The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably changed the way we do business, if not forever, at least for the foreseeable future. Social distancing has forced many organizations to become more proficient at conducting business virtually and this includes virtual training. But what happens when things start to return to normal? Will people simply go back to the way things were? We aren’t so sure. The post-pandemic world will likely be changed forever, and we will see a future where people are reluctant to travel or get together in large groups. Businesses will realize that conducting business virtually isn’t so bad after all and that it actually comes with many benefits.
While the virtual work concept is new to some, the use of virtual classroom training and eLearning has actually been around for a long time. In fact, over the past 16 years, organizations have increased their use of virtual training by 900%. This increase is no surprise to us. That’s because virtual instructor-led training (VILT) and eLearning are effective and cost-efficient ways to deliver high-quality curriculum without the travel and scheduling hassle of a traditional classroom setting. For these reasons, most organizations see these benefits and are eager to take advantage of them.
The bottom line is that traditional classroom training is often just not necessary. While there are some instances where actual in-person training is needed (like at soccer practice), the need for in-person training for your dealer networks is likely limited to instances where hands-on learning is required. Technology has evolved, and there are many sophisticated solutions available to make virtual training a reality. It’s time to embrace it.
The Benefits of VILT and eLearning
Virtual training can be conducted much like traditional in-person training. Virtual instructor-led training is done with an instructor and allows learners at remote locations, such as dealerships, to ask questions and interact with others in real-time through live stream video conferencing solutions. On the flip side, eLearning consists of pre-recorded training modules that allow your dealers to work through training at their own pace, on their own schedule. In addition, virtual training solutions are designed to be mobile compatible, making it possible for people to take a course from their smartphone, no matter where they are. This flexibility makes virtual learning more convenient and accessible to a larger number of learners.
Every person learns at their own pace. eLearning gives learners the ability to learn at a pace that suits them best. For those that need more time, they can easily replay courses, and for those that are able to grasp the concepts quicker, they are able to complete their training faster. How fast or slow to move through training is completely up to the user.
VILT and eLearning can be broken into shorter and easy to digest modules or classes that can be completed independently or alongside other priorities. Your dealers are able to move through courses at times that don’t interfere with their busy and hectic schedules. This helps your dealers because it keeps sales reps productive while also allowing them to get the training they need. In the long run, it will make it more likely that your dealer’s sales reps complete the necessary training they need to be more effective at selling your products.
- Information Retention
Virtual training increases information retention. Online tools allow you to incorporate mid-module exercises, quizzes, and summaries that help your dealers retain what they’ve learned. As an added bonus, having access to virtual training also allows dealers to revisit courses as needed. The Research Institute of America concluded that eLearning actually boosts retention rates by 25% to 60%. In comparison to traditional training that has retention rates of only 8% to 10%. That’s a significant difference.
- Performance Tracking
In a virtual training environment, you have access to tools that can track the performance of your training. Analytics data can show you how your dealers are engaging with training, the average time it takes them to complete a module and pass assessments, and more. This data is essential to being able to optimize your training strategy, by showing you where learners may be struggling, and where additional resources are needed.
Bringing together a team of people from all over the country for a sales meeting or instructor-led training can be expensive. You’re looking at travel costs, hotels, food, venue, staff, time, etc. With virtual training solutions like VILT or eLearning, you are cutting the costs significantly by eliminating all of those expenses. By converting virtual training, you are able to spend those dollars in other areas like product development, marketing, and more.
Times are changing. Organizations that get on board won’t regret it. Embracing virtual training solutions like VILT or eLearning is essential for manufacturers to remain successful and continue to grow their dealer networks. We encourage you to explore all of the benefits yourself, and when you’re ready to take your training to the next level, reach out to us and let us show you the impact virtual training could have on your overall training strategy.