We asked Sales Performance International executives and consultants what kind of changes we can expect to see for the sales profession in the coming new year and compiled their perspectives and opinions in our eBook, “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond”.
Robert Kear is SPI’s Chief Technology Officer and is responsible for innovation and product development.
What major trend do you see in your area of sales or learning performance expertise?
More and more, we see organizations wanting to create a modern sales learning and development system organized around competencies that impact the business. Organizations want learning to enhance some specific capability of their people. As a result, we see the emergence of “off-LMS” learning technology that allows learning to be much more personalized.
What is causing this trend?
Companies are no longer attached to their monolithic LMS because they realize those platforms were not designed to support the modern learner. Learning now is more situational, context-based, and shorter in duration. The traditional LMS did not necessarily prevent taking a competency based-approached, but it does not make it easy either. New, more flexible learning platforms now exist that did not only a few years ago.
What opportunities or threats does the trend pose for businesses and sales organizations?
A competency-based approach requires an organization to identify the sales competencies that matter most in their sales roles and the required proficiency for those competencies. This model gives the organization more tangible and valid criteria to determine an individual’s developmental needs and assign activities that will make the most impact for the individual. It also better motivates people to make learning and continuous development part of their daily activities, especially if the learning is easily accessed and enjoyable to consume.
In light of the trend, what advice do you have for business and sales leaders?
Be open to ways of consuming learning that might not be on the corporate LMS. The corporate LMS might be a nice vehicle for managing organization-wide assets for learning and development, but salespeople have different learning needs. Learning should be organized around specific capabilities of salespeople. Moreover, there should be some mechanism to assess salespeople to determine their current proficiency levels and the areas they should focus to move the needle. At any moment in time, a sales leader should be able to have a clear picture of capability within the sales organization in the most important competencies. Then, leaders should leverage technology to serve up learning that is most appropriate for their organization at that moment in time.
Download our eBook “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond” today!