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Performance-Based Learning in Sales Training

Until now, accelerating expertise has been limited to sports, music and other domains with built in practice cultures. In this article, we introduce the Performance-Based Learning (PBL) method which enables salespeople to learn while they work.
For several decades, scientists have studied world class athletes, musicians and chess players to explain the reasons for their superior performance and expertise. Throughout these studies, a common link emerges‒  , a unique training method specifically designed to improve performance.
There are obvious differences between sports and music environments as compared to naturalistic settings such as sales. The most obvious is the absence of available time for practice in sales. Most professional sellers work at least eight hours a day and have limited time for practicing new skills. To make matters worse, most sales training courses do not allow enough practice time for trainees. This raises the question, how can salespeople advance expertise through practice without giving up valuable selling time?
In recent years, top expertise researchers like Dr. Peter J. Fadde and Dr. Gary Klein have expanded research into naturalistic environments including business and sales. As a result, many sales companies are figuring out new ways of adopting this research to improve employee performance.
Among these research-based activities for salespeople are: Performance-Based Learning (PBL) activities. PBL consists of six learning activities designed to accelerate expertise through routine work situations. The idea is use everyday work experiences to boost tacit knowledge and implicit skills which have been found to be most responsible for expertise in natural settings. A brief description of the PBL sales activities are listed below:
Predicting (Estimating) aims to increase implicit knowledge by predicting responses and outcomes of targeted tasks and comparing the predictions to the actual result.
Piloting< (Experimenting) is designed to increase the impact of a successful task or method by attempting new ways to improve upon it.
Reflection (Extrapolating) involves reflective learning through experiences. Sellers apply cause and effect thinking analysis to develop lessons learned for future sales calls.
Storyboarding (Explaining) seeks to discover root causes of failures and improvement strategies by performing a metaphorical autopsy of a selling situation that produced an unwanted outcome.
Modeling (Examining, Exchanging) targets a specific skill or task for improvement and observing a skilled expert performing it (i.e., field ride-a-long).
Expert Coaching (same name) transfers tacit knowledge to less skilled sellers through a structured dialogue and performance in action.
To learn more about PBL activities visit our website at: http://sales-blueprint.com/
 
About Sales Development & Performance, LLC: 
SD&P is a performance consulting and training firm that enables sales organizations and sales professionals to drive performance outcomes. Our research-based approach to professional development delivers measurable sales revenue and profit results for businesses of all sizes. The company was founded in 2008 in Irvine, California.

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