• Catherine Ross

Remote Learning Isn’t New, and It’s Not Just for Students.

In 2019, AMT’s Smartforce Development team kicked off a project to upgrade our signature professional development programs into e-learning courses. The decision was easy: e-learning was a natural fit for learning in a digital age in an increasingly digital industry. Fast forward to 2020: the timing and value of these soon-to-launch courses is greater than ever.

MT Sales Fundamentals (MTSF) – The popular and long-standing workshop is moving from the classroom to the cloud. A video-based course, we recommend MTSF for new sales staff or those transitioning to a sales role. The curriculum covers a range of topics: sales fundamentals and protocols, listening skills, the elevator pitch, likeability, repeat business, customer relations, planning, shop tours, plus sale verification, justification, presentation, and commitment. The MTSF e-learning course will launch in November 2020. 

Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineer (CMTSE) Certification Program – Known in some circles as the gold standard in manufacturing technology (MT) sales, the CMTSE is transitioning from the CMTSE Study Guide e-book to an interactive and engaging e-learning course. Recommended for experienced sales pros, CMTSE tests and validates an individual’s knowledge on such sales and tech topics: territory and customer development, prospecting, forecasting, selling skills and ethics, manufacturing processes, CNC technology, GD&T, cutting tools, machine design, and metalforming, plus a new section on 5-axis machining, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, automation and robotics, digital twin, and generative design. The CMTSE e-learning course will launch in December 2020.

Why e-learning for sales? For decades, industries and businesses have turned to e-learning to train new recruits, upskill incumbent workers, and transfer knowledge from seasoned pros to the next generation. That new piece of machinery or software? There’s a good chance some or all operator training will occur online. So why not leverage e-learning for your salesforce?

First, salesforce growth promotes sales growth. If our industry were a sports team, it would be safe to call 2020 a “growing season,” a period marked by a downside (poor or modest gains) and an upside (professional growth). Agile businesses and professionals are strategically focusing on the growth half of that equation: identify short-term investments and produce long-term value. Sure, salesforce training does not have the whiz-bang of a capital investment, but its return on investment is clear.

Second, flexibility and accessibility. E-learning means no travel and minimal time away from job duties. It’s mobile-friendly, aka remote-friendly, aka does not care if you’re at work, home, or in a hotel lobby. E-learning is modular and self-paced, which means learners easily integrate lessons into busy schedules and don’t worry about long hours or looming deadlines – all features that are key to successful sales staff development, global pandemic or not.

Workforce investment is vital now as we navigate these extraordinary times and for the future, when “business as usual” becomes, well, business as usual. Stay connected on this topic and more via AMT News or follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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