Excelling in sales in today’s volatile economic climate is challenging, to say the least.

Fierce competition, inflation and other economic disrupters, plus highly sophisticated and demanding clients place enormous pressure on sales teams. Many companies face the reality that they must work with the sales team they currently have, so they seek new ways to improve their performance. This can be a daunting task.

In today’s business environment, sales professionals must be superior relationship builders and trusted advisors. They must provide high value with their offerings while projecting a persona of credibility and trust. The proliferation of technology and demand for transparency requires sales professionals to assume a more consultative approach.

Consultative salesmanship requires deep capabilities, developed ideally through contextualized and highly social experiences. Brandon Hall Group Smartchoice® Preferred Provider NovoEd understands this, and its collaborative learning platform enables leading-edge cohort-based sales learning at scale.

With a leading-edge social learning platform, sales pros – from rookies to veterans – can improve their communication and interpersonal skills through role-play, group practice, and by applying new skills in realistic scenarios specific to their industry.

Brandon Hall Group research shows that 55% of organizations believe social and collaborative learning technologies are important to address future-of-work requirements, and developing sales professionals who can drive revenue in a VUCA world is certainly one of them. Between 2021 and 2022, the percentage of organizations planning moderate or heavy investment in social and collaborative learning jumped by 32%.

At the end of the day, sales is about building relationships. Therefore, the best learning occurs when peers learn together. The best digital social learning platforms enable learning experiences to be designed from the ground up to meet the five imperatives of great sales training:

  • Immediate applicability. Salespeople should leave a learning event knowing they can immediately apply their skills and knowledge.
  • Recognition of past experiences. People generally come to sales training with various levels of knowledge and experience. The learning needs to take that into account.
  • Engaging experiences. Sales professionals are busy people who are easily distracted by other priorities. The learning must grab their attention and keep it.
  • Sharing and learning from others. Sales professionals love to share what they know.
  • Expert coaching and feedback. They also love to learn from experts who have more experience.

Great collaborative learning platforms enable the coaching and feedback that sales pros need. Collaborative learning fosters connections between learners, mentors, managers and leadership and builds networks of mentorship and guidance contextualized to a company’s culture, values and strategic direction.

Clearly, the time has arrived to leverage social and collaborative learning to improve critical sales enablement initiatives.

Claude Werder

Claude Werder oversees Brandon Hall Group's analyst team, new product development, corporate development, the HCM Excellence Conference 2015, publishing, and social media and marketing strategies for Brandon Hall Group. In that role, he manages Brandon Hall Group’s research priorities, Membership Program and Member Center, and Brandon Hall Group’s exclusive KnowledgeBases of research data and HCM solution providers, services and products.