In order to continuously develop your sales talent, building a “culture of learning” is a cornerstone of the plan. Elevating the skillset of your talent is vital for their growth as sales professionals, as well as the health of your organization. By investing in them, you’ll be able to develop them into the future leaders of your sales team. We asked five top sales leaders from Chicago for their thoughts on how to create a “culture of learning.” Here are their answers:
Justin Clifford, Director of Sales at Lessonly: Creating a culture of learning starts with providing a safe space for making mistakes. That includes defining what good looks like, providing regular practice opportunities, leaders highlighting what’s working in team meetings and, of course, leaders modeling the learning behaviors they expect to see.
Andrew Rice, Sales Manager at LogicGate: Upon hiring, provide reps with a learning roadmap that outlines expectations for knowledge base at specific points in their career. Pair that road map with "certifications" that they must complete within a Sales Enablement platform or presentation - this makes the learning objectives concrete. From a culture perspective, ensure that all members of a hiring class are working/practicing on these certifications together. Finally, publicize and celebrate completion of certifications internally!
Ben Dietz, President, Americas at Mintel: You cannot incentivize to create a learning culture that will last. It starts at the top, and the top must demonstrate what Lifelong Learners strive to achieve - which is continued development. For myself, two key characteristics I openly look for are Humility and Hunger. If you're humble enough to understand how little you actually know, and have the hunger and work ethic to strive for more, you are going to make ripples in your organization and in this world.
Jason Lovelace, Chief Sales Officer (CSO) at SPINS: Create a culture of peer-to-peer learning, where sales professionals present on topics that are advantageous to the group. When these employees present, they become an expert on that topic, and, in turn, the entire team benefits from the learning opportunity.
Brad Hainer, VP of Sales at BenchPrep: The goal is to empower others in the organization with as much information as possible, then have them make the decisions. If the decision doesn’t turn out, step back and take a different direction. This leads to lifelong learning.