Blogger RK Prasad recently did a survey of Linked-In respondants asking “Which is better for Sales Training? Classroom or Online?”. He got more than 100 responses and published the summarized results:
Blended – 65%
Classroom – 25%
Online – 10%
Folks left interesting comments for and against online sales training.
One respondent cited a federally funded literature review that found all but one study of the literature found significant advantages of online versus face to face training.
Though this discussion raises some passions on both sides of the argument, my take is a more practical approach. Use both when you can afford it. If it’s not practical to bring everyone to a single point on earth, use web-based technology to span the distance.
Online technologies can split the differences between the face to face classroom experience and the traditional web-based training experience.
For example, a synchronous online classroom (Webex, Centra Saba, etc.) can provide video of the learner to the class which allows participants and instructor to see non-verbal gestures, hear sales pitch delivery, and fashion sales simulation scenarios just as realistic as a face-to-face environment.
Another technology that splits the difference is Asert’s Dialog Coach which allows interactive practice of sales pitches. It does a great job of simulating the stresses of presenting to a prospect, allowing the learner to polish a sales pitch that covers important points and counterpoints.