Sales confidence and selling consistently

Sales Confidence: Is your team selling consistently across your offering?

How do you feel about your team’s sales confidence and can you honestly say your team is selling consistently across your whole offering?

Sales confidence and selling consistently


How Confident are Your Sales People?

If sales people lack the confidence to sell certain products within the range of your offering, figures and profits are going to suffer. Over 40% of salespeople interviewed for the 2017 state of inbound report confirmed that for them, prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process. If this is the case then a natural response from many salespeople could be to stick to what they know – by prioritising some products over others.

Only by initiating a behavioural change can your team gain the confidence to implement the correct and most effective sales methodology, strengthening the sales across your whole product or service offering. You can achieve this by providing practical, online training that is specifically tailored to reflect your sales team’s day to day environment.

WillowDNA specialises in crafting bite-sized elearning content, using a range of mixed media assets that allow sales people access to relevant resources in the field according to their unique requirements. This ensures continual development and maintains consistent levels of best practice, ushering in the behavioural change you want to see in your team.

The Sirius Decisions sales onboarding report confirms these results, stating that high-performing sales organisations are twice as likely to provide ongoing training as low performing ones.

WillowDNA’s online platform, Pathway LMS, can be structured to give your managers direct control over their team’s ongoing training programme, making it easy to facilitate this continual development and culture of growth in your team.

Do you think the challenge of prospecting is negatively affecting your staff’s sales confidence and their approach to selling?

Contact us at WillowDNA to discuss how we can help you and your team.

Sales training solutions

Delivering Superior Sales Training Solutions

Do you need to evolve the sales training approach of your business? As you have probably discovered, developing training solutions for high value sales is a complex task for anyone. And why wouldn’t it be? Most L&D departments need to invest in complex training programmes because their sales requirements and products are also complex and high value.

On top of this, your company depends on the success of your sales team to drive the top line performance of your business. Now you have a serious reason to look into effective training solutions for your business.


Sales training solutions


What you need is a high quality training solution that actually conforms and caters to the nuance of your product and target market needs. WillowDNA focuses heavily in targeted learning design analysis. As part of our service, this process allows us to craft unique mixed-media training content for your sales teams. This ensures that the content we develop actually reflects your operational needs.

The content is then managed and deployed through our cloud based LMS Pathway to provide standardised, high quality and effective training for disparate workforces on any scale; from regional to international.

Your Domain Knowledge with Our Learning Expertise

What makes our approach more appealing than other competitors? Well, unlike some, WillowDNA actually owns its own LMS, Pathway. Because of this we have an intimate knowledge of the platform and can actually grow it in the directions that our clients want, effectively giving you a unique learning platform that organically grows to meet your needs, as opposed to open based platforms such as Moodle, that are governed by many influences.

Through our learning design analysis, our skilled consultants can mobilise your domain knowledge with our learning expertise to create a superior breed of training.

Blended Learning with No External Agendas

Because we are a platform provider as well as a content creator, WillowDNA actually breaks the ideological paradigm that many competitors suffer from, namely that their focus impedes the options available to them. Because of our solution orientation, the event horizon of restricted learning solutions does not affect WillowDNA.

On top of this, we don’t peddle inferior solutions or lobby certain products, so you know that the blended approach we provide you hasn’t been compromised by external agendas. Our entire methodology and focus is on providing the best available training solution for your needs and we have the skills, process and platforms that ensure success.

If you feel the same way we do and recognise the benefits within our approach that can save you time and a constant headache, contact us to get started.

Learning Technologies

Learning Technologies 2018 in Review: Microlearning, Video & Social Focus

After working with a much more diverse range of clients during 2017 and having felt my outlook as an Instructional Designer change, I was very intrigued to see what the atmosphere would be like at Europe’s leading L&D exhibition for 2018.

One thing was for certain – I did not expect the level of turnout that greeted me as I entered the Olympia centre. Everywhere I looked I could see bustling crowds of people listening to a wide range of speakers from different nations and business backgrounds; sharing their most important messages for the industry going forwards into the new year. But just what exactly were these messages? Maybe more importantly were any of them worth paying attention to?

Well the short answer is yes, but it may not be the ones you think. As I walked around trying to find the most controversial or up and coming trend, keeping one eye out for unexpected or unusual topics, I couldn’t help but notice how popular the tried and true discussion points were still, despite their relatively aged positions in the industry.


Learning Technologies


Microlearning still retained a solid and noticeable position, with multiple speakers dedicating their stage time to the deeper application of its potential. For me, and the rest of the team at WillowDNA, this proved just as exciting as any of the more fringe discussions like the role of AI chat bots in elearning and so on. It showed just how innovative and pioneering WillowDNA was over a decade ago when it first emerged on the organisational learning scene.

If microlearning is still being discussed and explored in 2018, then it is definitely a mode of learning that is here to stay. This is good news for our business as microlearning was a founding tenant of our cloud based LMS Pathway.

But it wasn’t just microlearning that retained its relevance in the 2018 conference. Seminars related to social learning technology generated a fair amount of interest, with the fostering of a user driven learning culture seemingly tapping into the ascendancy of social media within the wider world.

Ease of access and consumption convenience are facets that bleed over between social and microlearning, which could explain microlearning’s impressive buoyancy in contemporary debate. While social learning as an industry term is not a new phenomenon, by the sounds of it, the true potential and scope within elearning has yet to reach its peak. While being fairly circumstantial from business to business, social learning still has a place at the forefront of L&D debate.

Video based content also boasted a healthy contingent of speakers, who focused on angles from knowledge retention and inciting culture change to instant gratification through bite-size knowledge clips. Video as a content medium is incredibly potent, but similarly to social learning assets, it must be rendered and deployed carefully and conscientiously. We will cover the details of its effectiveness in the near future, looking into research conducted by the Fosway Group, but being emphasised within several talks indicates video based learning is still growing into its role within L&D.

These well-known L&D topics are apparently still at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds despite newer terms such as Alternate Reality and AI starting to establish beach heads in wider discourse.

I am by no means writing off these fledgling additions to the L&D arsenal, but with WillowDNA’s decade-long championing of microlearning being a case in point, things take time to emerge as dominant learning solutions. Whether that’s because the sceptics amongst us demand rigour and endurance from hot trends before accepting them or some parts of the industry arrive later to the party, the same will apply to these emerging sub-fields.

I suspect it will be some time before we see them being discussed as confidently and vigorously as the big three, Micro, Social and Video – which for me, the 2018 Learning Technologies exhibition seemed to confirm.

Rory Birch – Instructional Designer, WillowDNA 


Contact us to find out how at WillowDNA we capture social, video and microlearning within the heart of our learning solutions.

Pathway LMS - 10 Years of Micro-Learning

How Pathway Cloud LMS Has Led the Way with Microlearning

Almost a decade ago Debbie Lawley, founder of WillowDNA discussed with an executive of a leading e-learning company the amazing potential that a cloud based platform with a microlearning approach would have within the learning technology market.

The response she got to this vision was striking:

“People don’t want to learn like that”

How times have changed! 10 years on and microlearning is the norm, but how did Pathway as a pioneering LMS pre-empt this change in learning solutions?


Cloud based LMS


Debbie conceptualised Pathway in 2008. It originated out of a frustration with the contemporary landscape of e-learning and a lack of microlearning options in the market. There did not seem to be any products out there that offered bite-sized mixed media assets for organisational learning.

Pathway’s founding purpose was to answer this gap in the market, and it still remains one of WillowDNA’s chief tenants to this day.

Pathway’s initial break out fields included professional bodies, corporates with dispersed workforces, training companies that wanted to digitise their assets as well as business that were frustrated with heavy duty / inflexible LMS providers.

Because these fundamental client needs are universal and widespread; Pathway has always been international since day one. With over 120 countries where the Pathway Cloud LMS has been accessed from, WillowDNA’s global reach is in part due to the very nature of the fundamental challenges that Pathway was born to remedy.

Pathway LMS - 10 Years of MicrolearningFrom advertising to travel, retail to sales, no matter the industry, open dialogue has become the norm, so Pathway’s current form has been refined in order to enrich it’s social learning aspects. How people prefer to access their learning has also changed rapidly since Pathway was initially created.

Mobile based learning is on the rise and Pathway has naturally changed to accommodate this learner preference, right down to the essential code. Flexible footprint access now encompasses all aspects of Pathway.

Understanding the past affords us a more accurate sense of the future, so looking forward in regards to Pathway’s technical longevity we can provide some outlines. As a preface, open systems integrations is something that we have always fostered in our technical departments and our API facilitates this. Equally having used sequel server databases with SSRS has enabled us to provide comprehensive reporting functionality for our clients, which we believe will play an important role in the future of e-learning.

So, the current trajectory for Pathway looks bright and involves building on our reporting and data driven learning or ‘adaptive learning’ ambitions, but more on that another time!

Interested in how Pathway can help you with your learning needs?

Please contact us at WillowDNA for an informal discussion | +44(0)117 370 7735

Talent Development and Learner Reflection

Learner Reflection Critical for Talent Development

Here at WillowDNA, we offer a range solutions for improving talent development, and on this post we look at how learner reflection is a critical success factor.

Talent Development and Learner Reflection

In the crazy world of L and D, half the battle is getting learners to reflect on how they work and what approach they take to learning. Reflection is how we develop as people, and within a work context, it ensures continuous development; making your people better at what they do.

Who doesn’t want that? So it makes sense that an LMS should encourage learner reflection as much as possible. Here is where Pathway LMS comes into play.

Personalised learning journeyDelegates will usually be presented with a diagnostic when they first access content on Pathway.

This can really help to bring awareness to the delegates regarding gaps in their knowledge and how the learning they are about to undertake will help to fill these deficits.

Bringing this knowledge to learners’ attentions is great for reflection, and by reinforcing this opening message throughout their journey, we can ensure they stay motivated to reach their potential.

One of the chief ways in which Pathway can retain this message throughout their delegates’ journey involves Learning Logs. This is the principle functionality that provides a reflective space for learners to pause and take stock during their learning experience.

Further to this, based upon the initial diagnostic, if level selection is enabled then certain Learning Paths may be suppressed away from the learner and others opened, depending on what they scored in the diagnostic. This curation of content also acts as an indicator to the learner that how Pathway has delivered content to them has been informed by their initial input. This is great as it again reinforces the desired message and shows learners the link between their existing skills, and the next level of competency that Pathway is steering them towards.

Learning paths checklistAnother tool that we deploy on Pathway for learner reflection is the reliable survey. Rather than cramming vanity questions as was customary for some companies in the past, surveys on Pathway can perform a powerful dual function. Not only can they induce critical reflection within the learner but they can also yield valuable data for content custodians such as HR managers and subject matter experts; so you can see where your learners are thriving and where they are struggling.

All of these processes and functionality help to foster an atmosphere of reflection along the learner’s journey. When applied effectively to a learner’s specific work environment, they can enforce positive behavioural change, something that is very valuable for talent development teams within large size corporates.

If you are interested in harnessing this power for your learning solution, come and find out how this can be achieved with Pathway. Feel free to contact us for an informal discussion about your talent development needs.
+44(0)117 370 7735


Personalised learning journey

Take Control of Your Learners’ Journey

The scope that Pathway LMS offers our clients for creating an effective learning journey is huge to say the least. Our roadmap for Pathway is based on a client-driven continuous development cycle and has plenty of exciting enhancements in store. However, for this update we thought you might be interested in finding out about the defining features of Pathway as it stands, and why it has taken its current form.


Personalised learning journeyPathway is brimming with functionality, and there are a few features that have acted as major developmental keystones. Right out of the gate is Learner Diagnostics. This functionality provides recommended level selections for initial content access. This is especially helpful for learners that are not too sure about what content they need to explore and which assets are necessary or relevant to them. Level selection is great for streaming learners based on ability or experience; this functionality helps to boost user engagement as learners will appreciate knowing that the content they are accessing has been specifically selected for their aims and needs.


Content Control

Learning content controlHaving control over your content is fundamental when it comes to delivering effective learning solutions. Pathway allows for content managers to directly access and instantly change content without third party involvement. This functionality is particularly useful for certain businesses that need to rapidly respond to industry changes and roll out compliance updates to their content.


Timely Deployment

Deployment trigger functionalityTrigger functionality allows clients to control when learners can access content and alert their learners to certain updates regarding content, assessments or evidence uploads. Suppressing content is extremely valuable for deploying lengthy programmes as the learner remains focused on the right content at the right time. This functionality works both ways, as content managers such as HR teams or learning tutors can be notified when learners access or complete content. This functionality is especially useful for businesses who need regular confirmation that their employees have accessed or completed training.


Feel free to contact us for an informal chat about your needs and to find out how WillowDNA could help you create an effective learning journey for your training requirements.
+44(0)117 370 7735

Social learning in corporate training

Is Social Learning Part of Your Blend?

Hello again from WillowDNA! This is the first instalment of a regular blog series focusing on the hot topics within the world of e-learning. Today’s focus is on the growing influence of social learning strategies.

We know from recent studies that social learning is in high demand from learners.

One example of how WillowDNA can facilitate this new trend, is through the use of message boards within our LMS, which provide a space where users can compare their learning experiences and also discuss specific aspects of the content. This really brings home the social media feel that is transforming the e-learning game, and is being received by our client’s learners and tutors with great enthusiasm.

Not only does it give their audience a voice and an opportunity for them to contribute to the learning, it also exposes their individual experiences which helps to transfer learning back into the workplace.

Discussion boards for social learning


Benefits of Social Learning

Substantial analysis into the benefits of social learning has been conducted and making employees feel like they are contributing to a larger goal or joint mission seems to be an important take away factor. Therefore, building in LMS functionality that allows learners to contribute to their learning experience can really maximise this asset that social learning provides. Pathway can also facilitate this, with the ability for learners to upload content to a portfolio, which can be viewed by a tutor who can then share uploads with the rest of the cohort to generate discussion.

By allowing learners to contribute content at key stages along the learning experience, a collaborative spirit can be fostered, and with tutors or SME guidance, this learner input can be incorporated into the overall content stream. For certain professions that are highly practical and often require behavioural change, such as sales, the ability to quickly put into practice what you have recently learnt from content is invaluable.

For example, sales reps in the field could use their smartphones to quickly record and share recent experiences and best practice with their colleagues, providing they use an LMS that supports learner contribution. The option to trial and test content in the field affords learners more confidence in their e-learning solution and provides a faster pace to their learning experience.

We are implementing this research in the construction of our online Sales Training Academy and will hopefully yield the clear benefits that social learning methods can provide to our learners.

Keep an eye out for upcoming WillowDNA blog posts for further insights.