I am writing this on the first day of the UK’s third lockdown. This was an unfortunate but necessary step to protect the vulnerable and something that is likely to be in place until March, meaning we have been in some form of lockdown or under some version of restrictions for an entire year.
This has led me to think a little on what is going to be important in 2021 when it comes to learning technologies and I have a few predictions… let’s see if I am right, shall we?
2021 will be the year of distributed learning…
We have already seen a shift in behaviour as organisations look to help their people learn to adapt to a ‘new reality’. In sales enablement, that takes two particular forms; yes, we have to look at how we enable our people, but we must also enable them to deal with buyers, who are demanding something very different from sellers than we have previously seen.
The challenge lies not just in bringing the right enablement experiences to our sellers, but also in consolidating that experience with application that doesn’t require practicing on customers. As you can imagine, practicing skills on customers or clients is not best practice.
The answer we have seen in 2020 has been a shift from face-to-face training to virtual instructor-led training (VILT) sessions. However, as 2020 came to a close, we saw much more interest in fully distributed learning, allowing people to engage with sales enablement based on their preferences.
… which will lead to the rise of fully autonomous learning
This change is pushing control over the learning experience away from sales enablement teams or L&D, and into the hands of the learner. Where we have been used to dictating mandatory training or learning pathways for everyone, learners are now engaging with content that focuses on the three ‘ins’:
- In the moment – content that is available at the point of need not on a scheduled course or training
- Individual – content that is specific to the individual, based on their needs and not the needs of a group
- In line – content that is accessible easily, in line with their work, through integrations with software they use on a daily basis.
The core point is this; learners are demanding a different experience than what we have traditionally offered. This demand will grow throughout 2021 and those companies that embrace this will develop stronger, more agile sellers than those that focus on traditional training that they’ve simply placed online.
Sales Enablement will become a fully digital experience
By the end of 2021, my prediction is that sales enablement will be a fully digital experience and we will be looking back at the days of delivering sales boot camps in the same way we look back at the horse and cart.
Digital enablement will enable our teams to work and be enabled wherever they are, meaning we can distribute new knowledge and tools quicker than ever. With technology advances like coaching chatbots, integrations with collaboration software like Teams and intelligent learning recommendations from Learning Experience platforms (just like our very own Kairos platform), the face of sales enablement is going to change for the better.
I truly believe that like those organisations that embraced digital technology when computers first came out, there is an opportunity here. An opportunity to create world class teams with more agility than ever, unhindered by the constraints of geography, time zones and language; teams that are able to meet the needs of the new digital buyer, which is a subject for another blog.
Mentor Group have managed to move to 100% digital delivery during 2020, and with further developments in our Kairos learning platform, and more digital content creation capability, we are ready to work with you and your sellers to embrace what is, in my opinion, the most important change in sales enablement for decades.
Learn more about the power of our Kairos learning platform today by clicking right here.