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The Rise of Technologies in Sales Learning

With the emergence of smartphones and internet technologies, science is playing a role in enabling salespeople to engage in deliberate practice training without sacrificing large amounts of field selling time.
In fact, the rise of “brain trainer” apps over the last several years is quite astounding. For example, Lumosity, an online brain trainer source, now has over 35 million subscribers and is adding 100,000 additional ones daily. One reason for this growing popularity is the “gamification” features, which brings a look and feel similar to playing a video game. These features provide a highly interactive interface including feedback functions such as progress dashboards, progressive levels, and quantitative points and bonuses.
As such, Sales Brain Trainer (SBT) apps have arrived on the scene to help sellers improve skills wherever they are 24/7 (anytime learning). Salesforces like many other organizations have reduced the amount of employee training with respect to classroom and online training activities. As a result, we have seen a major shift towards on-demand learning methods which allows the learner to access learning whenever needed. As training costs continue to go up, while retention and transfer of skills to the job remains stagnant (between 10-15%), many companies have decided to try new learning approaches in hopes of improving performance and containing costs. Many of these new strategies involve leveraging everyday technologies in new, innovative ways.

Implicit Subskills vs. Explicit Skills

One of the key attributes of an SBT is the focus on implicit skills, which involve cognitive actions that most influence high performance selling. With implicit skills, there are no detailed instructions on how to solve the puzzle or provide the correct response to a question. Instead, the apps present conditions that allow the user to recognize the right responses, intuitively. Subskills are isolated chunks of major skills that represent the most influential skill aspects that drive performance. For example, in sales, communication is a major skill set whereas connecting is a subskill that involves recognizing nonverbal cues and forming the most appropriate response. A notable benefit of subskill practice is the ability to perform a high number of repetitions since the drills are very brief in duration. SBTs allow users to exercise their brain to improve thinking speed and accuracy in the context of a selling dialogue.
Unique Features of Sales Brain Trainer Apps:
  • Focus on implicit subskills

  • Gamification user interface

  • High Repetitions

  • Progressive Difficulty

  • Immediate Feedback

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About Sales Development & Performance, LLC: 
SD&P is a performance consulting and training firm that enables sales organizations and sales professionals to drive performance outcomes. Our research-based approach to professional development delivers measurable sales revenue and profit results for businesses of all sizes. The company was founded in 2008 in Irvine, California.