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None of your salespeople wake up and say, “I can’t wait to learn something today!” So how do you engage them in learning and development?

Traditional wisdom dictates that you should share with your team the value of training as it relates to their future earnings and job performance. If they simply believed it for themselves – or better yet, experienced the results – they would be begging for that next training class! But unfortunately this is not the case.

You’ve probably learned about Adult Learning Theory. That is, people retain:

  • 10% of What They Hear
  • 50% of What They See and Hear
  • 90% of What They Do and Say

Well the same holds true for buying in to an idea or program.

In fact, in a recent study, dispassionate learners who didn’t like math actually performed worse when their instructor shared with them the importance of math and how it would benefit them. By contrast, in another study, nobody tried to “persuade” the participants – researchers simply asked learners to write about what they were learning and its relevance to their lives. The results? You guessed it. In the second group the learners were completely engaged.

Therefore we recommend you employ the following three techniques to engage learners and increase earnings:

    • Have your team watch, read or listen to a training concept and have them teach it to the rest of the group. As part of the assignment, ask them to share the relevance of the lesson in their work and in their lives.
    • Reward and Recognize. Salespeople love recognition. Rather than simply rewarding performance, reward those things that will create good performance, like learning and development. Create a learning path for a particular group and reward and recognize those that complete it.
    • Offer bite-size learning concepts. People have a much smaller attention span today than ever before, but they still crave relevant knowledge. Offer training solutions in bite size chunks of no more than ten minutes. This way your salespeople can learn a new concept quickly and apply it for immediate results.

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