When you’re talking about how people like to learn, obviously I can only talk about the experience of sales, but that’s still working with a lot of millennials. What we’ve got to remember is that, give it a year or two, and I think millennials will comprise over 50% of the work force. That’s something that everyone obviously needs to think about.
Don’t Academize Work
I’ve seen a lot of fairly bad learning and development tactics, and I think the one thing that people don’t want is a quiz. They don’t want a project; they don’t want a task. You want something that can be fun and engaging. You need to facilitate a way in which employees learn from the people within their own business. We’ve gone past the days of paying external people who don’t understand your business’s way of doing things ten grand grand to stand in front of a white board to talk to your employees. People have to feel they’re progressing. I think the whole way in which you learn has to be in bite-size chunks
Let People Learn from Each Other
Facilitate a way that people can learn from each other across the business. If you’ve got some guy with five years of experience and a recent grad who is coming into the business, how can you make sure that they’re learning from each other in the best way possible? I think everyone needs to stop and take a step back and think about, “Most of my business interacts and does stuff in a certain way. How can I help them learn and grow in that way as well?”
Data Doesn’t Tell All
When you’re talking about performance, I think one of the most interesting things you can do for a business is look beyond the data points. You won’t learn anything from looking at the averages or the end result won’t. Most systems like CRMs tell you the end output. That’s all well and good but what’s that big fat thing that’s happening in the middle? And how’s that working and what’s the result of that? What I’m always really interested in doing is understanding how good everyone is in each individual part of what they’re doing.
How Healthy Is Each Cog in Your Machine?
In the sales process you’ve got five or six steps. It’s really working with your management team to understand how good everyone is in that individual part of the sales process. Then you can coach and develop them as you go along. You can work with your team to see how you take someone from being a B player to an A player, or understanding much quicker that someone isn’t necessarily right for that team, and will they fit better in another department. Just looking at the end result numbers isn’t going to get you very far. Analyzing what happens in the middle and understanding who’s good at what will help you coach and train your team better.
About Tom Lavery
Tom Lavery is CEO & Founder of Boston-based startup Jiminny. Jiminny is a sales coaching platform specifically designed for B2B sales. It helps you coach your team more effectively to improve performance and drive success. Jiminny will help you make coaching part of your day to day sales operation.
Previously Tom was on the board at Reward Gateway for five years and was their Global SVP of Sales for 8 years. He has seen them through two MBOs. One for $40m to Inflexion PE in 2010 and for $220m to Great Hill Partners in 2015. He has over 15 years experience in sales and sales leadership and has worked in the U.S, Europe, and Australia.
Tom is also the author of the Sales Shake, a no-nonsense blog that gives sales professionals practical advice you can read today and implement as quickly as tomorrow. He currently lives in Boston with his family and is a huge sports fan who loves soccer and tennis.