What is Your Organization Learning Right Now?

Jason Rager - Account Executive

I chose the word “learning” in this title very intentionally. Most organizations have goals, initiatives, quotas, etc.; but they do not focus on what macro learning is taking place and how that impacts the direction of said projects. This also doesn’t include utilizing the data they capture within their day-to-day interactions with their market. That’s another topic for another day. However, I do think it’s important that we link the concept of learning back to actually improving the organization. Learning and reacting to what’s learned is similar to the difference between Blockbuster and Netflix.

There are a few terrifying aspects to this discussion: 1. How do you track ROI on learning? 2. What if focusing on learning causes more mistakes? Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer to the first one; ROI is a tricky beast. I’ve been working at COACT for about 5 years now, and I couldn’t tell you the ROI on our culture of learning, but I can tell you the impact on our staff’s ability. More importantly, I can tell you that performance has been increasingly more impressive as we’ve continued to improve on this front. For the second terrifying aspect I’ll turn to Thomas Edison who once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” History has proven Edison to be correct, although I expect it doesn’t take us 10,001 tries to get to something that works!

As part of our efforts at COACT to learn and improve, I recently had the privilege of attending the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP) Leadership Summit. This event was a great experience for me and sparked a number of discussions within COACT around sales processes, best practices, and (I think most importantly) continuous learning and improvements. As the landscape of sales continues to shift with the rapid rise of various sales technologies, COACT has maintained a very agile mentality to the implementation of sales process. One of the most interesting topics at the conference was learning that inside sales is growing by 6-8% per year (depending on whose stats you use) compared to a decline in field sales. Another statistic claimed that 57% of the buying cycle is complete by the time a prospect engages with the buying system. These facts tell me that the difference between inside sales and outside sales is narrowing, and the need for sales development processes is critical. As our President, Mark Frasco always says, you have to compete before you compete. Meaning, you have to compete for the relationship long before you compete for the work.

The summit was also a great opportunity to benchmark our process and look for opportunities to optimize it, leveraging some of the sales acceleration technologies available. Over the next several weeks, we are going to be working on some very exciting things here at COACT, taking advantage of these various advancements.

If you’re interested in AA-ISP, check it out at www.aa-isp.org – they have tons of great resources, and I’d be glad to discuss the summit if you’re interested!

Questions or comments? Please contact Jason Rager at jrager@teamCOACT.com.