Creating a learning culture (...three easy steps)!
A piece of research about how sellers learn on the job caught my eye recently when I read, from Hubspot, that sellers “attain their knowledge” first from peers/network (53%), then managers (45%), and finally team training (36%). This data may reveal as much about seller trust for their manager as it does about methods of learning that are perceived “best” for your revenue producers.
Yes, formal training programs – be it focused on product, process, skills training – are very important and should be carefully planned and executed by all sizes of B2B selling orgs. But, there are simple things companies can do to help create a positive learning culture that don’t require gobs of resources and management time. Too often sales leadership gets overly focused thinking about “training” while ongoing “learning” initiatives get ignored.
The Hubspot research is interesting, but it says to me that companies need to think carefully about how both “training” and “learning” are executed and achieved inside the sales team.
In lieu of setting up formal training, here are a few ideas that can still teach and inspire your sellers toward higher performance, and that’s okay, because not everything has to be taught in the classroom:
As you noticed, none of the above requires a trip to the CFOs office to beg for funds. Most sales leaders get bogged down thinking that all “training” has to be formal and while, yes, some training elements must be highly structured, the above shows there are many ways to “stimulate” the brains of your sellers. It merely takes a slight amount of organization and planning.
I’ve created and participated in all kinds of training and learning programs - including the above “social training” ideas – and can attest there are many creative and cost-effective ways to help sellers learn. BUT, until you reach the “Super Bowl” of training methods – real-time role-plays through real selling scenarios - everything else is just “good stuff that helps”. (Personally, I don’t just want to be “good” and “helpful”…I want to be GREAT and I want to EXCEL.)
Tune in next month, we’ll examine that very sophisticated practice technique few have mastered: role-playing real situations.
Selling.2.YES is the monthly newsletter published by Core 6 Management Advisors to enlighten, motivate and stimulate all of us sellers and sales managers on topics that need our attention.
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