Training employees can be difficult, especially in sales. When it comes to promoting positive sales behavior and getting the best results, animated training videos stand out above all other forms of corporate training, but may not seem like the best choice for a fast-paced, professional environment like sales. But, with a unique style and the ability to make your content feel educational, animated videos work wonders in sales too.
Animation isn’t just for kids—it is a versatile medium that can be used in many ways to help learners retain information. In sales training, animation can be used to display statistical information, infographics, and discuss complex topics in an impartial, easy-to-understand way. Plus, simplified characters and a distinct style can help set an internal tone for your company and make content memorable.
Of course, the more memorable the content, the more it will “stick” with your target audience. Animation doesn’t always have to be stylized with children in mind. Artists can create beautiful, smooth animations without the high-energy, over-the-top animation that we normally see in children’s shows.
Tips to Make Your Videos Brilliant
While the animation is important, there are a few things to keep in mind to take your content from “great” to “amazing”:
Keep it Short
The first, and arguably most important thing to consider when making any educational content is time. Employees may not have the time necessary to watch a 30+ minute training video, and they certainly won’t be able to remember everything in it easily.
By keeping your content short and sweet, your employees can study content one topic at a time in the process we call microlearning. With microlearning videos, learners can watch as many as they want in one sitting, or learn a concept and test it out right after finishing the video. Plus, these videos are easier to review as needed, so whenever new hires come in, they can get right to learning.
Keep it Simple
The best part about animation is that you can cut out extra details and make content more memorable. Animation as a medium is supposed to act as a guide or a simplified representation of more complex characters. This means it’s the perfect medium for guiding learners through complex topics since other distracting aspects of the video are toned down. Learners can instead focus on the content being taught, with simple animations and color palettes to help emphasize the content presented.
Simplicity can also be used to help make content memorable. With a distinct style that stands out compared to standard video, animation can make a lasting impression on viewers visually. In addition, color scheme, lighting, and other aspects of the video can be altered to make them more recognizable as well.
Keep it Varied
Having variety in your animation doesn’t mean to change up the style—instead, it means to use multiple types of animation when applicable. Yes, character animation is a good go-to, but other kinds of video may work better in certain situations. Out of the main kinds of eLearning videos, we have character animation, animatic or whiteboard animation, motion graphic animation, and 3D animation.
Character animation and animatics are great if you need to put a face to your video, or display information regarding company policy or sales techniques. Character animation can be used to display complex information, while animatics, on the other hand, are simple and work best when used with a casual tone.
3D animation is best for showing to-scale models of objects, meaning it’s great for showing a step-by-step tutorial for putting together a complex object or showing a unique view of a detailed machine. Motion graphics, on the other hand, are best used to display information like statistics or provide impartial representation on a difficult topic.
These formats all are unique on their own but work best in conjunction with one another. For example, motion graphics are great when used alongside character animation, or live-action video footage to highlight important information, which makes it easier for learners to grasp. When coupled with a screen shared video, motion graphics can also show someone where to click in a software tutorial. Mixing character animation in with an animatic can help emphasize key points in a video as well.
Keep it Online
To help keep content accessible and relevant, online platforms work best. While some companies may be averse to a change in format, but online, employees can access training resources anytime, anywhere.
This means employees can review training protocol at home, at work, or in their free time. Because of this, your business can get stronger employee engagement and knowledge transfer. With an online learning database, employees will also be made aware of their company’s tone, which can be transferred into their sales pitches.
Another way online learning platforms can help your business is by making user feedback accessible. The ability for users to leave comments, reviews, or simply “likes” on a video can show creators how well the content fits with the employees learning style and tone. Plus, if something doesn’t seem to be working with your content, you’ll have feedback to look to, so you won’t have to go searching for what your training program is missing.
Sale Training Animation Case Study
We recently had the pleasure of working with our friends at Autodesk to create sales training software for their digital drafting programs. Autodesk is famous for creating intuitive art programs that allow users to animate in 2D, create 3D renders, and even paint realistically on a computer. Their most recent program, Autodesk Digital Draft, is designed specifically for architects and anyone who needs to make a blueprint design. Here is what we did:
Our client wanted a sleek, eye-catching series of videos to help teach their sales staff about the software. Since Autodesk’s salespeople don’t program the software itself, chances are they’re not going to know all the ins-and-outs or selling points of a product right away. Because of this, our client wanted to create an engaging series of videos that can help salespeople learn the basics of the software and explain why it’s great!
Our solution to creating an engaging and interesting set of videos was initially to animate using 2D character animations. With a strong color scheme and motion graphics to highlight important information, we knew this format would be especially effective when put alongside screenshare video of the software itself. That way, information could be delivered quickly and in a style that is unique to the company.
The team at Autodesk wasn’t entirely sure about using 2D characters in their videos, since they were worried the product would end up looking childish. However, when we provided them with a sample of the style we’d wanted to use (including a cartoon version of their subject matter expert), everyone loved it! We actually got asked to make more cartoon versions of other speakers with the company too!
In the end, we managed to help our client not only create educational content for their salespeople, but to help create a tone for the company’s internal affairs. With an established style and tone for the workplace, sellers are now more able to match the tone Autodesk wants from them and can continue to work in a positive environment.