Embrace & Empower: A Guide to Informal Learning

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Studies show that 90% of learning takes place informally, through on-the-job interactions with peers, subject matter experts and managers. However, the vast majority of corporate sales training programs today target formal, structured environments like classroom trainings and sales kickoffs, where a mere 10% of learning actually takes place. Strategies that don’t take advantage of informal learning are missing a great opportunity to elevate sales rep performance across metrics.

Organizations often don’t take the steps to develop new strategies due to the fear of change. This article will cover the two most common fears and how to alleviate them in the case of informal learning.

#1 Fear: Forgetting the True Message

Expecting reps to succeed using a new corporate message without refining and evolving it as they go is unrealistic. It’s much more likely that your sales force will take what’s put in front of them and make it their own, and even come up with something more targeted as they continue to engage in further conversations.

Since reps are the ones in the field having these real-time interactions with buyers, they know better than anyone how customers are responding to the messaging. It’s important to give reps a seat at the table to share, compare and collaborate to strengthen the messaging and feel empowered to act decisively when it matters.

#2 Fear: Getting the Ball Rolling

Expectations are far different than reality when you don’t effectively prepare for your next move. In your head you might have a perfect scenario laid out, but without a game plan and some clear guiding policies, the idea of implementing any systems can go down the drain.

Now you can have a roadmap to achieve compelling value realization and measurable ROI easier than ever. Hundreds of thousands of salespeople and support staff are already being supported in this way across a variety of organizations.

Step 1: Encourage Contribution & Collaboration

Agile content creation is key to a thriving process. By empowering reps, SMEs, managers, and others with the ability to capture and share quick, simple, but highly relevant ideas on videos, organizations disseminate the next best ideas, updates, and competitive information in a continuous stream. As a best practice, organizations should make it easy to create and contribute content to the system. That’s why video capture is so important, because of how easy it is to capture the richness of an idea by simply touching a record button and expressing it as if you were talking directly to someone.

From there, make it as simple as possible and be rewarded with an agile content machine that collects and shares the best organizational knowledge so all employees benefit from everyone’s collective wisdom.

Step 2: Develop a Vetting Process

Now that you have everyone contributing to the cause, it’s important to implement a vetting process. This will look different to individual companies, so it’s critical to develop one that works well for your organization and aligns with your culture. This may include approval workflows or regulatory compliance tools for certain industries, but in the end, users should continue to act responsibly with their communications.

On the other side of the spectrum, many organizations opt for imposing limits on who can share or how that content can be accessed. Figure out where your organization should begin, but don’t be surprised if you enter a pilot with one set of expectations and go company-wide with something completely different.

Step 3: Automate, Automate, Automate

You can’t launch a system that’s new and exciting on day one and slowly goes stale over time. Now that you know how easy content creation can be, it’s vital to know how you can improve upon the process.

Content sourcing, curation, packaging, and distributing content must also be simple when using the system across a large enterprise. Here is where automation bears the burden of maintaining the infrastructure. Automation ensures efficiency, accuracy, and relevancy by curating, distributing, and recommending the right content based on contextual needs—all while intelligently archiving expired content as you go.

By keeping the tools optimized, reps benefit from on-demand access and all stakeholders can stay focused on content, collaboration, and continuous learning and improvement.

Change doesn’t have to be a scary thing. Employee empowerment and engagement is just the start to driving positive and successful change within your organization. A version of this article was posted on the Allego Allegories blog. You can read it here.

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