You may be able to deduce that the sales team needs product familiarization training, but an actual salesperson can narrow the focus down even further to the specific functions or features they are having difficulty understanding. Instead of creating a broad course on the product as a whole, you can create a short and specific training that effectively answers their learning needs without fluff.
Related: 3 Essential Tips to Create Engaging Training for Your Sales teams
Move responsibility for creating learning objectives away from management and down to team members. Ask team members what skills they are missing and what they specifically need to know to do a better job. Only pursue learning projects that stem from an explicitly stated learning need.
Shift the role of L&D from executor to facilitator
The needs assessment process under a bottom-up approach process happens constantly, with minimal effort from managers. Employees can request training as soon as a new learning need emerges, so you constantly have your finger on the pulse of the organization’s learning needs.
A bottom-up approach doesn’t eliminate the need for learning leaders; it just shifts their focus from creating content to developing strategies to help employees learn more effectively. The result is more impactful learning programs and more informed team members.
In a truly collaborative learning process, employees aren’t just making content requests; they are also playing an active role in creating new content. For example, at 360Learning, anyone in the organization can respond to a learning need and volunteer to become a course creator. And we recently discovered in companies that use our software, only 2% of courses are created by L&D teams, and 85% are created by team members who are not trainers.
Freight logistics "unicorn" Flexport takes a similar approach in decentralizing their learning program by empowering functional teams to be in charge of their own learning processes and priorities.
“In each functional team, the subject matter expert determines the team’s learning needs. We come in as an advisor, but they’re closer to their business. They know what needs to happen now, and what the long-term goals should be.” says Lauren Fernandez, Senior L&D Manager at Flexport.
The benefits to this are numerous: it’s more efficient, it’s more cost-effective, and courses ship faster and contain more relevant content than courses produced outside the company. Turning your employees into subject matter experts also keeps their skills sharp and promotes higher employee engagement.