By Margery Weinstein
At W/, a vendor of custom e-learning solutions, sales simulations are key to success, says Jack Pierce, a partner with the company who oversees development. "We spend a lot of time doing sales simulations," he says. "In these simulations, salespeople soak up information and then get to practice using it, interactively, in a simulated sales situation with one or more 3-D avatars. All of the major steps in the sales process can be presented in this way, and learners get a safe place to practice and make mistakes, before going onto the sales floor."
Simulations are known as one of the more "fun" ways to train employees, but Pierce says at his company the focus also is on challenging participants. "Make no mistake, we want the simulations to be difficult enough for learners to fail. Most of the time, they learn more by making mistakes and getting expert feedback. We've used avatars to represent the learner, facilitators, customers, and coaches. It really makes learning engaging, more real...and fun."
Pierce shares the simulation dos and don'ts W/ has learned over the years:
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