E-learning systems that make sense for foodservice sales

There are two primary ways that foodservice product training is provided online these days.

  • Training-oriented PowerPoints, videos and sell sheets are posted on a sales intranet waiting for somebody to come by to view. Or the materials might be simply emailed out.  Either way, there’s no mechanism to provide any meaningful measure whether the training is used or is valued by participants.
  • The training is posted in a company’s existing “Learning Management System” (LMS) which is often managed by HR… and is really designed for deep, methodical education more akin to the academic world than the chaos of sales. While participation can be measured, traditional LMS systems are often overkill for urgent hit-and-run foodservice product training.

Fortunately, there are newer affordable online tools that are better suited for the foodservice sales environment.  The three examples below (and there are many others!) have roots in traditional LMS systems, but are designed to make it easy to set up and share individual lessons within and outside of a company’s firewall.

All three can leverage a wide variety of media (PowerPoint, video, audio, PDFs, etc.), link to quizzes to monitor activity by individuals, setup fast-and-easy sales or product training lessons, and allow you to test them out before spending a dime!

HumbleSmart:  Best if you want somebody else to handle all the setup and administration (there are no self-serve options).  However, all the work is done for free if Humble Pie Communications helps create your training content.  Otherwise, it’s about $100 to setup a lesson that’s accessible for a year — including quarterly reports.

LearnUpon:  Ideal if you want to manage training programs across multiple business partners.  You can modify the “look and feel” of the login and lesson pages based on groups, i.e. different distributors or broker offices.  This helps users feel that they’re just not part of some generic training program.  They also offer excellent support.

Litmos:  Perhaps the model of easy-to-use!  Setup of lessons, managing participants and reports is very straightforward.  Also, it’s the best system to set up lessons in advance and then schedule emails to go out on a routine basis to motivate participation.

Lack of product training and overall sales development is one of the top reasons food reps leave their jobs according to most surveys.  So, what’s your training strategy?

Considerations for October

  • January and February is all about football.  Now is the time to prepare ideas on how operators can use your products to leverage Super Bowl season.
  • Including a photo of what your product case looks like is invaluable to customers.  Don’t forget, we’ll provide a free high-def image of your case when we produce your video.