the organisation which was launched across the regions.

Let’s quickly see what are the advantages of product training through e-learning.

1.No geographical constraints

By implementing e-learning for product training,  the organisation is able to eliminate the geographical constraints. The organisation can push the learning content or host it on their LMS and servers which can be accessed by the learners from anywhere and anytime. With the increasing penetration of mobile devices and with the advent of mobile learning etc, it helps in easy accessing of the learning content through the mobile devices of the learners. For example, in the above scenario, we had developed a series of microlearning modules on the new products. The module was launched on a nationwide basis on the same day and interestingly 90 percent of the learners finished the course in just three days.

2.Cost effective

An effective classroom training program is not cheap and is increasingly becoming an expensive affair. The cost of hiring a trainer, the other fixed expenses like renting out a hall, transportation charges, and other nominal expenses are recurring charges, every time when you implement a classroom training program. If the organization or learners wish to repeat the training session, it means that you need to bear the cost again.By implementing e-learning for product training, it becomes a very cost effective approach as the organization is able to host the learning content and learners are able to easily access them eliminating the need of a physical trainer, separate training halls etc.
Here are the other quick reasons that can tell you that e-learning is cost effective

•Once developed the online training module can be used many times with minimal delivery costs
•Easier maintenance and management of training materials
•Quick turnaround time

3.Customisation of the training material

The usual philosophy of ‘one size fits for all’ doesn’t work out a product training approach. For example, when we developed an e-learning module for an automobile firm, the product training was divided into two separate sections. The marketing and sales function had enrolled for the courses that told them the features, benefits, USP etc of the newly launched car, while the technical team focussed on the mechanical, engineering and troubleshooting modules.
Here, the philosophy of one size fits for all, will not work out as it can make the sales team actively disengaged to attend the technical and engineering modules which are not relevant for them and vice versa for the engineering and service team to attend the marketing and sales lessons.

4.Constant updating of contents

Organisations of today need to bring newer products and constant updates on their product portfolio to be alive in the market. This means that the sales team should be trained before these products reach the market. By implementing e-learning for product training the organisation can easily and quickly respond to it. When new features are added, the e-learning modules can be easily refreshed and relaunched.

5.Increased retention of learning topics and engagement

By implementing e-learning for product training, the organisation can see enhanced retention of the learning topics and engagement among the learners. Product training is very essential as the salesperson should be able to retain the details, features, pricing etc of the product.According to Forbes, e-learning retention rates can be anywhere from 25-60% higher than face-to-face retention rates(Classroom training) – which typically range from 8-10%. and e-learning can boost employee engagement by up To 18%.

The reasons can be many like the learners can learn at their own pace which sets the tone for a good and enjoyable learning experience.  Further, the learners can revisit the learning module repeatedly as and when required, which contributes to enhanced memory retention of the learning topics.
New e-learning strategies like gamification, game based learning,scenario-based e-learning etc makes the learning experience fun and engaging for the learners. When the learning is enjoyed with fun, the learners capture the learning topics more quickly and effectively which leads to increased memory retention.

As we have seen the popular benefits, let us also look at the various ways of using e-learning for product training

1.Using e-learning games

According to a meta-analysis by the University of Colorado Denver Business School learners those who played learning games ended up with:
•11% higher factual knowledge than those who used other learning methods.
•14% higher skill-based knowledge than those who used other learning methods.
•9% higher retention rate than those who used other learning methods.

E-learning games are now used as a popular learning strategy for product training. Games have the power to engage the learners with the use of game elements and game mechanics like challenges, points, badges etc Click here to see our e-learning game templates that can be customised to suit your requirement. The e-learning games can be also used as a blended learning approach. For example, after a classroom training on product training, e-learning games can be used for assessments to test the knowledge of the learners.

2.Microlearning approach

The organisation can use microlearning for product training as an independent or blend it with other learning strategies for product training.  The microlearning for product training is a perfect fit for the sales team as the length and easy accessibility of the learning ensures that learning is possible at any time. For example, if the sales executive wants to quickly refer to the product features and benefits before meeting  the client, he/ she can simply login to the online portal and access the content from any mobile device etc. The short length of the microlearning module further guarantees that learners are not disengaged.

3.E-learning gamification

E-learning gamification can be effectively used by organizations for product training. Gamification is simply the use of game  elements and game mechanics to non -game contexts.
The organizations can use the  game elements like challenges, tasks , milestones, points, and badges to achieve. This can motivate the learners, especially the sales team who are naturally driven by challenges, achievements and recognition to achieve the objectives. Our recently developed gamified e-learning module on  product training for the FMCG industry was well welcomed by the learners. The gamified module takes inspiration from the FarmVille concepts where the learner is given a marked area to manage his business. It is the responsibility of the learners to ensure that there is adequate stock at each points and stores. The learner also faces several challenges like mismanagement in the inventory and stocks not reaching on time, facing the competition etc. The gamified product training module rewards the learners with points and a lifeline which allows the learner to reverse a single decision if needed.

4.Scenario- based learning approach

Scenario-based e-learning can be used as a good strategy for product training. For example, we recently developed a scenario based e-learning module for a reputed client in the Banking and Insurance sector. The e-learning module includes various simulated scenarios where the learner interacts with the customers. The e-learning module progresses through the actions of the learner helping the learner to take the ownership of the learning process and at the same time enjoy it thoroughly.

If you’re planning to implement e-learning for product training, feel free to contact us to develop a wonderful e-learning solution for you.