When I was doing my Master’s degree in Australia, I quickly learned that an MBA program is different than an undergrad program because you learn most of the content from your peers and discussion. This is in contrast to doing an undergrad degree, which is centered more on asynchronous learning. In an undergrad program, you learn on your own through textbooks, videos, and self-paced learning, and also some synchronous learning through lectures.
In a Master’s program, you’re learning from each other as peer-to-peer coaches, with the professor being a facilitator and coach. As a debate pops up, you can talk about real-world scenarios and case studies.
There’s no question that just-in-time learning is the future of learning. When it comes to sales, if you believe the idea that sellers will only learn in live workshops you are going to be sadly mistaken and behind the bell curve.
Just-in-time learning means that you’ll be able to learn anywhere, at any time. This also means situational learning – you might be able to encounter a sales problem in market, and click on a learning asset either through your CRM or learning portal, in the moment you’re struggling to solve that problem.
This might sound great, but the challenge is that it’s exactly like learning with your undergrad university degree.
For example, you could be working on a math problem in university, and realize there are all kinds of learning assets to help you: the textbook, YouTube, and tutorial notes, but at the end of the day, it is a one-way learning experience. What’s really happening is you’re trying to regurgitate knowledge, and hopefully these tools are giving you just enough to solve the problem.
But if you’re really stuck, you might book a time with your professor – which may be two weeks from now, during their open office hours – but you needed to solve the problem last night when the problem was due. Now you’ve lost momentum. This is where just-in-time learning has its limitations.
Here at Sales For Life, we are huge believers that the future will also be centered around just-in-time coaching. With just-in-time coaching, frontline sales managers will be well-versed in being able to solve in-market problems right away. They can dissect and analyze problems and provide feedback and guidance in real time, because they have gone through training and coaching in how to be effective coaches.
These are not guidance counsellors or glorified babysitters – these are people who can dissect, analyze, and provide feedback and clarity immediately. In the future, we’re going to be focusing on the fact that the real power of the modern, digital seller comes from the modern, digital coach. The future is ensuring these sales leaders have the ability to see a problem and can immediately provide feedback.
This is like in a Masters’ program, where the professor was able to provide immediate feedback and clarity to the whole class, and help them move forward.