As technology grows and the market shifts, how can a salesperson react and change their ‘old’ habits with effective new ones?

This situation usually occurs with experienced sales teams. If you are consistently hitting your target, the natural need to learn decreases. Using the logic, “I hit the targets, therefore, I must be doing things right,” can be very dangerous. However, there may be other reasons for success such as:

  • The market is booming
  • Your product is strong
  • Competition is still low

How can we encourage constant learning throughout our team to both the higher and lower performers? Some salespeople are more teachable than others. That is a fact.

If your company does not stimulate the need for constant learning, there may be no way back. Any learning activity from this breaking point is perceived only as a necessary evil that the sales team need to sit through because your company wants you to do it.

Very soon targets will be harder to hit, revenues will dip, and frustration will grow. A cycle that is difficult to come back from.

So, what can you do to create an environment of learning?

1. Be honest with yourself.

Ask yourself a question: How is learning implemented in our company culture? And if you don’t know the answer – get someone to show you.

2. Take responsibility.

If you feel like it could be improved, take responsibility. Do not blame your team. When you admit the problem starts with you, then you can show true leadership. Just like in sales – it is better to pull than to push.

3. Create urgency.

Communicate the problem. Describe the reason for change. What scenario do you want to avoid? Create a vision.

4. Lead the way.

A fish rots from the head down. Show your will to change first. Start with the little things. Praise the marginal changes and create a safe space for short-term failure.

5. Invest in people.

Once you identify those with a positive attitude towards learning, give them the attention. The less positive in your sales team will see the benefits of getting involved in learning and will come onboard.

6. Promote.

Once you’ve got some learning success stories, promote them to the rest of the team. Show what is possible and offer the same attention to the rest of the team. As we talk to organisations, very few tell us that learning is in their identity. If it’s truly in your company culture, work from step number three. That way you can stimulate the learnability. The longer you wait, the harder it will be for your sales team to change. Take action now!

Sources: Learnability – Manpower Group

Jan Nekolny, Consultant


If you’d like to discuss more about creating an environment for learning, why not get in touch on +44 (0) 20 7653 3740 or

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