“Using self-directed learning improves learning performance, motivation, and satisfaction at work, reducing turnover.” – Stefanie Boyer in today’s Tip 1480
How about you? How do you empower yourself?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Dr. Stefani Boyer. Stefanie is an author, TEDxer, AMA Sales Professor of the Year, a recognized sales innovation expert, and was named to Forbes’ Next 1,000. Dr. Boyer runs the sales program at Bryant University and is cofounder of RNMKRS, a technology company using AI to bring unbiased sales training to all. Here she is:
Stefanie Boyer: It’s common for me to get messages from previous sales students who are concerned about their development. The first year on the job is terrific with plenty of training, especially in the first six months. But what happens after that? With tightening budgets, professional development is the first to go. I recommend being your own CEO when it comes to this. Stop complaining that your manager doesn’t have time to meet, strategize, or role-play. Don’t be a victim.
I’m not saying stay in a place that’s terrible, but instead, empower yourself through self-directed learning. The research on self-directed learning is what I built my dissertation around, how adults learn most effectively. I did the reading of over 1,400 articles and 600 dissertations on the topic so you don’t have to and ended up writing my own dissertation on how adult salespeople learn most effectively.
So what do we know?
Using self-directed learning improves learning performance, motivation, and satisfaction at work, reducing turnover. Almost like a magic pill, but we know those don’t exist. The point is, locus control of training needs to move from responsibility of the manager to the learner having some control of training. But how does this work? You can’t just be left on your own. There is a way to purposefully guide learning to get where you want to go, and this applies to anyone at any level of the org.
Here’s a practical way to use it from my research in the Journal of Marketing Education, where you can read the full findings.
Take your current resume and compare it to the resume you’ll have after your next promotion. This can be found on job sites or even look at LinkedIn to see which experiences and skills people have in the next job title you want. Now, identify the skill gaps between your current situation and where you want to go. Let’s say you’re an SDR and you want to be an Account Executive, so you need to learn how to hold 15-minute conversations with prospects, but you’ve only had experience making cold calls and mostly just left voicemails to set up meetings for your Account Executive.
So you need to identify the following. What do you need to learn in order to have longer conversations like, how to manage the sales process, how to build trust, or ask the right questions, or how to be a good active listener? Find out who does this well, who can mentor you. How will you demonstrate excellence in this area? i.e. How will you evaluate whether you now have the skill or not? And which project can you work on to develop these skills?
Perhaps in this case, you can shadow some top-performing reps in person or online. You can ask to practice role-playing and give you feedback. You can study sales process books, and perhaps you can even explore how a tool like MEDDICC is tied to your organization’s CRM. You could even practice with our tool called RNMKRS to build muscle memory around the sales process by role-playing with an AI bot to build your confidence.Your mentor will evaluate your progress and you’ll self-diagnose your gains and areas for improvement.
At the end of the day, you need to ID what you need to learn, how to learn it, apply it, and how to evaluate whether you got it or if you still have work to do.
These tips sound simple and they are. It’s purposeful effort to fill in the gaps of your knowledge, skills, and experience. Sometimes we get so caught up in putting out fires in our daily lives that we forget to take time to improve areas that will move us forward.
I hope this exercise brings you a little closer to your next role. And if you need help getting started, I’m happy to help.
Scott Ingram: For a ton of great links for more from Stefanie, just click over to DailySales.Tips/1480. Once you’ve clicked over there, be sure to click right back here for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!