Earlier this week we had the pleasure of being joined by John Knoble – Director of Sales Learning at Ethicon – on our webinar: Driving Sales Effectiveness Through Sustainable Learning (slideshare now available).
During the course of the webinar, John outlined the struggles he faced with the following characteristics of traditional learning:
- The one-size fits all approach
- Push vs. pull-through learning
- Taking time away from the job (In the case of John’s sales team, they were away on training for six to eight weeks at a time)
- Secondary training events was also one-time (e.g. When a new product was introduced)
John went on to explain how his learning ecosystem had evolved to overcome many of these challenges and he even discussed some of the results he has been seeing.
Here are our top three takeaways from the webinar:
1. Engagement has to be sustainable
Ask yourself this: Would you rather create a highly engaging week-long event and have the event repeat twice a year OR would you rather create an engaging experience that lasts three minutes and repeat that a few times a week? By extending the period of time between engaging learning experiences, the learning itself begins to lose value. John mentioned that this is a big challenge of the ‘one and done’ route that a lot of traditional learning methodologies take. In order to allow an engaging learning event to retain its value, you have to find a way to sustain that engagement.
2. Repetition of knowledge = growth in confidence
One of the big challenges John focused on – which a lot of learning professionals can relate to – is the fact that his team is constantly having to learn new things. In John’s case, this new learning included: new product knowledge, compliance regulations, competitor information and various policy changes. With regards to new product knowledge, John mentioned that in his new learning ecosystem, this knowledge is reinforced on a daily basis. As a result of this, his sales force has grown more confident in this knowledge and as you can imagine, confidence is a very big factor in sales success. How often is critical knowledge being reinforced in your organization? The bigger question might be … what is happening due to a lack of reinforcement?
3. Leverage learning analytics cross-functionally
With the evolution of his learning ecosystem, John talked about the new insights he is able to get on his team. One of the most interesting points he brought up was the fact that learning analytics he gathers about his sales team, is actually highly valuable to his marketing team. His marketing team is able to get data on where knowledge gaps exist within the sales organization and help build resources to close those gaps. How is your learning data being leveraged outside of your function?
Have you had a chance to watch the webinar yet? Once you do or even after you’ve read this post, please share your thoughts on our key takeaways. We’d love to hear from you.
Written by Shum Attygalle