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”.
Jimmy Touchstone is SPI’s Director of Learning Innovation.
What major trend do you see in your area of sales or learning performance expertise?
“Digital learning” continues to evolve from elearning and content curation to microlearning, gamification and virtual and augmented reality. These new modalities are being enhanced further with analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and bots. What seemed impossible in learning and development a few years ago is now rapidly becoming mainstream.
What is causing this trend?
Leading learning and development companies have been quick to leverage many of the advanced technologies we read about every day, such as analytics, AI, and machine learning. Many of these new technologies have been spawned and tested in academic settings, and the jump to commercialized applications is a natural extension.
What opportunities or threats does the trend pose for businesses and sales organizations?
More than ever, companies can tap into what a learner needs and wants, and quickly determine if these learning and development activities are improving abilities and ultimately business objectives. Progressive companies that adopt these advanced technologies can help their people improve faster through more precise and personalized development programs. These developments send a message to employees that they are valued, which improves motivation and retention. Conversely, companies that don’t adapt to service their most valuable asset – their knowledge employees – in the way that they want to learn and consume information will lose those employees.
In light of the trend, what advice do you have for business and sales leaders?
Companies must be open to change. What worked five years ago may not work any longer, and you can bet that there is something today that is significantly better. Companies should also take stock of who their learning audience is and what capabilities might be most effective. For example, virtual reality is awesome for simulating firefighting situations but may not be useful for a call center. Finally, learn about the new possibilities. Meet with vendors and talk to early adopters about what they are doing, why and what they’ve learned in the process.
Download our eBook “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond” today!