Rather than inundating your sales reps with heaps of reading material, investing tons of time on making them remember technical specifications and testing their absorption of information with tests à la SATs, the fastest way to turn information into knowledge on how to sell is through practice.
The concept of “learning by doing” is an age-old adage that has recently become increasingly more popular. Over the last 20 years, numerous studies have focused on its benefits across the fields of education, psychology, decision-making, and cognition, all showing similar results: learning through doing is up to 3 times as effective as learning through studying, and comes hand in hand with many other benefits.
Now, more than ever, it is critical that your sales reps be exposed to as many real-time interactions with clients as possible – and as soon as possible – to bring about the best possible results. But don’t go about this willy-nilly! Putting sales reps in front of clients without first ensuring they’ve learned the new product and strategy inside out, and can preach what they’ve practiced, is an absolute must.
Mistakes are an essential part of learning. Learning from our mistakes helps us improve our actions and approaches for the future. As such, it is key that our sales reps make their mistakes as soon as possible and under the watchful eye of those higher up on the corporate ladder, rather than in front of potential paying customers.
Simulations create the very real environment you need to trigger the benefits of learning by doing, safely and without the risk of lost sales.