How to increase sales using natural learning
Recruiting costs time and money, and it’s crucial to provide new sales reps with a good introductory training and career plan. Once the honeymoon is over, engagement and knowledge transfer needs to be maintained to generate good KPIs.
Increasing knowledge transfer at work requires new perspectives and approaches. We look at learning as a journey rather than a destination. Learning needs to be continuous, supporting performance, and a natural part of your workday. How can you succeed with this? Here are some ideas.
Where do you spend most of the time and money training your sales people? Before, during or after onboarding? Our philosophy is that learning really starts when the introductory training is done. What we call natural learning.
Preboarding creates a sense of belonging and sets the right expectations.
A successful onboarding starts before the first day at work. Preboarding, clear expectations and goals, and an attractive learning culture are all needed in order to create a good start and ensure a good experience for your new hire.
Training without retention is expensive
A traditional 2-3 day classroom training means that your sales reps will have forgotten 90% of the information within a week (Ebbinghaus, Forgetting Curve). In addition, the actual knowledge transfer that is applied to the work is a mere 30% (Broad, M., Newstrom, J.W. (1992), Transfer of Training). By applying reinforcement measures and performance support immediately after the introduction, the efficacy can improve and your organization can improve sales (see GE Water).
How can you apply continuous learning?
1. Searchable, accessible high-quality content
Make sure your company has systems that are easy to use with a great user experience. An important prerequisite is to have the correct information available at the right moment. Reducing time spent searching for information leaves more time for quality conversations with potential customers. Searching through a CMS or an app where content is structured and easily accessible can be one way to go. It can be very time consuming to look for information in systems such as traditional LMS, Sharepoint or Teams. External sources such as Google are often used as an information source but that information may be incorrect.
2. Spread the learning over time – strengthen and support performance
Too much information at once is difficult to absorb. Research shows that you forget 70% of what you learned after just one day and 90% within a week. By spreading out the learning experience over a longer period of time, you can increase retention and reduce skills gaps faster. Alternating active learning with practical elements directly in the work over a longer period of time increases the transfer of knowledge.
When short learning efforts are made an integral part of the working day, your sales people are free to spend more time meeting customers, with more skills and a greater commitment.
Methods that can be used include reinforcement learning and spaced repetition. These are spread over a period of time with bite-size courses, featuring just a few minutes of training content for each occasion. Adding motivating gamification experiences and competition elements between teams or offices, you’ll drive commitment and curiosity at the same time.
3. Share experiences with each other and develop a feedback culture
An open and strong learning culture, with clear expectations and a common vision, drives a spirit of curiosity and innovation, vital factors in professional development. An important step is to develop a feedback culture in the workplace, with supporting sales coaches. Feedback can take place in short meeting sessions, via a built-in functionality in a learning app with text, audio or video features.
Feedback and reflection help the development process as they put your employees in touch with the slow thinking instead of the fast, intuitive brain half. We need both the slow and fast thought processes to achieve the greatest results.
Connect with us, should you have any questions. We’d love to support you!