Traditional training models are broken. That’s right: broken. And it’s about time for a complete overhaul.
To put this in context, I’ll be referring quite a bit to what we here at CFS refer to as a paradigm shift.
What is a paradigm? In technical terms it’s defined as “a typical example or pattern of something; a model.” I’d like to pull the words typical and pattern out of this definition as they both lend to this idea that paradigms are the classic, age-old rules of the trade—ones that have been widely accepted by many people.
When a new employee is added to the team, the procedure is pretty typical: training and on-boarding is implemented. Before and after employment takes place, training models begin through resources like manuals, contracts, and shadowing.
As new hires become seasoned employees, more training happens. Sometimes it’s an internal trainer, while other organizations employ outside trainers.
Whatever the case, training happens. And not at the choice of the employee (in most cases). The problem is that we don’t believe that mandatory sales training actually works. This is something that Charles Bernard explains in his article When Sales Training is Not Mandatory.
So, what happens when the paradigm shifts from training on the basics to training where true learning and development occurs? Here at CFS, we are all about pushing boundaries, disrupting the status quo, and thus, creating new paradigms.
I recently wrote a blog post on my experience during the initial training process here with the CFS team. In the article I focused on my engagement in discovery-based learning, and how that was ultimately more effective than being told how to do everything and having my hand held.
The current training models are just that: they give all of the information upfront with the belief that new employees will experience it, retain it, and move on. The problem is that this type of training doesn’t work if the goal is long-term, consistent, sustainable results.
Why Training Models Need to Shift
It’s time to change the traditional sales training models that exist. Below are a few reasons why. We hope they get you thinking about your own training models and how you might shift them moving forward.
Sales is Changing
Sales as an industry is changing. The world that we are selling in today has different buyers than in years past. We are also more in tune to our buyers through buyer personas and analytics.
Additionally, new scenarios for selling come about each day. Conversations arise that aren’t in the handy-dandy-new-employee-handbook. In the hyper-changing world that we live and work in, learning isn’t going to end on the last page of the employee handbook.
Having and using a Sales PlayBook that’s living, breathing, and constantly changing is critical in the fast-paced world of sales.
Learning is Changing
That’s right—the way that we learn is changing! Technology has shifted the way we learn in many ways, but we’ve discovered something that goes even deeper.
After working with thousands of salespeople, sales managers, and senior executives, we’ve realized that true learning occurs when there is buy-in from each person and they are open and willing to learn.
We’ve also discovered that companies that employ a Sales PlayBook that employees are committed to using are more likely to succeed.
As employees learn and discover, these discoveries are then documented. As the PlayBook grows, so does the team. What’s beautiful about it is that it happens organically.
A changeable handbook distinguishes the importance of new training models. For us, the use of a Sales PlayBook as part of the sales process is a paradigm shift in-and-of itself.
Technology is Changing
Having a Sales PlayBook helps to make the process of learning on the job conscious.
If you have a platform to record new breakthroughs and discoveries, you are more likely to realize these are happening in the first place.
Old training models wouldn’t enable this type of ongoing discovery.
You wouldn’t realize you’re engaging in something new, because there is no reason to believe anything significant differs from what you were taught upon your arrival.
What I’m getting to is this: we make advances in technology; we make advances in medicine, so why don’t we make advances in how we train salespeople?
Training models should be adaptable to each employee for the different scenarios they encounter.