Rapid advancements in technology have created opportunities to reach more people in more ways than ever before. The old model required that those wanting to learn had to travel to the expert or teacher to acquire the knowledge. Today, it is possible to access those same experts online, via e-learning or distance learning. But what is the learning experience really like? What are we teaching and what does the student (or executive) need to learn?
Skills, Knowledge and Behavior Modification
Imagine that you wanted to build something with which you had no experience. Say, a gazebo. In scenario 1, you buy a book, follow the plans and use your best efforts to build it. In scenario 2, you watch an online video series where you’re shown how to make each cut and how to use each tool. In scenario 3, you have an experienced carpenter with you and a few others who want to learn, and the carpenter shows each of you how to do each step and explain why to each question you ask.
Which scenario would give you the best learning experience, the most encouragement and instill the skills most permanently? Granted, different people learn in different ways, but for most people, you can’t beat the skills that can be permanently instilled through personal instruction. You can acquire knowledge online. But acquiring the skills, experience and confidence needed to modify your behavior is best done in a classroom setting.
At the CustomerCentric Selling® sales training workshops, attendees participate in numerous role-plays with coaches who have the experience to transfer the knowledge to a real-world situation. Further, attendees benefit greatly from the interaction they have with one another, finding comfort in the fact that others face similar problems and working together to find new skills and approaches that will help them all when they return to their jobs. You just can’t replace this online.
The goal of our clients is not to just to teach skills to their sales reps. It’s to make lasting changes to behavior, so that the organization can embrace and follow a process that is repeatable and scalable. I believe that this is also the need of most organizations. While e-learning and online tools can be very valuable as a refresher and in reinforcing the behavior, it cannot replace the benefits of a classroom experience.
At CustomerCentric Selling®, we will continue to invest in our wonderful business partners and building that network of expertise, as we believe that this is the best way to help our clients achieve lasting change and realize the benefits of sales improvement that they are seeking.