CloudShare, the product experience company, has published its 2023 State of Virtual Sales and Training Experiences report. The big takeaway is that interest in virtual sales and training among B2B software vendors is growing rapidly as the return on investment, enabled by modern tech and techniques, becomes more apparent.
The use of tools that enabled B2B software vendors to engage customers online increased dramatically over the past few years. Despite the return of face-to-face meetings, that trend has continued. According to CloudShare’s 2023 report, vendors that used modern technologies such as in-app video conferencing and strategies such as multiple instructors and self-paced training significantly increased participation, completion and engagement in virtual sales and training.
Following are the key data points from CloudShare’s study, which is based on thousands of virtual sales and training experiences delivered by hundreds of B2B software vendors.
Sharp increase in demand for virtual software experiences
Sales engineers and software training instructors accelerated their use of software to deliver virtual sales and training experiences in 2022. The number of B2B software vendors using CloudShare’s platform grew 84 percent from 2021 to 2022 and the number of people who participated in virtual sales or training on CloudShare’s platform increased 51 percent.
Virtual product training experiences’ growth tripled year over year
A growing number of companies are using an increasing amount of virtual training in their programs. Training experiences delivered through CloudShare’s platform increased 17 percent from 2020 to 2021, strong growth even in a field known for harnessing virtual technology. Last year the number of training experiences on CloudShare increased 52 percent year-over-year.
Self-paced training is grabbing an increasingly large slice of the training pie
Virtual instructor-led training is still an important model but self-paced training has become crucial, too, as it requires fewer resources and allows users to train on their own schedules. In 2020, self-paced training on CloudShare’s platform accounted for just five percent of all training hours. In 2021, that increased to 14 percent. In 2022, 34 percent of virtual training on CloudShare was self-paced, compared to 66 percent for virtual instructor-led training.
Participants are less likely to drop out of virtual training experiences
Training course dropout rates have historically been a big concern for B2B software companies. Per CloudShare’s research, that’s less of a problem in virtual environments. Sixty-two percent of students who took virtual instructor-led classes using CloudShare last year completed all their courses and only nine percent left before their course was a quarter of the way through.
Multi-instructor training boosts participation and class completion rates
It’s widely believed that one-on-one attention in training sessions leads to greater participation and engagement, and CloudShare’s research bears this out. In 2022, classes with multiple instructors had twice the number of attendees as single instructor classes, and multi-instructor courses had a 52 percent completion rate compared to 47 percent for single-instructor courses.
In-app video conferencing is a must-have ingredient for boosting class completion
In 2021, training classes that utilized in-app video conferencing were completed 67 percent of the time, up from 46 percent in 2020. In 2022 the number jumped again, with 71 percent of attendees completing classes with in-app video conferencing.
“As we enter a time of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever for B2B software companies to maximize their sales and training budgets,” said Annie Reiss, CMO at CloudShare. “According to our research, virtual sales and training experiences are proving their worth. The key is for companies to go beyond traditional, static experiences and leverage modern technologies and strategies that are proven to boost participation and engagement.”
A copy of CloudShare’s 2023 State of Virtual Sales and Training Experiences report is here.
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