5 Ways Game-Based Learning Redefines Product Sales Training


How does an organization keep its geographically-dispersed salesforce up-to-date on its new products? The organization has to roll out training programs that will let Sales teams gain knowledge on the new products, before they hit the markets. Moving to eLearning or mLearning is the right choice as the barriers of time and distance are surpassed by online training programs.

Let’s assume that your organization has online training programs in place. Are you confident that your Sales teams are always excited to go through a barrage of online product training courses? Probably not, as there is every chance of monotony setting in with a similar pattern of e-learning courses.

Imagine Sales representatives cramming new product information from PowerPoint decks and boring ‘click Next’ eLearning courses. There is every chance that they will forget most of this information within a few days. And this could pose a problem, especially when the Sales team is expected to have product information at their fingertips and bring in the revenue.

Game-based learning provides a solution to this problem and is very helpful if you are considering reshaping the Sales training programs in your organization. Read on to know how game-based learning can transform the learning process in Sales training programs.

1. Simplifies Spaced Repetition

One major problem learners face with product training is retention. Sales reps need to have product information at their fingertips. While enabling mobile learning can definitely act as performance support, how do you ensure that the learner’s interest in the course is maintained? Using game-based learning can act as an effective training strategy.

Knowledge needs to accumulate and using spaced repetition in game-based learning can aid in knowledge accumulation. In spaced repetition, training content is broken down into smaller chunks and reinforced periodically. This boosts long-term retention of the training content.

For instance, a learner is given a set of mini games (probably 3 in a set), and they play them once that day. After a few days, the learner is introduced to another set of mini games and there is mix of information already covered, and new information. This strategy spaces out learning and ensures knowledge reinforcement.

2. Offers Feedback Loops

In any training program, it is essential to know how you are doing and how you can do better. This is implemented through feedback loops. In game-based learning for product training, the learner is presented with a challenge (say one that requires him/her to answer a question on the product’s features). Depending on the answer, they are given immediate feedback and motivated to progress in the game.

3. Provides A Risk-Free Environment

Game-based learning in Sales training programs provide a risk-free environment to learners. Negotiation skills are best taught through game-based scenarios. Even if the learner picks a wrong choice, he can fail in a risk-free environment. This wouldn’t be possible when he is actually making a Sales pitch or negotiating with a customer on a deal.

A learner has the opportunity to approach a problem from different angles, without worrying about the consequences it may have in a real-life scenario. When it’s game-based, learning becomes more fun. At the same time, being involved in the game ensures that learning is happening.

4. Boosts Interactivity

Did you know that the average Sales person makes only 2 attempts to reach a prospect or that 44% of Sales people give up after one follow-up? Sales teams need to have a competitive spirit and the desire to exceed Sales goals. This competitive spirit can be fostered through interactive game-based learning. The learner can compare his progress in the game with other learners, and watch the leaderboard scores go up as he makes progress in the game.

Games offer challenges and risks and pique learners’ curiosity, thereby leading to an interactive learning experience.

5. Promotes Problem Solving

When learners face a negative consequence to something they do, they will not make that mistake again. For example, imagine a game where the learner selects a wrong approach to solve a problem, and finds himself trapped in a maze. They need to answer another set of questions to get out of the maze. With this game-based approach to problem solving, the learner will remember the right choice to make in a real-life Sales scenario.

Final Word

Technology has made it easier to implement game-based learning to train your salesforce anytime, anywhere. Decision making, risk taking, problem solving, memorization, and following step by step procedures are all skills required for the salesforce, and game-based learning can be used to teach each of these skills effectively.

By Ayesha Habeeb Omer, Ph.D