The Ultimate Guide to Instructional Design for Enablement Teams 
Discover how instructional design can revolutionize your sales enablement strategy. Learn the key steps for developing effective training materials and resources, and explore the benefits of using instructional design tools to simplify onboarding, improve communication, and use new technologies effectively. Check out Driveway's instructional design best practices and see how our software can help you streamline the creation process. Transform your sales process and stay ahead of the competition today.
Apr 30, 2023
Is last year's tried and true training strategy no longer doing the trick?
Whether it's fast product changes or fewer resources, Enablement teams everywhere are looking for ways to do more with less.
Best-in-class companies often hire "Instructional Designers" to work alongside their Enablement teams to ensure training content achieves their business goals as effectively as possible.
If you are responsible for training but don't have an Instructional Designer on your team today - don't fret - this guide will cover everything you need to know to wear an Instructional Design hat for your Enablement team.
Table of contents:
1. What is Instructional Design?
2. What is the Instructional Design Process?
3. Why is Instructional Design so Important?
4. How To Conduct an Instructional Design Needs Analysis
5. What are Instructional Design's Best Practices for Making Training Content?
6. What are the Best Tools for Instructional Design?
7. What are the Most Popular Instructional Design Training Courses, Bootcamps, and Certificates?
8. Example: How to use Instructional Design to Close Customers Faster
What is Instructional Design?
You've probably experienced Instructional Design before - even if you don't know what it is.
If you've ever taken a class through an LMS, been onboarded to a product by an interactive tutorial, or even if just filled out an online quiz - you've used tools built with Instructional Design best practices in mind.
Instructional Design, both a process and a discipline, is the act of creating compelling and engaging learning experiences for the effective development of specific skills.
Often called "Instructional Design & Technology", remote learning is evolving so quickly that Instructional Designers are also typically experts in the latest trends and tools for "eLearning".
Some businesses pay for in-house Instructional Designers to implement these Instructional Design best practices across their tools and trainings - generally referred to as the "Instructional Design Process".
What is the Instructional Design Process?
The "Instructional Design Process" has 4 key steps.
1 - Analyzing the needs of learners
2 - Defining learning objectives
3 - Designing instructional materials
4 - Evaluating the effectiveness of the learning experience
The Instructional Design Process helps avoid the short-term biases managers have against training - that it's expensive and only impacts goals indirectly.
As a result of these biases, managers may expect to spend most of their time on Step #3 - Designing instructional materials.
This is where the Instructional Design Process comes in.
By starting with steps #1 and #2, anyone making training content can make sure that their training is designed around a specific hypothesis.
Why is Instructional Design So Important?
Instructional Design is so important to organizations because it creates alignment between the learner, the teacher, and the organization, around what learning success looks like.
You might be surprised that the main benefit of Instructional Design is not better information retention.
While high-quality Instructional Design should also improve information retention - if your learner, your teacher, and your organization are not on the same page about what learning success looks like, then your learning is not sustainable.
If a learner doesn't know what learning success looks like, they can become "burned out" - due to either a lack of fulfillment or a lack of sense of progress.
If an organization doesn't know what learning success looks like, even if your learners are successful, then you risk losing training budget.
Lastly, even if a teacher thinks they know what learning success looks like, the Instructional Design Process increases the likelihood that they too can learn and improve on their teaching.
How to Conduct an Instructional Design Needs Analysis
Now that we understand the importance of analyzing the needs of your learners, here are the three primary strategies for how to conduct an Instructional Design Needs Analysis.
- Create a Google Form with a mix of open-ended and closed-ended questions for qualitative and quantitative data
- Don't reinvent your question bank - re-use questions and topics from prior training to get the benefits of repetition
- Distribute it to your team across multiple channels (email, intranet) - consider using Slack reminders to collect responses on an ongoing basis.
- Similarly, don't reinvent the wheel - re-using existing training content for your quizzes is okay.
- Use a mix of questions (e.g. multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank) to test different types of knowledge and keep your quiz engaging- Incorporating images, video, and audio are going to increase the likelihood your team retains this information in the long term
- This is a best practice for quizzes and surveys, but feel free to share how long this will take.
- Conduct one-on-one interviews with your sales team to gather qualitative data about their learning needs.
- Speak with top-performing AND underperforming sales team members to get a well-rounded perspective.
- Write an interview guide (again, don't reinvent the wheel) but be sure to ask the same questions consistently for the sake of your data
- Be sure to use a note-taking app like Fathom so that you can focus on the conversation and come back to notes later.
Once you've defined the needs of your learners and your learning objectives, check out these 4 strategies for how instructional design can increase efficiency in your sales enablement training.
What are the Best Tools for Instructional Design?
Here's a list of some of the best-in-class tools for Instructional Design:
Articulate Storyline is a popular e-learning authoring tool that allows instructional designers to create interactive courses with custom templates, multimedia, and quizzes.
Adobe Captivate allows designers to create and publish interactive e-learning courses with responsive design, simulations, and gamification.
Camtasia enables instructional designers to create screen recordings, edit videos, and add interactive elements such as quizzes, hotspots, and callouts.
Lectora is a powerful authoring tool that allows designers to create custom e-learning courses with responsive design, animations, and multimedia elements.
Vyond is a cloud-based animation tool that instructional designers can use to create animated videos for educational purposes.
Moodle is an open-source learning management system (LMS) that allows designers to create and manage e-learning courses, as well as track learner progress and performance.
Driveway is a digital adoption platform that allows teams to easily create and overlay interactive training documentation on top of the tools they are working in.
What are the Most Popular Instructional Design Training Courses, Bootcamps, and Certificates?
There are several popular Instructional Design training courses, boot camps, and certificates - here are just a few:
Certified Professional in Talent and Development (formerly known as Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP)) is a certification offered by the Association for Talent Development (ATD) that covers all aspects of the Instructional Design Process, with a focus on corporate development.
Instructional Design Foundations and Applications is a course offered by Coursera in partnership with the University of Illinois that covers the basics of instructional design.
Learning Experience Design Certificate is a program offered by the Learning Experience Design (LX) Academy that covers the design, development, and delivery of effective learning experiences.
Instructional Design and Technology Certificate is a program offered by the University of California, Irvine that covers the theories and practices of instructional design.
eLearning and Instructional Design Bootcamp is a program offered by Udemy that covers the design and development of e-learning courses.
ATD Master Instructional Designer Program is an advanced program offered by the Association for Talent Development that covers the advanced skills and techniques of instructional design.
Instructional Design for Online Learning is a course offered by the University of California, San Diego that covers the design and development of effective online courses.
Example: How to Close Customers Faster with Instructional Design
Steal this template for how you could apply the Instructional Design Process to Sales Simulation Training to close customers faster.
- Trainer plays a "tough prospect" who asks "hard questions."
- Rep would have to recall objection handling under pressure, and get creative if the trainer decides to go "off script".
- Trainer would try and throw the kitchen sink at them - i.e. give them in a single call all the major obstacles they could face
- But the odds that a rep would ever have an actual call like this were slim.
- Trainer reviews closed lost reason codes to analyze the needs of their learners. Are there certain products or industries where reps are more likely to be behind historic quota or future pipeline?
- Trainer reviews real calls from these gaps to see how this deal could have been won and sets this as a learning objective.
- Trainer scheduled a sales simulation and plays the role of a specific prospect with specific information in front of them (company size, growth rate, industry, $ ACV, fundraising history, news, etc.) so reps can dig in with questioning.
With Instructional Design in mind when setting your simulation, a rep experiences a realistic and meaningfully representative closed-lost scenario, can now more easily replicate a successful playbook in the future, increasing the likelihood that they and their team hit quota.
Rollout Instructional Design Best Practices in Days not Weeks with Driveway
Eager to start your Instructional Design journey?
Here are ways in which Driveway helps you use Instructional Design Best Practices on Day 1:
✅ Creates engaging, interactive documentation in seconds
✅ Automatically uses your company logo & color consistently
✅ Integrates with your LMS, Wiki, Google Docs - anywhere your learners live
✅ Delivers insights into content engagement and training completeness
✅ Gamify content creation and consumption with a team leaderboard
✅ Record & upload audio/video content for all types of learners
Instructional Design keeps your team competitive by developing the knowledge and skills needed to meet changing customer needs and use new technologies effectively.
By following design guidelines and employing software like Driveway, enablement managers can create compelling and engaging learning experiences that transform their sales process.