The corporate learning leader meets the learning provider’s salesperson. For me, this has always been an artful treat to watch and learn. I have loved watching CEOs sell, as well as managers sell. Did you ever notice the season difference in the ways they position value?
Similarly, corporate learning leaders are unique in their ways of sharing business or project needs. Some learning leaders explain the desired state of business, while others explain the current state of affairs and improvement areas. Learning leaders are always on the lookout for innovative solutions that can deliver learning outcomes.
About 50% of the learning need diagnosis and solution presentation occurs at this stage. It is the salesperson who is the custodian of this process. All this while, the trusted advisor to the corporate learning leader is the salesperson.
A business-centric salesperson analyzes the learning leader’s interpretation of the learning outcomes. I rate the salesperson’s effectiveness higher, if he/ she demonstrates industry-specific orientation. I rate the salesperson even higher, if he/ she utilizes hands-on knowledge of the learning and development functions. The corporate learning leader’s best advisor would be this salesperson who has development and delivery capabilities too. I have met and admired many such sales pros who drive customer commitment right at the beginning. And they are able to do this, because they have loved being practitioners.
- Creating meaning in learning outcome statements allows L&D teams to identify enablers
- Aligning enablers with business or industry practices boosts precision of solutions
- Mentoring technology, instructional and delivery teams enhances stakeholder mindshare
Too much to ask for? Wishful thinking, motivated practice, I call it.
I urge learning leaders to try this once. Get hold of the CEO, salesperson, or manager who sold you in the name of business outcomes. Invite him/ her to a sumptuous lunch and ask to demonstrate the outcomes achieved.
Accountability in delivering learning outcomes is needed more now than ever.